We Are Warpaint

WHAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF...

Ashley Carter and softball is something that goes together as seamlessly as peanut butter and jelly. It's a match that's meant to be.  In 2013 she became part of the softball alumni at Cal State Fullerton and in addition was awarded 1st team All Big West in 2012.  Ashley is also alumni to the elite travel ball team, Cal Lite.  It's premature to think that Ashley was done with competitive softball simply because she wrapped up her Division I career.  Ashley has proudly achieved a dream that at one time seemed impossible, but now is a fabric of her reality.  She's a professional softball player for the PA Rebellion.  If that wasn't enough, Ashley is also We Are Warpaint's first sponsored professional athlete and we can't be more excited to not only highlight her in this month's Warrior Spotlight, but proudly watch her journey unfold as a professional athlete.

WARRIOR SPOTLIGHT:  WHAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF...

WP: How has softball impacted your life?

AC:  Softball has made me the person I am today.  It has shown me the person I aspire to be and taught me life lessons that I use everyday, such as:  early is on time, time management, a strong work ethic and most importantly, having passion for what you do.  Softball has also shown me the benefits of being part of a team and what it means to be a team player.  Knowing that your team has your back and working together towards a common goal is a powerful combination.  

Having a team also creates life long friendships and to this day I keep in contact with people from my little league and 10U travel ball teams.  I invest in my softball relationships because I know I can count on my teammates to always have my back as I would theirs.

 

WP:  You presently work with slappers as a coach at EM Speed & Power, what is your style of coaching/philosophy?

AC:  My coaching style/philosophy is all about building a great foundation.  The foundation is key before I move onto technique.  Having quality feet and hand work are essential to building a great foundation.  A foundation makes everything, from a swing, to a throw, to the dynamics of a team.  It's the small things that make the great big things even better.  You can't win without the small parts of your game.

 

WP:  What is one thing most people don't know about you?

AC:  I have two!  That I'm a Disney fanatic and part Japanese!

 

WP:  What is your favorite quote?

AC:  "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?  Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.  Your playing small does not serve the world.  There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.  We are all meant to shine, as children do.  We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.  It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.  And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

-- Marianne Williamson

 

WP:  What person(s) have impacted your softball career and why?

AC:  There are so many, but mainly I would have to say my parents.  They have always believed that I was capable of playing at any level and made me believe the same.  This foundation allowed me to never regret any moment or experience in my softball career.   They were the ones that drove me everywhere, fed me and took care of my injuries when I didn't want anyone else to know about them.  They were at every game, rain or shine and paid for training, lessons, travel ball... you name it.  If I didn't have my parents I wouldn't be playing softball.

Others that have impacted my career are the coaches that changed my game drastically to make me the ball player that I am today:  Bobby Flores, my coach from Bloomington High School, Coach Pam Newton my travel ball coach for Cal Lite and Michelle Gromacki and Kelly Ford, my college coaches at CSUF. These coaches have sculpted my game and made me a better person and player.  Each of these coaches taught me to enjoy the game and love what I did everyday.

Lastly, but not least, are my friends and teammates who have always been there to help me out and pick me up when I needed it.  They've been by my side when I've been at my best and more importantly, when I've been at my worst.  But, one of the most valuable things my teammates have taught me, is how to dance!

 

WP:  You recently signed with the PA Rebellion, what was that process like and how does it feel to be a professional softball player?

AC:  Signing with the PA Rebellion was an interesting process.  I had recently tried out for the Akron Racers and didn't make it and I figured I was done playing any competitive ball.  Trying to reconcile how to move forward with my life knowing softball would no longer be a part of it in the capacity that I was used to was nearly impossible.  One day I noticed a post on Facebook talking about a tryout for the Rebellion Pennsylvania and the coaches number was listed on the flyer.  I decided to give him a call to see if any other tryouts were going to be held in California in the near future.  Coach Bertagnolli didn't answer his phone, so I left a short, simple message about myself and my softball background.  Literally 5 minutes later Coach B called me back and conveyed that he'd heard of me when I played for the California A's in Canada.  Essentially, he encouraged me to come to PA and tryout.  Money was tight and the idea of expensing a trip to PA was a little overwhelming.  When I talked to my folks, they said it was completely my decision and right then and there I knew I never wanted to regret anything, so I decided to find a way to make it work.  

When we arrived in PA it was 25 degrees and snowing!  A big change from the 80 degree southern California weather.  When I arrived at the indoor facility for the tryout I was beyond excited.  I was a few hours early, so I probably warmed up 3 different times and did different drills to get myself ready and when the time came for the outfield portion - I was ready.  Essentially, my outfield was flawless.  I caught everything and my throws were on point!  We finished up with hitting and base running and when everything wrapped up the owner of the PA Rebellion, Stu Williams, and Coach Bertagnolli outlined exactly what they were looking for and in the manner in which we'll be contacted to inform us if we made the team or not.  

That night, I received a call from Coach B and I was thinking it was too soon for good news, but on the contrary - he stated that they wanted to sign me to the PA Rebellion before I got on the plane tomorrow morning!  That next morning I received the contract and signed my first commitment to an NPF softball team.  Needless to say, it was a great morning and a great way to leave PA knowing that I'll be coming back in May to play against former Olympians, pros and All Americans!

For me, I still can't believe I'm a pro fastpitch athlete.  I'm 1 of 90 women who have the opportunity to play professional softball in the United States.  I get to play against and with people I grew up watching and idolizing... it's just so surreal.  This was only a dream before and thanks to hard work, preparation and one phone call, my dream became a reality.

 

WP:  What song or artist are you currently listening to?

AC:  Happy by Pharrell Williams

 

WP:  You played softball at Cal State Fullerton (Go Titans!) what was that experience like?  Biggest lesson learned?  Favorite moment(s)?

AC:  My experience at Fullerton is very mixed.  My first season with the Titans was tough, because we struggled and I hate losing with a passion.  I learned that in softball, as in life, you will face adversity and it's what you do abut to change it that matters.  These experiences taught me to lead by example and speak up once in awhile.  I'm not really a vocal person, but my work ethic becomes my voice.

My senior year, I had the best time of my life!  I had the best team; we all got along and it was truly enjoyable playing with these girls because we all shared a common goal and went out to pursue it! Everything changed that year... People remembered who the Titans were again and we were out there with something to prove.  I wish I had another year with those girls, because they are the best bunch and they're going to kick butt this season!

The biggest lesson I learned at CSUF was that no matter how bad things may have been or what seemed to be impossible; don't let it drag you down, keep fighting, keep practicing, because things change and be the reason why they change, not the reason why they get worse.

But, most importantly, I've had so many great moments at Fullerton!  We beat some of the best and I love being the under dog and upsetting teams.  I also enjoy every moment on the field, because you never know when it's going to end for you.  So, go out there like it's your last game and give it everything you've got!

 

WP:  If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring collegiate softball player, what would it be?

AC:  Never give up!  If I'm able to make it, so can you!

 

WP:  If you could design the next Warpaint color, what would it be?

AC:  It would have to be my favorite color, which is TEAL!  With glitter in in of course!

 

 

Ashley Carter and the PA Rebellion kick off their first game against the USSSA Pride on May 30th.  To keep up with Ashley and the PA Rebellion, check out their schedule!  

To see more photos of Ashley from our Hollywood, CA photo shoot, check her out under Who Is Warpaint / Ashley Carter for We Are Warpaint on the main page.

 

Written by Jenn Holt — May 01, 2014

WHS UNLEASHED... This is Braedy Horn

We Are Warpaint was built on the foundation that the Warriors who take action and make Warpaint their own help define the face of the company as a whole.  Braedy Horn is a sophomore at Whitney High School, catcher for the JV baseball team and this month's definition of a Warrior.  His courage, passion, persistence and drive to baseball and life have landed him on our radar.  We Are Warpaint is proud to highlight this month's Warrior, Braedy Horn.

WARRIOR SPOTLIGHT:  WHS UNLEASHED... This is Braedy Horn

 

WP: How has baseball impacted your life?

BH:  Baseball has become my life ever since I picked up a ball and bat as a little kid.  Since then the game has become a model for my life, teaching me lessons that I can apply to any and all of my personal endeavors.

 

 

WP:  You're a catcher at Whitney High School, which is a tough position - how did you decide this was the position you were going to invest your time and skill set?

BH:  I've always loved being behind the dish, but along with that I came into my freshman year as a utility player, literally being able to play all 9 positions on the field.  After coming off of an injury that sidelined me for a year, my team needed a leader behind the plate and I was eager to fill the role.  This year I've become a full time catcher while still getting some work in at 3rd base.

 

WP:  What person(s) have impacted your baseball career and why?

BH:  Every one of my coaches has impacted me in one way or another.  Both my mom and my dad have shown me the correct way to go about my business.  My cousin, Nicholas Reed, taught me to chase after the things I'm passionate about.  Finally, the entire Whitney coaching staff headed by Coach Robert Dorchak has taught me to seek out every opportunity that comes up and to live and play like this is your last day, last pitch, last game.

 

 

WP:  What is the one thing most people don't know about you?

BH:  That I REFUSE to play catch with my mom because a couple of years ago I broke my mom's nose with a baseball.

 

WP:  What is your favorite quote?

BH:  "A man is but the product of his thoughts.  What he thinks, he becomes."   - Mahatma Ghandi

 

WP:  What do you find most challenging about baseball both physically and mentally?

BH:  The hardest thing mentally about baseball is obtaining the drive to keep grinding and keep your mind on every pitch and never take a second off.  

Physically - preparing your body to be able to handle that repetition and pushing through the wall when the time comes to work harder than you have all day.

 

WP:  What song or artist are you currently listening to?

BH:  I've always been very diverse in my music choices.  Right now, anything from Cole Swindell to Aaron Lewis, ZZ Top to Chris Webby or Cold Ford to Frank Sinatra.

 

WP:  What is the meaning behind #WHSUNLEASHED?

BH:  #WHSUNLEASHED is a thing our school's award winning broadcast crew came up with this year where they showcase a student's picture that shows them taking their school pride or their endeavor to a whole new level out in the world.

 

WP:  What is the main goal this year for Whitney Baseball?  What main goal have you set for yourself?

BH:  Winning is a beautiful thing, but this year and every year, our program strives to go out every day and be the best you can possibly be.  If you're unable to achieve that, then pick up your teammate so that he can be the best that he can be.

Personally, I'm trying to get better any way possible; every day is a new opportunity that gives you the chance to make not only yourself but everyone else around you better as well.

 

WP:  If you could name one thing you love most about baseball, what would it be?

BH:  The camaraderie and going out everyday and competing with my brothers.

 

WP:  If you could design the next Warpaint color, what would it be?

BH:  Maroon of course!

 

 

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:

We Are Warpaint is proud to support Braedy Horn and is offering a 5% discount on all We Are Warpaint orders when you use the discount code: braedoh at check out.


Written by Jenn Holt — March 31, 2014

Alex Creel...All In

As We Are Warpaint seeks to highlight Warriors impacting their community around them, it's become evident that two common denominators seem to always be present... Passion and Dedication.  

Alex Creel has been a part of baseball for over 20 years.  First as a student of the game and now as an instructor of the game.  His work ethic and drive molded him into an elite pitcher with aspirations of playing professionally.  His training and dedication allowed him the opportunity to receive two athletic scholarships from Arizona State University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Both Division I athletic schools where talent is not only essential, it's required.  

Alex finished his baseball career in 2005 with the Mustangs, but it didn't take long before he realized he had something to give back to the game of baseball and started coaching and training pitchers in 2006.  Since then, Alex and his partners, Bret Hemphill and Mikela Olsen formed Golden Spikes Baseball.

 

We Are Warpaint, would like to congratulate Golden Spikes Baseball on their new training facility. We are also proud to highlight Alex Creel and Golden Spikes Baseball for this month's Warrior Spotlight.

 

 

WARRIOR SPOTLIGHT: Alex Creel...All In

 

WP:  How has baseball impacted your life?

AC:  Baseball has impacted my life in multiple ways, but the one that stands out to me the most is the impact it's had on my work ethic.  I really took my craft seriously, and played every day. Whether it was fielding ground balls, throwing, or going to the cages to hit - I was going to do something. Sometimes I didn't like it, but the rewards that I received from the work I put into whatever I was doing made up for it.  If you really want something in life, you must work hard and dedicate yourself to it.  You're all in, and win or lose, you still must go and work at it the next day.  I am a pitching coach, and even now I spend hours studying how I can get my guys to get better faster.  What new tools, what new information can I gather in order for me to get on top of my game.  If I don't do that, someone else is going to get the clientele, and I really want to be the person that helps assist them to the next level.

 

 Alex Creel, Alaska Goldpanners, 2001

 

WP:  You were a highly sought after pitcher that received scholarship offers from Arizona State University and Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.  What ball clubs did you play for growing up and what type of training regimen and dedication does it take to achieve interest from Division I athletics?

AC: After my freshmen year in high school I began playing for Nor Cal, a team that had national recognition. Their mission was to get players to move onto the collegiate/professional level. The team was loaded with talent and initially it was tough for me to even crack the lineup. I hung in there, and finally got the opportunity to play consistently and absolutely just ran with it. During those years, I was the best baseball player I have ever been. I had to be, or else someone else would get the scholarship, someone else would get the playing time, and I wanted it.

My training regimen was really established at a young age because of my dad. I kind of knew that I wasn't just playing baseball because it was fun. I was trying to become a pro. We took weekly hitting lessons, went to every camp possible at Sac City, and played on multiple teams in my early years. Some people might think that is too much at a young age, but I liked being good and that was the goal when I went to work on my game. I figured out that the more I worked, the more I preformed at a high level on the field, so I continued to push it. That is the type of work ethic that it takes to become a D1 athlete. Quality preparation leads to quality performance.

 

WP:  What is the one thing most people don't know about you?

AC:  One thing most people don't know about me is I am extremely scared of heights.  I can't stand being off the ground higher than I should be.  Being on ladders, getting to the top of the peak on a hike, and getting on roller coasters is not for me.

 

Alex Creel, partner at Golden Spikes and Pitching Instructor

 

WP:  What people have impacted your baseball career (both as a player and as a professional) and why?

AC:  My dad, Marvin Creel, taught me how to go after something if you really want it.  He gave me every opportunity to become better and it worked.  He trained me since I was 8 or so on how to be a better baseball player.  Some days I didn't like it, but looking back I see that there was no other way.  Eric Vorbeck is the guy who really taught me how to play the game at a higher level in the field and at the plate.  The intensity and passion he had for the game was something that I had never seen before.  It was infectious and it clicked for me.  He really taught me how to compete and fight for success.  Guy Dubets was my pitching instructor, and he took me to a whole new level when I started to train with him.  He instilled more confidence in me then anyone I had ever been around, and that really made me believe in myself.  Fred Corral, was my pitching coach at Sac City.  The guy made me understand pitching in a different way than I had ever viewed it and it allowed me to stay in the game for a few more years.  He instilled a warrior mentality in me, that really made me feel like I couldn't be beat. 

Jerry Weinstein was my coach at Cal Poly, and I have never seen or heard mechanics done or trained the way he was doing it.  Now, I couldn't pull them off exactly, but looking back he is the one who got me to teach pitching the way I teach pitching now.  He opened my eyes to a whole new world of pitching delivery.  Ron Wolforth of the Texas Baseball Ranch has helped me train multiple pitchers better than I could ever imagine.  His information is practical and applicable the moment you get it.  I owe all these people a lot for helping me become a better ball player and coach.

 

           

  Jerry Weinstein, former Cal Poly coach                                 Ron Wolforth, Texas Baseball Ranch

  Currently staffed with the Colorado Rockies 

 

WP:  What is your instructing style and/or philosophy?

AC:  My coaching philosophy is:  The feel is the deal.  

Everything I try to do is give the player a heightened sense of what we are trying to accomplish in our delivery.  If I can take a segment of the motion that is important, get you to feel what it's like to do it efficiently in a drill and add it back into your delivery, I have accelerated the players learning curve.  I can get players better faster like that versus telling them how to do it.  I ask far more than I tell, and I prefer for natural learning to to take place.  

Ron Wolforth relayed something known as the Bernstein Principlewhere the body will organize itself based on the ultimate goal of the activity.  To me, if the player has a strong enough goal, we can figure out the how.  If his goal is to throw 90 MPH one day, it is my job to give him chances to feel how high level pitchers do it while staying healthy, and it is his job to come up with his style of incorporating what I teach him into his own delivery, as well as devote time to his training.

 

Alex Creel (left), Guy Dubets (center) and Manny Para (right), pitcher for the Brewers & Cincinnati Reds

 

WP:  What is your favorite quote?

AC:  My favorite quote comes from Henry Ford who stated, "Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, but this time more intelligently."

OK, in the world of sports, everyone needs to understand this.  If you can't handle a little bit of failure, you will never learn to succeed.  How are you suppose to learn?  Is every pitch going to be a strike?  Is every ball hit going to square up perfectly and go over the fence?  NO!

Now, everyone understands that, but not everyone trains or lives their life like that.  For aspiring athletes, failure can drive you to be the best you can be.  If something is going on in your swing or throw, and it is not producing the results you want, think about it and make an adjustment to get the result you desire.  You just have to view it like Henry Ford did.

 

WP:  How have injuries impacted your career?

AC:  Unfortunately, injuries have plagued my career.  I've had L5 disc surgery and a torn ACL.  Nothing was ever structurally wrong with my shoulder, but that was the one thing that hurt me the most.  My senior year in high school, I was being highly sought after by MLB teams.  My fastball had never been better the summer and fall before my senior year.  I started having pain in my shoulder, and I thought I could get through it.  It wasn't so bad that I couldn't throw, but I just could not produce the same force on the ball as I had been able to do.  The MLB scouts started to dwindle at my games and that really hurt my ego.  I started to not believe in myself as much and found myself only trying to go for velocity instead of winning the game.  My command suffered big time, and I was not nearly the pitcher I had been in months past.  Instead of addressing the problem and trying more intelligently again, I just threw harder.  Mentally it's tough to see your game change and I never really coped with it.  I wanted the velocity back and that was it.  What I should have been thinking was, let's try and come up with a way to stop the pain, and let's be great with what we got.  I was trying to get back to how I was, when really, I should have moved on to a more efficient way of throwing.  I was just immature and didn't understand that.  

Oh, if I knew what I know now.

 

WP:  You and your partners at Golden Spikes recently expanded your baseball instruction business by acquiring a facility of your own.  Tell us more about this new venture and what your future goals are for the facility and your clientele.

AC:  February 1st, Golden Spikes will be moving into the new facility.  There has been a lot of help from Bret Hemphill and Mikela Olsen, my partners at Golden Spikes, to get this thing up and running.  It is stressful right now, but my wheels are turning on how I can use the space for pitching.  I'm trying to shift to more of a group lesson/class atmosphere.  I still want to bring the personal touch to the classes by using video in order to find my players significant opportunities, and allow them to work on it when it is their turn to throw.  I just think that we talk far too much in one on one instruction, and my main job is to get the pitcher to feel what they need to do, and not be able to talk about it.  The sense of competition takes place in a group setting, and I want my guys to have fun with it and not shy away from it.  We will have a lot more drills that isolate chunks of the delivery, and allow the student to have natural learning take place.  

Also, our strength training, is going to take our pitchers to another level.  Having good technique can only take you so far, and same with being strong.  I have been hard at work on their mechanical efficiencies, and now it's time to start up their functional training.  In a class atmosphere it's fun, competitive, and allows for the proper amount of rest to stay in the right energy system for baseball.  I can't wait to get in there and start training.

 

         

  Bret Hemphill, partner at Golden Spikes                               Mikela Olsen, partner at Golden Spikes 

Former switch hitting catcher for the Anaheim Angels             15th round draft pick for the Florida Marlins, 2003

 

WP:  What do you miss most about playing baseball?

AC:  I think hitting when the game is tight.  I know, I was a pitcher, but for most of my career I was a hitter until my arm surpassed what people thought I could do at the plate.  I loved stepping into the box and going through my routine.  When guys threw harder, I just thought to myself power vs. power like I used to use when I was a kid.  I would absolutely let it rip at anything close to the zone.  I loved offense!  Running the bases was one of my favorite things to do as well.  I used to love sliding head first while stealing second, or tagging home with my hand while trying to avoid the tag.  I wish I was still able to do that.

 

WP:  What song or artist are you currently listening to?

AC:  Oh my gosh, I mean, I listen to a lot of hip hop and R&B music.  If I had to say there was one artist that I listen to more than anyone, I would have to say Drake.  I don't know, I thought "Started from the Bottom" was a pretty hot song and his new album wears on you.  When coaching at Sierra last year, that song came out during the season, and all players and coaches had to hear it for "In and Out" music.  

I like Kendrick Lamar too.  I listen to a whole bunch of music, but when I'm getting ready for work, that is what I'm going with - it gets my pumped.

 

WP:  If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring collegiate baseball player, what would it be?

AC:  One piece of advice for an aspiring college athlete would be to push all your chips in and go for it.  Sure you are going to have to deal with failure, sure there are other things going on that could be more fun, but you have to ask yourself what am I really trying to do with my life?  If it's to play collegiate/professional sport, don't be afraid of being different and saying no to what your friends are doing.  Dedicate yourself to your craft and make it happen.  Think positive everyday, and say I WILL be a college/professional athlete.  Now you said it, do something about it.

 

WP:  If you could design the next Warpaint color what would it be?

AC:  Vegas Gold.

Golden Spikes is that color and our guys might have some interesting patters if they got their hands on black and Vegas Gold.

 

Written by Jenn Holt — January 30, 2014

bellalete = Beautiful Athlete

As we welcome 2014, it was imperative that We Are Warpaint start the year off with a punch for this month's Warrior Spotlight.  We Are Warpaint is elated and proud to share the new athletic apparel line, bellalete, and the amazing Warriors who founded and stand behind this product.

 

Amanda Scarborough and Savana Lloyd have not only been instrumental in the softball community, but they've been in tune with the gaps in the present softball environment.  We Are Warpaint had the pleasure to hear first hand from the founders of bellalete and learn more about their process, passions and inspirations that has become the total sum and drive behind their new apparel line.

 

We Are Warpaint is proud to highlight Savana Lloyd, Amanda Scarborough and bellalete as our first 2014 Warrior Spotlight!

 

WARRIOR SPOTLIGHT: bellalete = BEAUTIFUL ATHLETE

 

 

WP:  What is bellalete?

SL/AS:  bellalete is an athletic apparel line motivated to awaken the beautiful athlete inside of every individual.  

 

WP:  Where did the idea of bellalete come from?

AS/SL:  bellalete comes from passion.  Two of our passions are softball and athletic clothes.  We wanted to bring those two things together to find a way to help softball players, or really, all athletes, feel good to play good.  

When female athletes feel good first, then their odds of playing good are even higher.  Male athletes are different, in the sense that they play good to feel good.  bellalete was inspired by the female process, so when a female athlete puts on a piece of clothing we want it to inspire and motivate her to go out and dominate the day.

 

WP:  You both have extensive backgrounds in softball.  What are some of the accomplishments you've achieved through softball and how did these experiences translate into starting a clothing line?

SL:  Growing up, I played at the highest level of competition possible in travel softball.  That experience allowed me the opportunity to compete at the highest level of collegiate softball, where I played 3 years at Boston College and 1 year at Texas A&M University.  I now have the pleasure to coach in Southern California's South Bay Area, where I'm fortunate to be considered one of the top pitching coaches in the area.  My days consist of pitching lessons as well as specialized involvement in various softball camps and clinics.

 

 

AS:  I'm a two-time All American at Texas A&M University.  Like Savana, I'm also a pitching specialist and am involved in various softball camps and clinics.  During the college softball season I serve as a softball analyst for ESPN and Longhorn Network, which entails me breaking down the strategies and performances for various softball games.

 

 

SL/AS:  The true accomplishment of playing softball for us is finding our passion and dedicating so much time around the sport as players and as coaches.  We noticed a need for a softball clothing line made by softball players.  However, we noticed that the message we were trying to spread through the clothing line was for more than just softball players - it applies to the beautiful athlete inside of every individual no matter what sport.

 

WP:  What is the one thing most people don't know about you?

AS/SL:  The one thing most people don't know about US is that we're best friends who compliment each other really well.  What makes bellalete so successful is how we balance each other out in every day life and in a work setting.

WP:  What is your favorite quote?

"You will get there when you are meant to get there and not one moment sooner.  So, relax, breathe, and be patient."  --Mandy Hale

 

WP:  Conceiving an idea for a clothing line and executing that idea is a tremendous amount of work.  Was there any person(s) that assisted you guys with the process in achieving this goal?

SL/AS:  There are SO many people we have to give credit to, who got us to where we are now.  Savana comes from a family of fashion.  Her aunt and her cousin have played major roles in inspiring and helping guide us.  We have a major influence who lives in Seattle.  She has given us structure to our plan of attack when it comes to business side and how to set everything up before we were able to get everything going.  We have financial advice from a mentor we go to, to seek out critical advice on anything that deals with numbers.  He is also a supportive friend and has a daughter on the road playing college softball.  

In addition, Savana's boyfriend, Cody Rice, has been essential to getting it going as he helps with many of the back end operations.  We are always looking to network and we always have our eyes  and ears open to meet people who have helped us along the way.  Even though we only named a few, there are so many people who have had a special hand in starting bellalete to make it what it is today and what it will be in the future.  We are so thankful for those we surround ourselves with.

 

WP:  What song or artist are you currently listing to?

AS/SL:  Bruno Mars!

 

WP:  Who do you hope bellalete reaches?

SL/AS:  The awesome thing about bellalete is that it has the ability to touch so many.  When you're trying to call a certain group of people a "target market" you can't really put a label on it.  bellalete has the amazing ability to touch female athletes of all ages, because it's a message that we all can connect to in our every day lives.  No matter if you're 10, 25 or 40, the message is the same - we should wake up feeling beautiful always.

 

WP:  What is the one thing you want people to take away from the bellalete clothing line?

AS/SL:  We want girls to feel GOOD when they put on our clothes.  We want to encourage all female athletes in the world to live confidently, happily and with strength in their everyday lives, on and off the playing field.  It's also a message to inspire women to wake up every day feeling unique, beautiful and feeling like they can accomplish anything they set their mind to.

 

 

WP:  If you could design the next Warpaint color, what would it be?

SL/AS:  Coral! Our logo is a coral stylized arrow symbolizing direction, purpose and bravery in anything we do in life.

Editor's Note:  like what you see and what bellalete is about?  

Check them out at www.bellalete.com 

Or on their social media pages:  @bellalete_ & www.facebook.com/bellalete

 

---

@wearewarpaint & www.facebook.com/wearewarpaint

Warriors on and off the Soccer Field

 As 2013 comes to an end, We Are Warpaint is proud to highlight the Schwaben AC U10 Soccer Team, their parents and coach, Meredith Vail from Buffalo Grove, IL.  These young warriors had the ability to remind us how sport becomes part of the fabric of our character and how traveling the path of sport is never traveled alone.

 Schwaben Athletic Club has been in existence in the Chicagoland area since 1926.  There mission statement reflects the foundation needed to build youth soccer on a competitive level, "To be a premier soccer club in the Midwest."  

 

"Children are great imitators.  So, give them something great to imitate."  -- Anonymous 

WARRIOR(S) SPOTLIGHT:  Schwaben AC U10 Soccer Warriors

WP:  What position do you play?

Eden:  Goalie and forward

Kylie:  Defense

Gianna:  Mid/Defense

 

WP:  Why do you play soccer?

Kylie:  I play soccer because it's fun and competitive.

Gianna:  I love the sport and love to compete.

Eden:  I love the sport.  It's fun to put all that stuff that happens in your life and in your day on the field.

 

WP:  Who is the person(s) that you look up to and/or admire?

Gianna:  My big sister, Alyssa

Eden:  My mom because she is funny, kind, works hard for my brother and I, and she loves me all the time.

Kylie:  Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach and my brother, Michael.

 

 

WP:  If you found a genie in a bottle and he gave you one wish, what would you wish for?

Eden:  I would wish for there to be no more hate in the world and if that can't happen then no more clowns.

Kylie:  To meet Alex Morgan.

Gianna:  I would wish that no one would be homeless and everyone would have food.

 

WP:  What song or music artist are you listening to right now?

Kylie:  Katie Perry - Unconditional

Gianna:  Karmin - acapella

Eden:  All things JT... that's Justin Timberlake

 

WP:  If you could design the next Warpaint color what would it be?

Gianna:  Neon yellow and pink

Eden:  Lime green

Kylie:  Blue and white swirl

WARRIOR(S) SPOTLIGHT:  Schwaben AC U10 Warrior Parents

WP:  Who is your daughter?

Laura:  Gianna

Amy:  Kylie

Melissa:  Eden

 

WP:  If you had to describe your daughter in one word, what would it be?

Amy:  One word is difficult, because she is so many wonderful things, but I choose amazing.  Because she is simply AMAZING!

Melissa:  Spunky!

Laura:  Passionate

 

WP:  Do you think athletics play an important role in shaping your daughter's character?

Melissa:  Absolutely!  She spends so much time with her team and the club, I don't know how it wouldn't impact her character development.  It's a  nice balance to the amount of time she spends at school, with family and at camp.  All play important character development roles, but what she gets on the field is something she doesn't get anywhere else.

Laura:  YES

Amy:  Definitely!  It teaches her sportsmanship, responsibility, team work and leadership.

 

WP:  What do you hope your daughter learns as she continues to play soccer?

Laura:  That she continues to learn how to compete as a team and continues to build her self-esteem.

Amy:  I'd like to see her continue to understand the game, have pride and believe in herself everytime she steps foot on the field.  I'd like her to continue to be passionate about the sport not only as an individual, but as a team player.

Melissa:  I hope she continues to learn not only the skills necessary to be a great player, but also what it takes to be a part of something bigger than herself.  That's code...because, 'we' sometimes still think it's all about us ; )

 

WP:  What character trait do you wish for your daughter to continue to grow stronger?

Amy:  Patience

Melissa:  I believe she will continue to grow into her ability to be patient and tolerant of girls that  "challenge" her.  Unfortunately, she will come up against it her entire life and the skill will be crucial in her ability to adapt and get along with all people.

Laura:  Hard-worker

 

WP:  If you could design the next Warpaint color, what would it be?

Melissa:  Neon or glow in the dark color

Laura:  Purple

WARRIOR SPOTLIGHT:  Coach Meredith Vail  

WP:  Coach Vail, you were/are a heck of an athlete.  You have an accomplished resume that includes, Division I athletics at University of Louisville as well as a 4 year Varsity starter at Marillac and Buffalo Grove High Schools.  What do you miss the most about high level competitive athletics?

MV:  The challenges of the games, traveling to tournaments and always being with my teammates and my friends.

 

WP:  What are two key lessons that soccer has taught you over the years?  

MV:  How to work together as a team to achieve your goals and that team sports aren't all about you, it's about the team.  You win and lose as a team.

 

WP:  Why do you coach?  

MV:  Because I love it!

I love being able to see the hard work and dedication I put into the kids pay off.  Winning a game as a coach is much more satisfying that winning a game as a player.  Losing a game is much tougher as a coach than as a player as well!

This U10 girls team has had a lot of ups and downs.  We had a positive start to this fall season, we then began to lose our passion and steam as a team.  In the middle of October we traveled to Ohio for a tournament, this was the first time this team traveled out of state together.  They were amazing.  Not successful record wise, but they had so much fun together and played so well together.  It seemed to be a turning point for the team.  I was so proud of them!

 

WP:  What is your favorite quote?

MV:  "I can accept failure, everyone fails at something.  But I can't accept not trying."  -- Michael Jordan

 

WP:  If you had to describe this year's team in 5 words or less, what would they be?

MV:  Challenging

 

WP:  If you could design the next Warpaint color, what would it be?

MV:  My favorite colors are royal blue and Carolina Blue.  You have royal blue, so I would have to say Carolina Blue.  Orange would be a color as well.

Editors note:  Thank you to all of the young warriors, parents and Coach Vail for taking the time to be a part of this month's Warrior Spotlight.  I hope you continue to grow together and make your mark!

We Are Surviving

There are two things Americans most commonly celebrate in October.  Halloween and Breast Cancer Awareness.  If you were like me growing up I was more interested in candy and stealing tootsie rolls from my little brother, than wearing pink or ribbons of any kind.  I soon grew out of stealing candy from my brother and my awareness for the what the month of October represented matured as well.  Even though October is synonymous for the breast cancer awareness, the path of a fighter isn't beholden to any specific month.  

 

Aware:  knowing that something (such as a situation, condition, or problem) exists.

Awareness:  knowledge or perception of a situation or fact.

 

The National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) was founded in 1985 by the American Cancer Society and at the time, a pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries.  The aim of this partnership was to promote mammography to detect possible cancers in earlier stages to fight breast cancer more effectively.  

 

Fact: About 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime.  And about 1 in 36 will not win their fight.

 

What can you do?  Share your story.

In 2012 I received a call from a friend anxious to tell me about a young woman, Portia Hammond, living in Atlanta, GA.  Portia was described to me as a woman passionate about building a platform for all women to share their physical and emotional challenges to help educate and empower those around them about issues difficult to discuss.  Portia initially founded I Survived My Period (ISMP) www.isurvivedmyperiod.com to dispel taboos relating to the female body by sharing stories from women all over the country as well as her own.  Realizing she struck a cord with the art of storytelling she decided to launch a broader platform that will allow women to share all of their survival stories in one place.

 

      

 

 

This month, We Are Warpaint would like to congratulate Portia Hammond, for the launch of her new platform, We Are Surviving, www.wearesurviving.com.

 

 

 

WARRIOR SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW:

 

Warpaint:  What is the purpose of I Survived My Period?

PH:  To educate, encourage and empower women through storytelling.

In 2010, I underwent ovarian cyst removal surgery.  Every symptom I experienced prior to that led me to a complete state of confusion and frustration.  I had no idea what was happening to my body, but I knew something was wrong.  What was worse, I had no one to talk to who identified with my fear and anxiety.  After consulting with my doctor, family and friends and numerous websites, I finally learned what was happening to me.  A cyst the size of a grapefruit had grown on my left ovary and had to urgently be removed.  After healing from surgery, and enduring extreme emotional menstrual cycles, I was able to look back at my experience and say, "Wow it's over and I survived.  I wonder how many other women can identify with what I just experienced."

A year and several Facebook posts later I Survived My Period was born.

                       

"If one women watches a survival story featured on my website and finds even the slightest amount of hope...then I've done my job."  -  Portia Hammond

 

Warpaint:  Who is the person(s) responsible for shaping the character you are today?

PH:  My parents.  Though my mother and father divorced when I was very young, I have to attribute who I've become to them.  The older I get, the more I find that I am a healthy balance of both my parents.  My mother is a 'go-getter', a planner, organized, yet passionate.  She's a hard worker with immense determination.  My father is a true 'social butterfly', exudes charisma, loves talking to strangers and is by far the least judgmental person I know.  You can tell him anything.  Between the two of them, I've learned that hard work truly does pay off, be good to those who are good to you and most importantly, keep God first in everything you do.

Growing up wasn't always easy, but the one thing my sisters and I knew for sure was that we were loved. So, yes, my parents (in addition to my extended family) are responsible for shaping the character that I am today.

 

Warpaint:  You recently expanded I Survived My Period to We Are Surviving.  What is the goal with this expansion and how is it different than I Survived My Period?

PH:  After blogging for a couple of years about the female reproductive system and sharing various survival stories and general information, I decided that there's more that I want to discuss regarding women's issues.  I wanted to expand.  

I wanted to feature *breast cancer survival stories, sexual assault survival stories, heartbreak survival stories...the list goes on.  The goal is to establish a circle of women, even strangers, who offer positive encouragement to a woman currently walking in shoes familiar to themselves.  As women, we can achieve anything individually, but imagine the heights we can reach if we do so together.  

*Visit We Are Surviving's website for their first feature story - I survived breast cancer:  Janae's Story

 

Warpaint:  What is the one thing most people don't know about you?

PH:  I have an overwhelming addiction to Bridezillas.  While I am not a huge fan of 'reality' television, there is something about the drama in this show that I am glued to.  Truth moment:  I watch it on repeat on Netlfix.

 

Warpaint:  What is your favorite quote?

PH:  I have so many, so I'll list 3:

"Being realistic is the most commonly road traveled to mediocrity."  -  Will Smith

"It's the magic of risking everything for a dream that nobody sees but you."  -  Million Do

"I Cheated on my Fears.  Broke Up with my Doubts.  Got Engaged with my Faith.  Now I'm Married to My Dreams."  - ASAP Rocky

 

Warpaint:  Your bravery in sharing your survival story has created dialogue amongst literal strangers.  Who are some of the people you've reached through the stories of I Survived My Period?

PH:  This is where the beauty of the Internet comes in.  I have received messages from women all over the country commenting on stories they identify with.  As a result, they usually end up sharing their own personal story.  It's those very comments and stories that keep me motivated, keep me blogging and keep me determined.  With the launch of We Are Surviving, I'm looking forward to even more.

 

Warpaint:  What song or artist are you currently listening to?

PH:  I'm currently listening to Janelle Monae.  Not only is her music inspiring and diverse, but she embodies the complete characteristics of a role model for women and young girls.  She is an 'out of the box' thinker and constantly challenges social norms.  Bravo, Janelle.  I am definitely a forever fan.

 

Warpaint:  Where do you see We Are Surviving in 5 years?  Who do you hope it reaches?

PH:  In 5 years We Are Surviving will have become the premier online website for women empowerment through storytelling.  Stories will be featured from all over the world.  Another goal is to garner the attention of celebrity women who have survival stories to share.  The blog will highlight women and girls doing amazing things in their communities as well as highlight initiatives taking place in other countries.  Over the next 5 years, We Are Surviving will have helped and encouraged women and young girls all over the country.  What else could I ask for?

 

Warpaint:  What is the one thing you want people to take away from We Are Surviving?

PH:  You are not alone!  That's what I want women to take away from We Are Surviving.  I want women to know that someone, somewhere, knows EXACTLY how they feel about whatever it is they're going through.

I have to take a minute and thank my storytellers.  It takes a lot of bravery to be completely open about experiences so personal.  But their stories and their vulnerability do not go unnoticed.  We are and will continue to encourage women...one story at a time.

 

Warpaint:  If you could design the next Warpaint color, what would it be?

PH:  I wouldn't design a color necessarily.  More like an embellishment that would work for any existing color.  That said...GLITTER.  Always sparkle, Survivors.

 

 

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:

We Are Warpaint is proud to support WeAreSurviving.com and is offering a 5% discount on all We Are Warpaint orders when you use the discount code:  SURVIVING at check out.

A portion of this sale will be donated back to We Are Surviving so woman can continue to tell their stories.

Path of a Warrior

For the first Warrior Spotlight it was dire to highlight warriors that embodied strength, charisma, courage, drive and most importantly impact.  Impact in their chosen arena as well as impact on those around them.

 

We Are Warpaint couldn't be more proud or humbled to highlight the owners of 5131 Softball Club, Lyndsey Klein and Jenny Topping.  

 

 

Lyndsey and Jenny have continued to make transformative marks on those around them by continuing to teach life lessons through the medium of softball.

 

Jenny's accomplishments include:  2004 Olympic Gold Medalist, 4 time All-American, 2006-2007 World Cup Champion and a member of the Akron Racers National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) from 2005-2006 & 2009, with an NPF Championship in 2005.  In 2012 Jenny and the USA team were inducted into the 2012 Olympic Hall of Fame.  Jenny is currently gearing up to finish the season with her Japanese team, Toyota Shokki.

 

          

 

Lyndsey's accomplishments include: 1999 NCAA Championship with the UCLA Bruins under the guidance of Sue Enquist.  In 2002 Lyndsey became a member of the U.S. National Team and helped lead her team to the 2002 World Championship.  Professionally, Lyndsey played for the WPSL Tampa Bay FireStix and NPF Juggernauts where she again, won a championship in 2004.  She was also a part of both the WPSL and NPF All-star teams.

 

                

 

WARRIOR SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW:

 

Warpaint:  How has softball impacted your life?

JT:  I think I am fortunate to have been given a skill with strong supportive parents who could direct me in my journey.  Softball has played a huge role in molding me into the person I am today.  Because of softball I am a dreamer, driven, and motivated to succeed in life.  I love to set goals and work hard to achieve them.  I can't imagine the person I would be without it in my life.

 

LK:  Softball has impacted my life in a way I never expected or dreamed of.  I grew up playing the game out of pure love and that love continued for over 20 years.  Softball taught me most of my life skills I still use today.  Time management, how to get along with others in a team setting, patience, work ethic, passion, and many many more.  I am blessed to still be a part of the game I love and give back to my community and kids.

 

Warpaint:  What is your favorite quote?

LK:  "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail."  - John Wooden

JT:  "Our character is but the stamp on our souls of the free choices of good and evil we make through life."  - John Geikie

 

Warpaint:  Who is the person(s) responsible for shaping the character that you are today?

LK:  My mom and dad are responsible for shaping me into the person I am today.  From a very young age they taught me love and what it meant to work hard and be good at something.  I idolized my dad as a little girl and still do to this day.  Without their love and support I would not have played this game at the highest level.

 

JT:  I don't know if I could name all of the people that have contributed to my success from teachers, to coaches, to competitors and teammates.  My family support sticks out the most in my head.  Every night our family sat down at the dinner table and talked about our day together.  I learned to share, give my full attention, and how to be honest about that A that slipped to a B.

I believe we are taught character by the people around us, but also believe that building character is a conscious effort.

 

 

Warpaint:  Why did the two of you decide to open 5131 Softball Club?

JT:  I have a passion to teach this sport that has given so much to me.  So, what better than to open a facility with a friend that you respect and has the same passion and ability to teach the game.

 

LK:  We opened 5131 Softball Club to be able to train and teach girls of all ages and abilities to get better both on and off the field.   It is so important to me that I teach these girls to be strong and have confidence in their lives.  It has been amazing to be able to work with young aspiring athletes everyday.  I am blessed and so lucky to be able to do what I love and teach this game.

 

Warpaint:  What is one thing that most people don't know about you?

LK:  I've had 3 heart surgeries and my last one was during my junior year at UCLA.  I am completely healthy now, but it teaches you that everyone has to go through pain and adversity at some point in their careers.  

I also love being involved with charities and Athletes for Hearts is very dear to me since I have gone through a heart condition as well.  It gives me an opportunity to give kids and families hope and help raise money and awareness.

 

Warpaint:  What song or artist are you currently listening to?

JT:  I love listening to country when I listen to music.  Right now I'm really into Podcasts and my current favorite is Rob Wolf's Paleo Solution.

LK:  Image Dragons, Radioactive!

 

Warpaint:  How do you define success and how do you define failure?

LK:  Success is defined by taking one day at a time and getting better each time you go out to practice or perform in a game.  Athletes tend to only look ahead at the big picture instead of looking at the little things that will lead them to where they want to go.

Failure is something that is created in your mind.  I tend to think I won't fail at things and this has lead me to be successful. Failure is a thought you can't let creep into your mind or it will lead you to doubt.  When we doubt ourselves we Fail.

 

JT:  Success to me is the journey of turning my failures into success.  It's the journey that I love the most and my failures drive me to work harder at weaknesses.  I truly believe that life would be boring if there was nothing to work for.

 

 

Warpaint:  If you could design the next Warpaint color, what would it be?

JT:  Lime Yellow

LK:  Bright Blue (UCLA Blue)

 

Visit 5131 Softball Club at:  https://www.facebook.com/5131softballclub