In order to take Feeling Bold to a higher level, O’Leary took a partner, Jean Giovetti, Gio.
“Gio and I first met in 2004 while we both worked for a global publisher and testing business called Pearson. Gio was based in the US and managed the technical development for large electronic testing contracts. I was in London and Amsterdam, managing the marketing for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. We established a firm friendship and I invited Gio to join me in Feeling Bold as partner in the summer of 2005.”
Considering that O’Leary left a successful corporate career to start something new and untested, it wasn’t as rocky as it might have been.
"I’d been working in the corporate world my whole career while progressing my personal passions by studying personal growth and development, creativity and positivity. I had been happy in my corporate role as long as I was learning and contributing in a meaningful way,” O’Leary said. “I reached a point in time when my need to follow my own path, dreams and passions outweighed my needs for external security, financial, ego and provided career path. My time and energy became increasingly valuable to me. Far more valuable than the lucrative corporate package I was receiving.”
Although “positivity” isn’t listed in the dictionary I use, positive is defined as affirmation characterized by confidence and that is clearly what FeelingBold represents. O’Leary describes exactly what they want Feeling Bold to be for women.
"I want Feeling Bold to be a best friend for women. A place where women are respected, honored and trusted to be their full, most vibrant selves. I want Feeling Bold to become a community that educates, encourages and inspires women to live life with positive intent and boldness of spirit,” O’Leary said. “I want it to be a loyal community of proud women excited to be a part of and to contribute to Feeling Bold.”
Feeling Bold offers organic products like teeshirts and hats to generate revenue on the site. Feeling Bold’s founders use a paradigm shift to the typical business philosophy and model. “Our products are 100% certified organic cotton, “Feel-It” and “Power” shirts. We designed them. Not content with simply sourcing a ready made shirt, we designed and created our own because we needed to love every aspect. We felt, thought, played with, and consciously decided on every detail of our shirts, our hearts leading the way. If we like it, we review it. If we are ok with it, we review it even more. Only when we love it, do we move forward,” O’Leary said while explaining how and what exactly the positivity is that affects every aspect of Feeling Bold’s business.
“Of course we’re aware that this is not the usual way for commercial organizations to operate and behave, but then “usual” and “behave” are not popular words in the Feeling Bold vocabulary. Instead we choose to boldly experiment with our organization in a way that gives flight to our souls,” O’Leary continued. “We make sure our products are drenched in positive energy through us consciously deciding on every single detail, large and small. We create new products when we feel passionate about the positivity and boldness of spirit they will inspire in our customer’s inner and outer lives.”
“Our products are designed for women who feel a strong desire to express themselves in a meaningful and positive way, while contributing to the sustainability of the environment, hence 100% organic cotton,” O’Leary said. “We strive, wherever we can, to provide products that are as environmentally respectful as they can be. That’s why we choose to pay premium prices to our cotton farmers for their organic certified cotton. All of our shirts are created in an Indian co-op farm and within a factory that adheres to international standards for fair trade.
O’Leary continued, “The product mix will expand in order to attract a larger following. From 2007 onwards, we will implement products geared more towards education as well as further establishing and building the community of positivity. This will include like-minded partner sponsorships and advertising,” said O’Leary. “First and foremost we are about positivity and igniting a boldness of spirit in women through our community and our products.”
Feeling Bold has formed strategic alliances with groups where they can give back.
CampSunfish was founded seven years ago by Feeling Bold partner Giovetti. A registered charity based in Minnesota, CampSunfish provides abused, abandoned and neglected children with outdoor adventure experiences. Kare 11 NBC-TV featured and awarded Giovetti their “11 Who Care Award” in 2003. Run entirely by volunteers, CampSunfish is donation based.
In 2006, Feeling Bold partnered with the Breast Cancer Fund. “We were approved by the Breast Cancer Fund as a recognized partner. Throughout our first year of operation, Feeling Bold donated financially to the work they (the Breast Cancer Fund) do identifying and eliminating the environmental causes of breast cancer,” O’Leary said.“We donate a standard $1.50 for every “healing” design shirt sold. We also have run various time-limited programs including October Breast Cancer Awareness Month, when we donated $5.00 for any shirt purchased to the cause. Our partnership is particularly relevant as 7 out of the top 15 pesticides used on cotton have been designated by the EPA as either “known” or “possible” carcinogens.”
Feeling Bold is created to nurture women’s spirits. So how does O’Leary think Feeling Bold fulfills her entrepreneurial spirit?
“It fulfils it in terms of me having the freedom to design and implement my personal interpretation of my dreams while also empowering me with complete responsibility for the outcome. Feeling Bold has been and continues to be a lesson in life,” O’Leary said.”Starting and running a self-funded business and a product based business at that, requires a personal boldness of spirit that I get to ignite and sharpen on a daily basis. It’s early days … yet my original desire for entrepreneurial freedom has already been surpassed … the rest of the journey is into uncharted territory … my definition of being an entrepreneur continues to evolve.
As for the future, where would O’Leary like to see Feeling Bold in 10 years? O’Leary is as clear and focused on the future of Feeling Bold as she is on every other detail.
“To become the leading provider of positive products for women. Significantly expanding our product line while remaining completely congruent and authentic with our underlying mission and vision. In 10 years time for Feeling Bold to be the place women go to in all matters regarding positivity, boldness and living life fully, vibrantly and with a deep and daily passion,” O’Leary said.
“In 10 years, for young girls to attend Feeling Bold self esteem programs with their progress monitored through their schooling, college and into their professional and family lives. For us to provide positivity mentoring and for nationwide chapters to promote and offer this mentoring to women from all backgrounds and circumstances,” O’Leary said. “For FeelingBold to become the authority in positivity and boldness of spirit and everything that this encompasses to girls and women of all ages, including creating a significant community of women that engage and share and act as catalysts for taking positivity in new and creative means into their respective societies.”
And Feeling Bold will really be giving back in O’Leary’s 10 year vision. “For our charitable contributions to the Feeling Bold Give Back Project to be even more significant and show a direct positive impact on the lives of those involved. I’d love for Feeling Bold to be multi-generational and to become another area of common ground. Where all females can gather together, speak and connect with understanding and respect to others irrespective of age. I’d love to be a part of the historic recording of thousands of women’s personal and courageous stories that demonstrate a boldness of spirit. Stories and experiences that are not only recorded, but honored, shared and celebrated with others around the world,” O’Leary said. “To create the first library of “positivity in every day life” for the women of the world safeguarded for future generations to learn from, be nourished and inspired by.”
O’Leary and Giovetti have forged a course that has no predecessors. In that sense they are truly on their own in uncharted territory. However, considering their territory is virtual and has the capability to bring FeelingBold.com into the lives of millions of women globally perhaps they aren’t so isolated. Positiveness has a way of drawing its own and that’s what FeelingBold is all about.