the inspiration for the ‘be brave’ bandana

this is the original.

the love of bandanas started early with me. growing up in west virginia, i loved working in the garage with my grandpa, earl. he always had a bandana tucked into his pocket that he’d use to wipe the sawdust off a piece of furniture he was building or clean his hands after coming out from under the hood of a car. he never said, “you’re too young to help”, or “you’re a girl, so probably shouldn’t run the drill press”. when he wasn’t looking, i would swipe that bandana and hold it, trying to channel all his strength and bravery into my being.

holding that 22” square of cotton, i felt like i could conquer anything. the bandana became a talisman for me, a symbol of that bravery.

forever a maker, i decided i could bring earl’s bandana to you.

the message of “be brave” is one that is constantly on my mind as I navigate my day. a hundred little things come up that make me second guess myself, I choose over and over to be brave and keep listening most closely to the sound of my own voice.

many think ‘the brave’ are people who don’t feel fear, but that’s not it at all. ‘the brave’ are those who feel fear and get on with the doing. fear is a natural response to our desire to do anything that is untested or unproven. even if we are watching others do it, if we haven’t done it, fear shows up to say, “nah, not you. you couldn’t pull that off.”
it is our job to say back, “maybe I will fail, but I MUST try.”

I saw a sign in Austin that read: “life doesn’t have a remote, you gotta get up and change it yourself.” to that I say, hell yes.

the intention of this talisman is to turn that encouragement, that knowing that you are stronger than your fear, into something we can touch and hold to remind us all to listen close, pay attention to the pulls of your heart and soul. then to be brave!

jenni earle