We spoke with CeCe McCormick—children’s book author and director of business development at Soles4Souls—about her very personal experience being bullied as a child, which led her to bravely share her story, and her wisdom, with future generations. She also boldly serves and supports others through her work for the nonprofit Soles4Souls. Here, she tells us what she’s learned about being bold and how Birdies make her feel bright, bold, and confident.
1. What’s a bold move you’ve made in your life?
I wrote and published a children’s book! I grew up an overweight young girl and was bullied in school. My mom died tragically when I was 16, and it became just me against the world. I had to dig deep to persevere to adulthood, and I took with me the importance of self-esteem. Fortunately, my mom told me I was beautiful, and I believed her instead of the harsh words I heard at school. When I became a mom, I wanted to make an impact on the topic of bullying and the effects it has on a child’s life. The Sweet Adventures of CeCe and Oliver the Giraffe tells a story about rejection, doing what’s right, and, ultimately, acceptance in the end. I take my message to elementary school children and share the story about CeCe and Oliver’s journey. With Oliver in tow to greet the children, it’s sublime!
2. What’s one thing you’ve learned from making a bold decision?
Thinking about my career, I worked through some real obstacles—from making a bold decision to go out on a limb, step out of my comfort zone, and pursue my dreams. When I started a brand, I envisioned how it would be and what it would become. As we all know, things aren’t always as they seem. Looking back, solving problems when things didn’t go as planned gave me the strength to know I can work through anything in life. In time, all things work out. I learned that showing up and persevering through our obstacles—and successes—is key. Because of lessons learned, I don’t stress during times of uncertainty. I know I will be able to get through all situations at hand…because there’s a resolution to everything in life in due time.
3. When do you feel boldest and most confident?
I feel boldest and most confident when I’m serving others. Soles4Souls has provided me the opportunity to help others every day, procuring apparel and raising funds to help those who need help. I will never forget an older woman I met at a homeless shelter. The stories she shared with me about the bold woman she was, coming to the U.S. from another country with her husband who was in the military, raising children in the Northwest, and living what I would have categorized as a charmed life. Yet, she was in a homeless shelter, with no means to help herself. I washed her feet and gave her a new pair of shoes. I was reminded that we don’t know what the future holds. If I find myself in unknown territory, it’s not so much about what I’m facing, it’s about how I react to it that determines my outcome.
4. What advice would you give future generations of women to live boldly and with purpose?
Show up. I’ve dragged my feet at times, but the fact that I still showed up provided opportunities I did not foresee.
Do not compare yourself to others. This is difficult, as social media paints a picture of what we all want life to look like. Be bold and stay true to yourself! Do not worry about what you think you don’t have or what you think others do have. Your dreams will come true if you stay focused on yourself!
Respect. For yourself, for others, for the planet. This will lift you up to become the leader you want to be.
5. How do Birdies make you feel bright, bold, and confident?
When I get dressed in the morning, I ask myself, is this cute AND flattering? Cute is easy, flattering takes effort. My Birdies make me feel both, effortlessly! When I feel like what I’m wearing is both cute and flattering, confidence follows. It’s amazing! (In these photos, CeCe is wearing The Starling flat in cheetah.)
CeCe is part of our Bold Women series, featuring and celebrating women who embody what it means to be bold inside and out. In this series, they share their stories of success and how Birdies help them soar.