I met Julie McCue a week before our first day ever teaching high school. We were both fresh out of college and headed to Social Studies classrooms that were next door to each other. Julie broke her leg- tripping on her way into her apartment- before school even started. She told the kids they should see what she did to the other guy when they asked about her cast on the first day of school. Months later, someone said in my classroom “Don’t mess with Miss Latiak (her maiden name). Some guy tried to attack her and she totally busted him up.” Spunky and sassy, compassionate and so, so passionate, Julie is the friend that you always want on your side. We had a ball together for three years. We dressed as gangsters for Halloween together; we played pranks on our kids together; we ate lunch together; we cheered each other on as she coached volleyball and I coached soccer; we created a lifetime of jokes; we loved each other without measure as we grew up side by side. We also came up with a token way to share our affection with each other that has stayed in our language ever since: You are loved. More than ten years later, Julie, who is still a high school teacher- now in Ohio- has started You are Loved designs to support her desire to give encouragement and hope to people all over the world. Below, Julie took a few minutes to answer some questions. Check out her boutique and blog to learn even more.
How did You are Loved Designs come to be? You are Loved has been a tag line between me to my friends and family for years. I made t-shirts for my girlfriends with that phrase on them and they had a profound impact. I started literally dreaming about sharing that impact with others. 12 weeks later with the help of an amazing team my business was launched!
When and why did you decide to translate that phrase into a whole business? I actually was dreaming about it and lost sleep over it for a week. I asked a few good friends (Rosie being one of them) if I was crazy and the replies came– from a place of support and love– to absolutely go for it!
What was your favorite part of creating You are Loved Designs? I love being creative through the designing of the logo and stationary and shirts. But, also, business people always intimidated me. As a career teacher, I am service oriented, not business minded at all. Learning about this totally different world has been an amazing and exhilarating experience.
You are a mom of three kids ranging in age from 3 to 11, a high school teacher, and, now, an entrepreneur. What are you doing to keep it all together and to stay balanced? It is really hard, and I am not sure there is much balance at the moment. I actually have a fantastic support network at home. Each one of my kids knows and feels the vibe that something big is happening. They have been wonderful. I also have an amazing “right hand woman” on my side. My cousin, Jenny, has come on board. She has 3 children as well from ages 1 to 6. So we both push each other and remind each other when it is time to break. We validate each other often and remind one another often that we are not perfect.
What would you say to encourage someone to try and live with more self-compassion? Honestly, I would say get a life coach, because many of us were raised to not to have any self-compassion, were not taught what that even means, or feel guilty if we have it!
And what do you most appreciate about yourself? I appreciate that I stopped playing the perfection game a long time ago and am much happier for it.