#Braavheart : Noémie Moereels
We would like to introduce our new Braavheart ❤️ Noémie Moereels, the co-founder of the brand Sea Me Happy. She started this brand together with her mommy/soul mate. Their idea behind the brand is to make you feel on holiday every time you wear the brand. Read along to know more about this colorful spirit animal!
First of all, can you introduce yourself and what you do in a few sentences?
I am Noémie Moereels, 27 years old, graduated as an interior architect, but since four years full-time mom from my firstborn: Sea Me Happy. What started in 2016 as a tie-dye T-shirt project to pay for my plane ticket to ‘somewhere far away’, soon became my dream job, and this together with my mom, who is my soul mate and my partner in the story.
After my studies, I traveled to Cape Town, the British Virgin Islands, Fiji, Australia, Vanuatu, you name it... On these trips I met someone who I fell in love with, he took me on adventures which I had never dared to go on myself. The colors, happy vibes and love for nature became the inspiration of Sea Me Happy.
I did so many different hilarious jobs such as ice cream scooping, selling our first T-shirts in idyllic places, helping out on a sailing yacht, learning massage techniques but most important: getting to know so many fascinating people but also, getting to know myself.
During this period in my life, I learned to live from day to day. In Belgium, you live and work, with a clear focus on the future. The performance pressure is so big that unfortunately it often ruins people and pushes them away from a job they love, purely out of ego-driven social approval and financial pressure.
That's why I try to send my story out into the world, as a handhold for students who feel the world is coming at them after graduation, but for whom real life only really begins then. I really believe that when you radiate energy to that which you want and impose the appropriate discipline on yourself, the opportunities come your way. It is everyone's responsibility to seize them with both hands.
I've been running our clothing brand with my mom since 2016: Sea Me Happy. SMH stands for color, comfy fits, and gives you the ultimate holiday feeling. We now supply some 40 shops in Europe and we feel very happy to be able to do this every day.
Do you have a quote/slogan where you live / how you stand in life?
Ask for the moon & get it. I learned this from my mom, and she learned it from her dad. Where many think something's impossible, we just go for it, 200%. You have to deal with people in a certain loving way, so you don't just do business with each other, but that it's much more than that. Goodwill from each other flows out of this, and as a non-business-minded emotional-driven person, this feels like the right 'business model'.
How do you manage to maintain a healthy work/life balance?
To be honest I struggle with this quite a bit sometimes... In our first 2 years we have often worked the whole night through. This still occurs now and then. Luckily both me and my mom learned this during our studies, the weeks and days before a jury moment (my mom is also an interior architect by training).
We have often wondered for whom or what we were going to do so deeply because the first years it's pretty much fighting emotionally & financially, especially since we only started this adventure with our proper savings. No investors nothing. Pretty tough to always leave everything in your business and barely pay yourself a wage... One thing always kept us going: the feedback from the people and shops. That we gave them a holiday feeling and that they are so happy with their Sea Me Happy piece & took part in our story. Every message via Instagram or other platforms touched us enormously... Also, the fact that together, as mom and daughter, we can be so creative as a profession, we are still very much aware of that and grateful for it.
What is the ultimate relaxation for you?
Sports, playing the piano & dance/festivals.
Sports in general, especially yoga (Five Parks Yoga by Erin Sampson). On my own in my room or with my boyfriend. Leave candles on & during Savasana and listen to film music like that of Hans Zimmer.
Those who know me know how much I love to dance. I love to move, to feel the rhythm of the music and to laugh on the faces of my friends next to me when we have a scared DJ in front of us on a dreamy place like Afrika Burn. That's the definition of happiness for me.
What brings you peace after a busy/hectic day?
Yoga, a glass of wine and good food. An instructive book can also make my thoughts wander off completely. I 'learned' this from my boyfriend :) we often get up half an hour earlier to read together in bed. A moment of rest, before the storm of daily life begins. Besides that of course also just a blissful chat with friends.
What are your professional objectives in the future?
Since we never really drew up a business plan but grew organically in it, I find it difficult to give a professional answer ':D! We try not to take too big steps at once, and to grow organically. This is a conscious choice because, for the time being, we would like to do everything with 2. I have the feeling that Sea Me is really an extension of ourselves and this seems to me to be one of our strengths. It's really hard to hand over your baby, but we do have a fantastic stringer who we are more and more involved in packing the orders and organizing the stock. We sometimes get requests from the US & Australia, where Sea Me would do much more justice with the good weather of course. Then we feel honored and furiously enthusiastic, but if we do this, our whole structure will have to change, and we are not ready for that at the moment. For now, we will keep it a little closer to home like Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany & from September on also in Paris!
How do you combine this with your private life?
I really consider Sea Me Happy to be an extension of myself, so I hardly draw a line between work and private life.
When my mom and I go to fairs, or away for shoots, it strikes me how much we can laugh at ourselves. In a way that we often 'drag ourselves through'. Always put ourselves in perspective. I think that's the most beautiful form of humor. The weird heads/moves, glittering disco glasses & ultimate love for color that I stuff into one and the same outfit, are definitely part of it! Sometimes I wonder if our 14K followers have a message about this, but then I realize that this is a big part of Sea Me.
If you could give a 1 (ultimate) tip to other ambitious women, what would it be?
TRUST THE TIMING OF LIFE.
This has brought me a lot of peace when I dived into a new adventure, but I knew intrinsically that this was not my end of the line. Both professionally and relational this can give a heavy feeling inside. Some things you just can't control. Timing is incredibly important. Always try to keep this in mind when things get tough. Your time will come.
Life happens in stages. And in each phase, you, too, are a different version of yourself. Try to stay as faithful as possible to that version of yourself that your soul is longing for at that moment.
Which book do you think is an absolute must-read for our braavheart community?
"Surrounded by idiots" - although I think the title sounds pretty negative, it's the basis of empathy in my eyes. The title refers to the sometimes 'feeling misunderstood by others'. I've always been very interested in sociology and anthropology... Thomas Erikson unravels in this book the mystery of why some people are better off than others. What drives you as a person and why you experience certain things sister or so. The book teaches you to be understanding and to recognize certain characters & patterns. Whatever you can act on :) so super fascinating!
Who do you think should be in our #Braavhearts section?
Justine Kegels. I think she's one of the most talented people out there. Her exceptional eye for aesthetics and her classy translation of her passions: interior, art, music, beauty & brains is very inspiring. She is also just a super cool "madam"!