Bravery and Company Guiding Principles

Bravery and Company takes pride in creating material that will instill a lasting benefit to all those who teach or participate in our program curriculum. In order to do that most effectively, we developed a simple list of guiding principles to help us accomplish that goal.

Click each box below to learn more:

From the Heart

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A life or circumstantial perspective we share that is substantial to our team and felt from within. There’s a connection between our heart and mind that we intend to translate into a teachable point of view. In turn, we work toward creating learning experiences, subjects, or ideas that trigger a unique connection within you.

Multi-Cultural

A hand drawn chalkboard shows multi-ratial people holding hands around the world to show care for the earth, peace, and unity

No matter where we are from, ideas and ways of life are often very different. We each have a lens through which we see the world and how our perceptions affect our feelings. But there are universal questions with which we all can identify and reflect upon in an effort to create a life that makes sense to each of us. Regardless of our individual circumstance, we all strive to make the best possible life for ourselves and those we love. At Bravery and Company, we make every effort to create an environment that promotes a positive culture of sharing for everyone, regardless of where you are from.

Timeless

Broken hourglass - sand clock

History shows the world is constantly changing. What does not change are parts of the human condition; such as the drive to understand, to be part of a community, to have meaningful relationships, and to flourish. The issues covered in our creations are “timeless” in that they apply to these universal features of the human condition.

Relevant

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What does change throughout time are circumstances and/or events that shape our thinking and how we do see the world. While we strive to produce material that remains relevant; no matter the culture or time period we exist; we make every effort to create an interactive learning environment that makes sense to you, today.

Activates Skill‑Sets

ACTIVATE SKILLSET-1

Our material is not an experience to simply have great conversations and encourage a positive mindset. Those are critical aspects of self-discovery, but the primary intent is also to help you walk away with a different level of understanding yourself and the life around you.

This enables you to leave the classroom, develop and strengthen a practical skill-set that will help you succeed beyond the classroom. Everything we create works to achieve these goals.

Makes a Difference

Female hands, painted in the world map,  forming heart shape isolated on blue background

The purpose of Color Your Journey is to foster self-development. But the ultimate goal of Color Your Journey is to apply the knowledge and skills and then spread those to friends, family, and our communities to make the world a better place. A better you today and tomorrow. A better world when you make a better you.

Driving Personal
Change With
Inspiring Books and Artwork

From the Founders

We started out designing handbags that included an inspirational meaning behind each piece of art we created. The messages behind each individual bag began to represent a collective group of messages that built a story.

The big questions became, “How do we connect the dots between individual pictures of art and the story we imagined, and how do we convey the story in a manner that is inspiring to others like it is for us?

Telling the story of our company, how it started, and our own journey of Walking In Beauty brought inspiration, tears, and laughter to those listening. We knew we had to find a way to share it with as many people as possible.

This is when it was clear to us Bravery and Company was not about handbags anymore – it was really about the story.
We have come to believe strongly if we create something and share the meaning and the purpose of that creation, there is a really good chance we will inspire others. That’s how we make a difference, and that’s our mission: CREATE – SHARE – INSPIRE.

At some point in life we have a human responsibility to hold up the mirror and look at ourselves very closely. Not only should we reflect upon our opportunities, but, more importantly, remind ourselves just how beautiful we all are, even in our darkest of places.

When we self-reflect and self-discover, healing and clarity emerge. Love for self and others become stronger and understanding of self and others becomes deeper. We hope our creations inspire a desire for others to share their stories.

Join us on that journey while you work to create a beautiful journey of your own.

~ Billy and Julie O'Connor

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Billy O’Connor -
Co-Founder & CEO

Billy has nearly 3 decades of leadership experience. While growing in the ranks of executive leadership for Fortune 100/500 companies, he oversaw many facets of business organizations throughout the United States. Over time, his passion for business became the business of taking care of people. One of his greatest contentions with the corporate world is its swift ability to forget about the people while focusing primarily on the dollar. He believes when leaders become detached from the team and customers, a failure to remember how we can best make a difference in the marketplace and for each other is eminent. Billy’s greatest passion is challenging himself and others to be the best they can be. This starts by learning to look in the mirror, taking charge of our life, accepting full responsibility for the outcome, and while never forfeiting our principles. Billy has discovered too many circumstances where people just exist, and while not having an understanding of how to go after their true passions, tap into their greatest gifts in order to create their own dreams. This is the spirit Billy has created behind Bravery and Company’s educational mission. His fight to bring Bravery and Company to life is supported by his work/life experiences, competitive spirit, and desire to help others.

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Julie O’Connor -
Co-Founder & Chief Inspiration Officer

Julie graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, CA. in 1993. However, after becoming a mom she made a personal choice to do just that, and her dream of having a fashion career took a back seat. As life took its course, in 2009 she began medical school to become an Eastern Medicine doctor. This was on track as planned, but after receiving the life-changing experience of being diagnosed with breast cancer - her perspective of life changed. Only one year before she graduated from medical school, she decided to pursue her true dream to be in the fashion world. That's when Bravery and Company was born. What started out as a custom handbag company quickly began to reveal its purpose as a company with an inspirational focus; intent on making a difference by helping others tell their story and find the beauty we all possess inside. In addition to Bravery and Company, Julie continues to own and operate her handbag company and team, but with the new name of City Indian Girls. There, the story continues in the form it began - from the art on the handbags and her custom designs at www.cityindiangirls.com. Julie is Yaqui Indian and has walked the "Red Road" for the past 25 years, participating in and facilitating sacred Native American ceremonies. Her focus has been working with Native women and children; educating them with academic, health, and self-awareness resources. She is deeply connected and dedicated to her own spiritual growth and path and encourages others to find their way home to their traditional roots. 

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Bill O’Connor -
Chief Hero Maker & Honorary Chairman

Bill has been instrumental in the inspiration, belief and vision of Bravery and Company. He has not only been the number one fan, but also an investor in key initiatives that were paramount in the creation and development of the vision. Bill is a Vietnam Veteran, a gifted artist, entrepreneur, and a believer in dreams and pursuing those dreams. His enthusiasm and constant moral support of our mission is second to none and a big part of pursuing this dream. He is active in visionary discussions, creative projects and general meetings for the company. Most importantly, he has been a role-model in living a life putting others before self and living every day like it's the last and with no regrets. He saw what Bravery and Company was in the beginning and believed even more in what it will do in the future to make a difference in the lives of others and in the world with the creation of our self-culture and character building programs. 

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Scott Mead -
Director of Program Development

Scott was born in California, but raised in Arizona. Family life was strict, but good, with chores on Saturday and church on Sunday. After graduation from Scottsdale Christian Academy, Scott delved into the literary classics, religious treaties from the East, and the fading insight of native healers to find answers to life’s biggest mysteries. Even before earning his bachelor of science degree in psychology from Arizona State University, Scott showed interest in service to others by volunteering numerous times at the Special Olympics as a “hugger,” to congratulate the athletes for their efforts. For the 5 years after graduation, he continued along this path working at a group home with children who had been taken from their parents by the state legal system for abuse and/or neglect. It was in this arena he began to notice some common patterns of behavior, their root causes, and where he caught a glimpse of the effects of unconditional love for another human being. Many of those children had never experienced genuine compassion or acceptance before and its effects were transformative. Those experiences left an indelible mark and propelled him even further along his quest to understanding the human condition.

Sean

Sean R. Millard -
Director of Technical Education:

Sean Millard is currently living in North Florida and working full-time as Senior Public Policy Analyst for the Florida Legislature, and a part-time freelance researcher and writer. Sean holds two Masters Degrees in different philosophical traditions: European and English-speaking philosophy, and also has a background in Eastern philosophy. He has studied philosophy for 30 years and taught at the university level for seven years. He is the founder of Philosophical Consulting whose mission is to provide people with the intellectual and practical resources to be the best version of themselves. His current research interests focuses on the intersection of social science, psychology and philosophy. He can also be found at www.philoconsultant.com.

Robin

Robin O’Connor -
Program Developer

Robin is a married father of four, a coach/youth volunteer, a career retail manager, as well as a small-business owner. He was a two-sport athlete and has spent two decades coaching young children in youth sports programs. His time spent mentoring children has taught him that children thrive and grow strong in character when in a positive and nurturing environment, where they have the opportunity to just be themselves and feel safe discovering their inner power and beauty. Several life-threatening car and motorcycle accidents and surviving multiple operations where the physicians had given him no chance for survival, Robin stands today, living, thriving and pushing forward is testament to his will and ability to tap into resources within himself, and this helps him do the same with others. Robin knows that people have only so much time to live and he has made it his life-long pursuit to positively impact everyone around him. He is keenly aware that each one of us has unlimited potential and untapped reservoirs of power and strength. It is his philosophy of having never-ending endurance, surviving and overcoming anything in our paths, and enjoying all that there is to experience that he would like to share with the world!