Boutonne: The Making of an American Dream

Socality is proud to present Boutonne as a sponsor of Socality Live San Diego. Erin Petchel is the Operator and Owner of Boutonne, a local shop crafting and making leather goods in the heart of San Diego. Erin shares her story of overcoming a personal hardship and turning this around to working towards her dream. Erin will be hosting a workshop at Socality Live San Diego and sharing more from her personal journey. For those who are wanting to step into a creative business opportunity and don't know where to begin, hearing from Erin will be the perfect place to start. We sat down with Erin to hear more about how she is working to create her own American dream.

Boutonne Operator and Owner, Erin Pechtel

Boutonne Operator and Owner, Erin Pechtel

Why did you start Boutonne?

Three years ago I was lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to start over. I mustered up all i had inside and decided to pursue my dreams of building a brand. I knew it was a "now or never" situation, so i just jumped. Boutonné was born.  

Where did the name come from?

Boutonné is a french term that loosely translates to buttoned up. I like to think of this person as someone who exudes class and grace, character and elegance {cue Grace Kelly + Audrey Hepburn}. boutonné as a verb could be something that is well done. buttoned up... {insert sound affect "bing!"}.   

The Mills Tote.

The Mills Tote.

Describe the process to making these bags?

Creation begins in our downtown San Diego studio by sketching of pieces or collections. next pattern making and then pieces go off to sampling. We purchase all of our materials in California and each product is carefully crafted by hand in San Diego. 

Fold Top Messenger.

Fold Top Messenger.

What gave you the inspiration?

I find inspiration in many places;  the sea, flowers, fashion magazines or blogs, but mostly my inspiration comes from within. From personal life experiences and my journey. There are certain people that I've met along the way who inspired me more than they'll ever know. I love seeing what people do with their lives, how they create and use their God given talentsl to me that is most inspiring. 

What advice would you give to the starting entrepreneurs out there?

Look inside of yourself, find your most authentic self and put that out there. 

What is one thing you would tell your 16 year old self?

Less is more. 

Erin Pechtel will host a workshop at Socality Live San Diego July 29-August 1 2015.  

Erin Pechtel will host a workshop at Socality Live San Diego July 29-August 1 2015.



Unveiled | Empowering Women To Share Their Story

by: Paul Tellefsen

I recently caught up with Monica Zuniga the founder of Unveiled, a new women's ministry, to ask her about her story, the launch of Unveiled and her advice to women chasing their dream. Check out the video below.

1. Monica, tell us a little bit about yourself.

photo by @alexamihalick

Well I've been living in the Dallas/Fort Worth area for the past 8 years and the metroplex is definitely home to me. Ever since I can remember, I've always had this passion for people; which, looking back, has really shaped my life. I wasn't always sure what this desire to know everyone meant, but as I got older, I found that I became more and more curious about every person I met. Where were they from, what's their story, and most of all, what's their biggest dream? If I don't know you, I genuinely want to, and if I can, I would love to be a part of making your dreams come true. People are my passion.

2. Why unveiled?

When we are around the people who know us best, we should always feel safe to be who we "really are".  Yet I never felt safe to expose the hard realities of my life and as a result, felt extremely alone and misunderstood. The moment I stopped feeling alone was the day I shared my story with over 500 people. I was terrified; but I felt The Lord really challenge me to share the darkest, rawest moments of my life because although it was my story, it is His glory that would shine. Though I thought I would feel shame, guilt, and be viewed differently by exposing my story, I received the opposite. Complete and utter freedom. Shortly after that night, God gave me the vision for Unveiled. He said 'Share my daughters stories, empower them to action, and you lead the army.' At first it felt impossible, and it's surreal that we are here today! But we are here because God told me to do this, and secondly because I want women to feel the same freedom I do today.

3. I know you're launching today, so what sets you apart from other women's ministries?

Although it may appear that Unveiled’s primary focus is capturing stories; we are empowering women all over the world to remove the veil of shame and guilt for a greater purpose. We realized that empowering women and giving them a platform to share their stories was the first step, the second was providing a safe place for them to connect to other women where they could grow & be discipled. So many young adult women are longing for a mentor, yet sadly, so many of us don't know where to go to find one. Unveiled will bridge that gap. Women can apply today to be partnered with a mentee and in the fall, we will launch our first discipleship group. We want women to fearlessly be who God made them to be, and in order to do that, we all have to understand the truth in His word. What better way to accomplish this than fulfilling the command Jesus gave us to make disciples?

photo by @alexamihalick

photo by @alexamihalick

4. What do you want women to walk away with when they experience Unveiled?

My hope for today is that women who see our video, read this blog, or see our social media think to themselves, 'I'm not alone.' We weren't created to live life alone, and Unveiled desires to create a community and a genuine safe space for women to belong. Honestly, that's my hope in the future too. I want Unveiled to be a place where women always feel welcomed and safe to be who God made them to be. If we do that, I know we have done something right.

5. What can we expect in the future from Unveiled?

I've hit on a little bit of this, but we will be sharing stories monthly starting in August. Each month we will feature a different woman, sharing her story of victory in Jesus' name, which will touch on relevant issues in our society. In September, we will launch our first discipleship group and these women will be paired one on one with a mentor and will study the book of Matthew together. Lastly, we plan to have a couple of local community gatherings this year as well as a large conference that is being finalized for May of 2016. So, lots of exciting things happening! Further down the road, we plan to connect women who are a part of our community globally to Unveiled through a really exciting tool being developed and we also plan to publish a book full of stories from all over the world as well. In everything we do, we will focus on sharing stories, unveiling God's truth, and empowering women to action.

6. What advice would you give to women who don't think they have what it takes to dream big?

I'm glad you asked this question because I think for women, we tend to compare ourselves to other women a ton. There was a point in my life where I would read a blog like this and think, 'I will never be like her,' and give up! Now my advice would be this. 1. You can't out dream God. Whatever dream you feel is too big to accomplish, trust me, His dreams for you exceed it. And 2. Don't compare yourself; the world needs YOU. By not chasing this dream, you put God in a box and make Him small. There's room for everyone to thrive in His Kingdom. So sister, make it happen!

7. How can we connect with Unveiled?


But You Wouldn't Know Me

“We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.” -C.S. Lewis

Amanda Ciurdar shares her very personal story of faith and hope as she continues to walk through a season of challenge and heartache. This month as part of #socalityherproject we are featuring stories from women that inspire others. 

I sat in my dark closet, crumpled in a ball on the floor with my head hanging low. I clutched my heart desperately as I was sure it would physically shatter and I watched my dreams go down the drain yet another month. Water fell out of my eyes as if someone inside me had turned a faucet on and forgot to switch it back off. I could not breathe. My heart, though broken, still thumped wildly. My husband Sam was in the other room watching TV, clueless as to the puddle of heartache I was sitting in. I tried to keep quiet to avoid him hearing my sobs and gasps for air. I didn’t want him to know I was crying… yet again.

October was the first month I thought it had really happened. It had been only 6 months and we had kept the information a secret as we were hoping to surprise our friends and family, who otherwise thought a baby was far from our current plans. Six months sounds like such a short time, but considering I was “ready" a whole year before my husband, every day our baby was not in my arms or growing in my belly was absolute agony. When my body made it clear that I was not pregnant, I could not handle the weight of reality, and I crumbled. My once hopeful and fervent prayers had turned into shortened, soft pleas, and then into numbed silence. What was even the point, anymore? The Lord had turned a deaf ear to me and all I ever heard back was the sound of my own desperate breath. Hopelessness and despair had swallowed me whole.

Fast forward 6 more months, add a million more tears, loads of anger, confusion and depression, and this brings us to present day, where our bouncing bundle of joy has yet to make its debut. I have somehow survived umpteen pregnancy announcements, the birth of multiple babies of dozens of friends, and 12 very long months of grief and loss. We’ve spent thousands of dollars on herbs and supplements, teas and acupuncture treatments, and after only one appointment at the Fertility Center, over a thousand more. Searching for answers gets expensive pretty quick.

They say hindsight is 20/20 vision. I think most of us would agree that the storms we have endured held within them major character-defining moments - events we had to brave in order to become who we are now. That we would be someone completely different had they not occurred, and though they were difficult times, that they stretched and grew us in the best of ways.

It’s a much different story when you’re smack in the middle of a storm, or have been wandering in a desert for what feels like 40 years, no Promise Land in sight. You don’t have the luxury of hindsight yet, so it’s much easier, in the midst of chaos, to feel forgotten, abandoned, and completely alone. To lose sight of why you’re even here in the first place. To question the journey, to question the pain, to question the goodness of our God.

I have been ashamed of who I became through this journey and learned that I fail miserably when my character is tested. I am embarrassed by how flimsy my faith proved to be. Jealousy, anger, judgment and spitefulness toward God and others made their home in the darkest corners of my heart.

I came across the following verse last year, and I have engraved it on the tablet of my heart ever since: “Jesus replied, ‘You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.’” -John 13:7. One thing I’ve learned through all this, is that even when God chooses to be silent, He is never absent and always at work.

God has stretched me far past my breaking point this past year, to remind me that He is my portion and is sufficient for me in any season. And though I hate to admit it, and though it has been the most painful season of my life, I have truly grown. The ugly and broken parts of my soul that I did not know were there, have been exposed, and I have allowed God to begin replacing them with light and truth. Incredible life-long friendships have come to fruition in my life because of this trial — friends who understand me at my very core, and who walk with me hand-in-hand through the fire that's still ablaze brightly before me. The vulnerability my husband and I have shared has caused our marriage to grow deep roots in love and understanding. I have learned an incredible amount about validation and empathy, what to say and what not to say to someone with a broken heart, and I can only hope that God is being glorified as I trust His plan and continue to take faithful steps into the unknown.

A friend recently sent me a poem called “Wait” by Russell Kelfer. And though the character in the poem questions God during his season of wait, the Lord simply replies, “I could give all you seek and pleased you would be, you’d have what you want, but you wouldn’t know Me.”

Friends, I am with you and for you, and you are never alone.

You can follow Amanda and her journey at @amandaseeyoudarrr.

Socality Texas Community Nights | May 28-30, 2015

Hey Texas!!

We are excited to be coming to the Dallas Fort-Worth area for a few nights in May! Registration is below.

Thursday, May 28 | Inspirational Night

Thursday, May 28 Scott Bakken will be live at The Venue to share more about community and impact. This will be an inspiring night hosted at Covenant Church in Colleyville (3508 Glade Rd). Register for free here.

Saturday, May 30 | Community Night

We love a good party and we plan on throwing one! The Socality Community Night will take place Saturday, May 30 at WELD in Dallas. This is a free night with live music from @jacobmillmusic and @jonphart will be mixing all night, coffee from Rockwells Coffee and treats from Steel City Pops. Come for a great night of community and connection. Load up the cars and grab your friends. Sign up for free below.

We can't wait to hang! We've been told everything is bigger in Texas so let's make this a weekend to remember!

Socality Live San Diego July 29-August 1, 2015

Socality Live San Diego | July 29 - August 1, 2015


We are excited to announce Socality Live San Diego and announce our first line up of guests,  Jeff Vanderstelt and Jason Russell. Jeff is an emerging voice when it comes to missional communities (SOMA) and the author of the new book Saturate. Jason Russell is the Co-Founder of Invisible Children and Creative Director for IJM (International Justice Mission) and has incredible knowledge about leading impacting organizations. More guests to be announced soon.


Socality Live San Diego offers keynotes sessions, workshops, craft excursions, after parties and a big finale concert event. You will walk away with inspiration in film, photography, social entrepreneurship and most of all, a whole new community of life long friends. This event is designed to take your online experience and bring it to life. 

$119 for two weeks only- ends May 21st.

Check out our event website for a full itinerary and the first line up of workshop speakers. We are also excited to host Newport Worship as our musical guests.

Socality has redesigned your experienced by introducing the new, experiential, hands-on Craft Excursions and Craft Workshops. These will focus on more niche interests and help you grow in your field. Stay tuned as we continue to announce all the details over the next few weeks!

Finally, we are excited to announce the Finale Concert that will bring you two amazing bands LIVE at The Quartyard. This will be an exclusive concert only for Socality registrants and trust us, these bands are going to be worth it. We will be announcing more about this soon!

Watch our new video above and REGISTER HERE! We can promise you Socality Live San Diego will be unlike anything you have ever experienced before!