I can’t do her justice, but I want to talk about Chelsea anyway. My client and friend, Chelsea Berler, Founder of Solamar Agency, passed away in early July—and I want to take a moment to celebrate her and share the impact she had on me. I’ve learned so much from Chelsea along the way; the legacy she left will carry on with all of us who knew her.
When Chelsea was 25, she started her own company…
Chelsea was staying a hotel called Hotel Solamar, and she had a sort of epiphany to start her own company—which is why Solamar Agency became her company name. She came to me because she needed a website for this brand new company. I did the Solamar logo, website, and then branding and web design for many Solamar clients as a member of one of the most incredible teams, led by one of the most gracious, smart and gifted leaders I’ve ever known.
Over the years, she turned that company into half-million dollar business, and helped people spread their gifts. Solamar catered to coaching and self-help professionals, so Chelsea’s work genuinely helped others spread their gifts, too.
You have people who are clients and become friends; Chelsea became my friend. Here are some incredible things I’d like to share about Chelsea that I will always keep with me. Even if you didn’t know her, I hope you can find inspiration in them too…
She was the kind of person who made you feel good about yourself; proud to be in your own skin. With her positive, energetic, loving and uplifting spirit, Chelsea made you feel like the most important, special person in her life when she was talking to you, and it was a gift to be in her presence. She just brought out the best in everyone.
She truly enjoyed life and made time for fun. One day early on, Chelsea emailed me and said, “I have Roger Waters tickets. Come with me!” I almost blew up with how I excited I was. That was the first time we met in person. We went to this concert together in Atlanta, and it was just awesome. She always made time for fun, togetherness, and taking the scenic route.
She trusted, and inspired confidence. Chelsea trusted my abilities, instincts and the product I provided. I knew she trusted me, and it allowed me to do some of my best work. I know she’s a large part of the reason I am where I am today.
Her love and support for her staff always came first. Chelsea believed that if you make your people happy, they will do great work and you’ll have happy clients. She would celebrate birthdays and Solaversaries with recognition and gifts. She flew the whole team to Birmingham (and later, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida) for Solatreats to unite the team and build camaraderie.
She protected us from crazies! I designed this manifesto of Solamar’s beliefs. One of them is, “No crazies—no exceptions!” Chelsea made sure to protect us from bad energy and clients who would drain us. She got really good at sales calls and knowing how to find the right fit.
She made lemonade. When life handed Chelsea Stage 4 breast cancer at 33 years old, Chelsea founded the Foye Belle Foundation whose mission is to provide love and support for cancer patients going through chemo therapy via the Blue Bag Movement. During her time in chemo, Chelsea realized…this is what the world needs more of. Community, unity, and love. Let’s make someone’s day, let’s make sure they have what they need to at least make the time a little less hard.
She went for it. Chelsea started Solamar when she was 25; it’s never too soon to start something you’re passionate about. She wrote three books, all of which I had the privilege of designing.
I know now more than ever that it’s about relationships.
I’ve been in business for 15 years. I have some amazing clients and it makes me cherish them even more. You don’t find these amazing clients every day, and when you do, you want to nurture that. Chelsea was so good at that.
I’m grateful for Chelsea and what she created.
I’m grateful for the Solamar team, and the relationships we’ve forged.
I wish Sam George all the best as the new head of Solmar Agency, and I look forward to continuing the greatness as part of the team.
In closing . . .
Life is too short to do shit you don’t want to do—or work with people who aren’t awesome.
I love you, Chelsea, and will miss your beautiful spirit. The world is a better place because you were in it. I’ll never forget you.
P.S. Please consider supporting the Foye Belle Foundation.