youbeyou UPDATE!

Dear youbeyou family,

Happy Thanksgiving and happy holidays! 

I hope that you find yourself warm and with loved ones this holiday season. Here at youbeyou we are thankful for our growing community of supporters like you and for this movement encouraging kids to be their authentic selves. We are a force for good in this world, so thank you! Take a look at a few highlights from our fun, busy year:

We launched youbeyou with a celebratory party on Whidbey Island, bringing together our community to celebrate children being their authentic selves. It was a fun, positive, music and kid-filled celebration.  

kind ties are spreading across the region, country, and the world.  And now we have an exciting partnership with our amazing local bookstore, Mercer Island’s local treasure, Island Books – who is now selling kind ties off their shelves.  Could this be… the perfect stocking stuffer

In other big news,  youbeyou’s first super-cute promotional video was made by our breathtakingly talented friend Aaron Rhodes – check it out!

The spirit and values of youbeyou will be represented in our local school district! This fall I was invited to the Superintendent Equity Advisory Council (SEAC), a brand new committee that Superintendent Donna Colicky created to support inclusion and equity for students in our district – this is an amazing idea that should inspire school districts across the county.  I have visited many elementary classrooms in the district sharing kind ties and talking with school students about the youbeyou values of kindnessacceptance, and inclusion.

We continue to receive letters, emails, photos and stories from the youbeyoucommunity – thank you for being a part of the conversation!  

We cherish our relationship with you. Be kind, be true, and continue supporting children being their authentic selves. Thank you!



Carmela Wood

On behalf of youbeyou

instagram @youbeyoudesigns

FB Page youbeyoudesigns



Thank you and how you can get involved!

Thank you for supporting the Kind Tie project! The youbeyou store has been open for several weeks this summer and we have received orders from individuals, families, school districts and companies; orders from singles to hundreds. The word is spreading quickly! There appears to be a desire in our world to state our loud and visibly to our communities: "I accept you.  You do not need to be anything other than your authentic self.  You have a right to be YOU!"

One question I have heard several times is:  "How can I get involved?"

I know you are busy, but here are some suggestions and sincere requests for you, on a Sunday morning:  

  1. Be kind!  This may be obvious, but please live and promote the ideals that we promote at youbeyou:  kindness, acceptance, and inclusion.  Speak these values out loud, live them, teach them intentionally to your children, friends, family, and colleagues.  
  2. Discuss youbeyou with your child's teacher or PTA!  This is a natural realm for supporting and spreading the idea of youbeyou. Teachers, school administrators, and PTA's have been enquiring about and purchased kind ties for classrooms, entire classes, and school district staff in support of the ideals of kindness, acceptance, and inclusion. 
  3. Consider and suggest kind ties for events.  People are using kind ties to promote company diversity and acceptance (our largest order to date was from the division of cultural diversity from a British investment firm), and I have received inquirers for weddings, school events, and parties. A kind tie is a great idea for giving a gift with meaning.  
  4. Keep in touch!  Keep the conversation going! As we grow, we will certainly be needing champions and partners, ideas and advice. Currently youbeyou is a company of one full-timer (me), but as we grow, this may change as well!

How to tie a KIND TIE

My favorite way to tie a KIND TIE is with a square knot. 

Right over left, twist, left over right, twist and -- TA DA -- a beautiful clean knot. 

Actually though, there is no right or wrong way to tie one on. 


That said, it is much easier to tie one on someone else, versus tying one on yourself, so grab that person you've been wanting to get to know better, ask them to coffee, and then share a kind tie.

When you give a kind tie, what you are saying is, "I accept you... Just as you are." 

After you tie a kind tie on them, ask if they'll also tie one on you... I bet you won't be sorry.


Share a pair with love and care, be kind, be true, you be you... 

My Mercer Island is spreading the word

Thank you My Mercer Island for the article


My Mercer Island

Your guide to life on Mercer Island, WA

youbeyou Launches to Celebrate Individuality

July 9, 2018 By Naomi Tomky 


A sign in Carmela Wood’s yard announces to passersby that her family welcomes all races, religions, countries of origin, sexual orientations, and genders. But that wasn’t enough for her, and she wondered, “What would a wearable version of that look like?” That question, coupled with the individuality of her own four children – particularly her second son, Jasper – inspired Kind Ties, the first product from her new company, youbeyou.

The colorful ties, which can be worn as bracelets, on zipper pulls, in hair, or wherever, are a celebration of everyone’s individuality. They cost $5 a pair, and come in only even numbers, to inspire a “wear one, gift one” mentality. Of the four designs, each pack comes with the original design and one named for (and designed by) each of Wood’s three children besides Jasper, the seven-year-old who inspired the company.


“As long as I remember,” Wood describes of her second son, “he wore heels, wanted to dress in princess outfits, sings, dances, sparkles.” When he was two and three, nobody cared, but now, she — and her other kids, their family, and their friends — needed a way to show they supported him even as the world around him might not. At the same time, they saw their neighbors, immigrants from Iran, experience racism, and it doubled down their commitment to show support. “What can we do to make a message?” the family asked. Kind ties became their way to, Wood puts it, “Let other people know your beliefs, that you’re a safe person to talk to, that you won’t judge them.”

Wood modeled the ties after a bracelet her sister designed to raise money for autism. She brought on board not just her own immediate family, but a whole network of local friends and relatives — her kids are fifth-generation Mercer Islanders – and much of the business was driven by their desire to put positivity out into their own community. Reaching out has been one of the toughest parts of starting her first business, Wood says. She struggled to find the confidence to put it out there wondering, “How much do we want to expose our family life to the public?”

But the more they considered it, the more they realized that fear of being bold in public was the whole point of the company. “We shouldn’t be ashamed that we’re different, but rejoice in that,” she says. And so they set out to create a bigger, kinder community. While the company began with designs by her own four children, she hopes to expand with new designs by other kids, to empower kids to create their own designs, and then to continue to push their message through donations of their profits to programs that empower kids. “I don’t know if we’ll sell 5 or 5000,” she admits. “But we want to put it out there that we accept everyone as who they are.”

To learn more about the youbeyou mission and story and to purchase Kind Ties, visit:

Photo credit: Carmela Wood / youbeyou



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Why a pack of two?  KIND TIES are meant to be shared!  One for you and one for you to share with someone you think would appreciate it,  someone who you think could use a message of inclusiveness, or someone you want to bring into your community!  I am hoping that building our community ties will create a more supportive and inclusive enviornement for all of us.  As my niece Isabella poetically wrote in about two minutes:  "share a pair, with love and care, be kind, be true, youbeyou!" 

WELCOME to youbeyou

This is my first post, so here goes. What does youbeyou mean?  I started youbeyou to promote kindness, acceptance, and inclusiveness in our communities.  I am a Mom of four, four amazing individuals who are unique and different from myself, my husband, and one another.  I want to celebrate that. Encouraging our children to be their authentic selves and giving them the freedom to share their uniqueness, well, that is pretty special.  And I'm hoping that by sending out this message, we will be able to create stronger communities that will emotionally support its members and make a safe place for our children to feel accepted and loved for being exactly who they are.  It's that simple:  I want you to feel that you are enough just as YOU are.   youbeyou

What does youbeyou mean to you?