The recent Thomas fire to flood disaster that has landed where we live with the grace and destruction of an asteroid strike, has caused us to look at who and what we are, and why we do the things that we do in our daily lives, and more to the point for me, what my Company stands for, and does about that.

Previously many of you helped out and spread the word, donated, and/or otherwise encouraged our Saving Ventura: Rebuilding the Glassman project. And it worked! It helped Dan to get his company back up and running, as well as to grow, in order to meet an increased demand for his services.

You all really came through, in a show of compassion and action, which quite honestly is really what made this project work. The entire community did this. You acted.

Direct relief works! It is immediate when time counts so very much. And we are not done yet!

Though we do not have a history of disclosing the number of direct relief projects which this company engages in (and always has) the disaster has caused us to re think this “quiet service” policy of ours. So we are going to begin to share what we (all of us, as a company and with our tribe of Bettys) do.

I founded Betty Belts after moving back to California, where I was born and grew up. The divorce and a love of the ocean took me from my life and home in Berlin of almost 17 years, and dropped me back into California and a new life that was to be lived attached to the Sea.

Here is a little video about that called “Passages”, which we built for a business Grant competition from Intuit (We got the grant!)

As I built Betty Belts, what I focused on was empowering myself. Becoming stronger. Better. As we grew, I began supporting other women whose goals were ocean minded and that were all dynamic strong women. We created a network on Bali to supply work and training to village women and began to pay it all back to those who became our family and partners as fine artisans in Indonesia.

We have always been about that: female empowerment. Today I call it being “Betty Strong”. My mission as founder of this company is to make things better for the world, and to do so through the foil of the Ocean and all of us, (mostly female) who are part of this wonderful collective.

Much gratitude goes to all of the Bettys. It is impossible to list them all, there are simply too many who have built this. But together we are “Betty Strong”

This recent round of California centric localized disasters has underscored that we need to talk about what that is, why we do it, and who leads the movement.

Michelle Wolfe is Betty Strong. Her story will be next up here on the Betty Blog. It is both wonderful, then heartbreaking as the fire destroyed her worldly possessions, and now heads back to beautiful. Like Dan Glassman, we were amazed by her heart and strength.

Our first act was creating a simple tee shirt. The Betty Strong tee. All proceeds from it will go towards getting Michelle back on her feet and in business after the fire.

Our second action was to donate a sum in advance of the Betty Strong tee sales to help Michelle get rolling. What was the point of making her wait until we sell some?

Other ways to help Michelle: we have set up a tip jar on the counter at the shop for cash, gift cards, checks, letters of encouragement, etc. everything in it goes straight to her.

Don’t want to get a tee? Can’t come in? Donate directly via this  link which is a gofundme campaign that a family friend set up for her. At only $2717 raised so far today, more than a month after it was originally set up, it could really use some of your love.

Betty Strong Benefit Tee for Michelle Wolfe


Michelle’s apartment up in flames of the Thomas Fire


What remains of Michelle’s home of 12 years: nothing


Michelle Watkins Wolfe: Betty Strong