Follow Your Passion: Meet Chelsea McMillan, founder of Sunshine State apparel line

4 Aug

It’s funny how life works. You ask for signs to make sure you are headed down the right path, that you are making the right decisions in your life, and most of the time, if you’re paying attention, you’ll find those signs. A few months back, I was looking for signs around career, and my path crossed with Chelsea McMillan. I was so inspired by her story that I wanted to share it with you all as well. Chelsea’s resume reads like a fairytale … at least this writer’s career fairytale. She is a former producer for O-P-R-A-H (the one, the only, all-powerful Oprah; I hear music when I say that name out loud), and worked on various projects for Pinterest in Los Angeles, but Chelsea was still hungry for something more. She wanted to do something she was passionate about that she could make a living at as well. She pushed herself, searching for answers.

“On Pinterest, you pin what you love, and so I started looking at my pins and I saw the ocean, the beach, beautiful waves,” Chelsea, born and raised in Clearwater Beach, says. And with that, the idea of starting her own Florida-inspired clothing line was born. Let me introduce you to Sunshine State, a line of apparel and home goods with beautiful Floridian designs and fashions at affordable prices.

Chelsea herself has designed a few styles, but she also has Florida artists contribute their work to the bunch to really bring a unique quality to her line. And she takes it one step further: Her mission is to spread the sunshine philosophy while preserving what we all love most about the lucky Florida lifestyle. She supports wildlife conservation efforts in Florida and donates a part of her proceeds to the to help #KeepFloridaWild.

“I realized there was a need for a modern apparel brand that represents the way I feel about my home state,” Chelsea says. Chelsea’s line is available in several Tampa Bay shops as well as her website. I’m in love with the cork-billed hats and the wine glasses, but I’d rock literally everything on the site.

Anyway, meeting Chelsea when I did reminded me that it is okay to take a chance on a new career path, and I decided to do just that. It is okay to be happy at what you are doing for a living but still seek out more. And it’s okay to not have every little bit figured out except for your faith in the future. And that’s life in a nutshell.

Check out the full line at


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