Sailing Apparel, Leadership, Entrepreneurship & Kids

Starting a sailing apparel brand was never not going to be a challenge. When I began I had no idea how truly difficult it would be. My husband died the first year – suddenly leaving me with two teen age girls to raise alone. My business partner resigned the second year leaving me scrambling for funding and resources, and the third year the pandemic hit leaving me with unsold inventory and investors with questions.

My daughter Paris in Ocean SF

I regrouped over the spring hiring seven interns to infuse the brand with life. We worked diligently to redefine the brand, bring on new products, and revamp the website. It was a busy summer with zoom calls, research and projects galore. My daughter Paris, who had just graduated from college in May, came on board as our project manager and did oversight for the interns. I taught her how to use a project management platform to manage projects and how to manage and motivate our small staff. She learned valuable business, leadership and management skills. All in all it was a great summer.

To pay the bills, I do a myriad of other work. I teach leadership at UC Berkeley, and over the summer I did leadership camps for kids where I was able to train 42 girls in basic leadership skills. I am also a learning therapist with ten students that I see weekly. On top of this, I’m also doing corporate leadership training, as well as a new speakers series, my first topic is leading kids out of Covid. I will write more on this in the days to come.

To say I’m busy is putting it mildly, but because I love the work I don’t feel like I have more than I can handle. I love the ten kids I see weekly. Many of them I’ve had for several years now and I look forward to seeing them. My work with adults in my UC Berkeley class keeps me up to date and current with the larger world. Many of my students are international and they are fascinating with their unique point of view and opinions on work, leadership and business.

As an entrepreneur I think it’s important to look at how what we do works in concert and harmony with our goals and objectives. When I coach my adult students I tell them not to do anything that isn’t coherent with what their ultimate goals are. The idea of coherence is key to success. People find it quite surprising that I have a long list of revenue streams. However, they all work in harmony and contribute to my ability to thrive both financially and personally.

Teaching leadership makes me a better leader for my own C Corp. Running my company and managing my own team makes me a better leadership professor, coach and mentor. As for the ten learning therapy kids I see (3rd through 8th grade) they simply fill my soul with joy. I love nothing more than breaking from my other work to spend time with one of my students. They also remind me of why I do the other things I do. Making clothing that is sustainable and advocating for ethical manufacturing is important work that will benefit their generation. I also love training future leaders. There is never a day when I am teaching that I do not simultaneously seek to ignite in each child their own innate leadership abilities and uncover their unique talents that will help them fulfill their purpose in the world.

I also feel it is a good way to give back to my community since all of my work with children serves my local community. In the new year I want to teach a math camp. As well as more workshops in leadership for adults, kids and their parents.

As the new year approaches I am redefining my goals and what is important to me. One of the things I will be doing is writing more and sharing my wisdom. Please let me know what you would like to read more about.

Love and blessings,

Sydney

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