Fear Is The Killer of Love

Fear is the killer of love. I’ve known this for a long time, although staying open to love without fear feels like playing the goalie in a game of ice hockey without any protective gear.

The same is true in business. I’ve been working very hard to bring Ocean SF to fruition. I’ve invested my time, money and heart. Along the way, I’ve tapped some of the best players from my past and have put together a remarkable team.  

We are making some beautiful things, not just for our product line, but from an environmental and socially responsible standpoint, we truly are building something very unique, and creating value not simply in what we produce and sell, but in driving our vision for environmentally conscious businesses in general. 

Our sustainable mission and love for the ocean is part of  everything we do and represent. It is the reason why we do what we do. 

Now that we are long past the point of no return, I am aware of my fear of letting go and allowing the changes that are necessary for a business to thrive and grow. 

A direction must be chosen and committed to, and faith and trust in the unknown is no longer simply an ideal, but a necessity. 

Yesterday, I had back to back meetings, I am hiring people to lay the financial future of the company, as we get in position to take money from investors. Andrew and I can no longer alone, do all of the work required, in every aspect of the business. 

To grow the business we need help, and this means trusting other people, committing to a course and executing regardless of our reservations. We understand that we can endlessly weigh the consequences of each decision, but ultimately we must decide, and each decision at this point, has enormous potential to influence our success and future.

During my morning meeting, as I was listening to my financial adviser talk about venture capital, I was nervously tipping the legs of my chair. My mother always warned me that one day, I would break the chair, but it’s a bad habit of mine, that I’ve not been able to break. Predictably, the chair gave way, and I literally fell onto the floor.  This is not something I’ll soon forget. 

I was unharmed, but afterward, I spent time contemplating the significance of this event. 

In the end, I decided to be fearless. I’ll stay calm, make wise choices, trust myself, and other people. I will remain open to change and be willing to take the risks inherent in moving toward my goals and dreams. This is of course, an evolution of sorts, to find my courage and consistently and confidently act on it. 

Sometimes, our fear is what hurts us the most.  

Lesson learned. 

Love and blessings to all. 

Ojai & Lemon Groves

My Meyer Lemon Tree, Moraga, California
When I was younger, I spent a good deal of time in the Ojai Valley, just outside of Santa Barbara, California. My college boyfriend was from there, and I dreamed of living, one day among the lemon groves. 

My lemon grove dreams were shattered when my then boyfriend cheated on me while I was representing Switzerland at Model United Nations in Sacramento. It’s no accident that this was the country I would represent. I abhor conflict of any kind, I’m protective of myself, and I’ve been known to be unforgiving. So, after the cheating incident, the college boyfriend and I were done for good.

I spent a few vacations in Santa Barbara with my late husband and children when they were very small, and later we spent a week at the beautiful Ojai Valley Resort & Spa one Spring Break.

During these visits, the idea that I could someday retire to a place like this, where I would have a lemon grove, a white farm house, and a clothes line was born. 

As I go through the stresses of my daily life, I think about this farm house, and the simple life I will one day have. 

When I wake up in the middle of the night and the list of things that I have to do the next day to chase my current dreams, and secure venture capital for Ocean SF, consumes me with anxiety, I am comforted in knowing that whatever happens between now, and my days in the lemon grove, really don’t matter.  

Someday, I will be there, or somewhere like that, and all of this will feel like a dream.

Until then, I will never give up and I will never back down. I will continue to live in the present, outside my comfort zone, not knowing exactly what will happen next, but knowing it will all be good.

Love and blessings.

Purpose, Passion & The Express 37 Nationals

Race 5, Express 37 Nationals

Finding your purpose is no easy task. Often, people ask me how I found my passion for making Sailing Apparel, or even just sailing in general, and I have to say, it wasn’t easy. 

I always knew I was a writer, this was not something I needed to become, it’s what I’ve  always been. I was told throughout high school and college how gifted I was in this area, but I’m very outgoing, so I could never imagine myself sitting alone and just writing. And also, I loved fashion, and I absolutely love to paint. 

Once, when I was still raising my family, a close friend of mine asked, “What are you going to do next? you have such varied talents.” It was true, having many interests, and choosing one was a major challenge that held me back for a long time. 

When I was in high school, I painted a photograph from an ad in Vogue Magazine. At the time, I had many offers to model, and I did model often, but I wanted to prove my intellect instead, so this line of work didn’t interest me at all. But, I adored Vogue and had a magazine subscription. It influenced me so much, that I wore Joy perfume, and a Cartier watch for many years. 

Recently, I pulled out this painting to show my daughter, and I left it sitting on an easel in my dining room. During a strategy meeting at my home, for Ocean SF, I was sitting across from this painting, and thought – all of this makes perfect sense. My love of fashion, and the outdoors, combined with my marketing background, and my writing ability; all of these go together and have placed me here. 

I always wanted to sail. I started in Portland on the Willamette River in my very early 20’s, then I moved to SF, where I would drive across the Bridges and wish I could be on one of the beautiful sail boats below, but I fell in love with a golfer, and we did that instead. 

As my family grew, I remembered this dream, and when I had more time, I fit a class into my busy schedule. I can’t say that I knew right away, the first days I was very sea sick, but I followed the bread crumbs of joy, and didn’t give up.

Today, I have a boat in slip 212 at Berkeley Marina, and the Berkeley Yacht Club is my second home. I’m on Race Committee, which means I hoist the flags, when the whistle blows, to start the Yacht races. 

Now, it all feels pretty obvious, I’ll design clothes, and write every morning, I’ll paint when I have the time, and I’ll sail and ski. It’s amazing it took so long to see this.

I can’t tell you how lucky I feel. 

Find the thing you love that makes your heart pound, and do that. 

Love and blessings to all. 

Have Better Cards

The secret to winning at poker and at anything in life is to have better cards. Since, I’ve been left to my own devises unexpectedly to support my children and myself without warning, I think a great deal about things like increasing my market share, and making my adventure clothing company Ocean SF attractive to investors, while leveraging my assets, and managing my resources.  

The truth is the best way to win at any card game is to have better cards than the other players, this is of course a metaphor for what I am trying to do, and to me it means that I must have a better product than my competitors, and I’ve worked hard to make sure that I do, our technical mid layer jacket, is by far the best on the market.

My mother used to warn me to play my cards right. At the time, I didn’t really understand this, but now I do. 

Here are some tips for life and card games:

  • Come prepared 
  • Stay calm
  • Games are about taking risks, don’t take too many risks, but if you play too conservatively you will lose 
  • Other players can bluff, but the person with the better hand always wins

Love and blessings.

Birthdays & Milestones

It’s my late husband’s birthday today, if things were different, I would be having a party for him tonight and cooking ribs, BBQ chicken and smashed potatoes with bacon and cheddar cheese. He would have a mint chocolate chip ice cream cake with his name on it.

That was the past.

Yesterday, the men’s signature jacket prototype arrived for Ocean SF. Which after a year of development was quite a milestone. 

This is the future. 

I am on the advisory board for a new nonprofit my friend Nick Firestone started in partnership with Tesla. The organization will bring renewable energy to hurricane impacted communities.  So, yesterday I went to the Yacht Club to help with the filming of his video documentary, but on the way, I stopped by the sailing club to give my sailing instructor, Tom Dryja his jacket. 

Because Tom and Nick are also friends, Tom came along, and after filming, we had dinner with the video crew.  This is not the life I thought I would have, but it’s a very good life nonetheless. I’m grateful to have work I love, inspring people to spend my time with, and countless other blessings. 

Later, the girls and I will have a three way call to say a prayer for their father, as we will all be in different places this afternoon. 

Another first. One more milestone. 

Love and blessings.