Giving Thanks

by Bill Davis

Four years ago yesterday I landed in Honolulu, on the island of Oahu, as I was visiting my 50th state to watch my alma mater, UMass Amherst, play Hawaii in football on Thanksgiving Day.  Great game even though UMass lost and the closest we have come to a bowl game since the move to FBS, but I digress.

I am reminiscing as this was the day that started my journey as getting off the flight I blew out one of my flip flops and started muttering to myself there goes a chunk of beer money as now I needed to get a new pair and in Waikiki this would not be cheap.  Luckily one of my fellow travelers passed along the advice to swing by an ABC Store as I could find an excellent, and relatively inexpensive, pair there along with a cooler as besides college football I was also planning on heading to North Shore to watch the Vans World Cup of Surfing as well as serendipitously discover Ted's Bakery and the insanely good haupia cream pie.

Having been living off the open ocean for 8+ years at that point, in the greater Seattle area so access to Puget Sound but no easy way of getting to the open ocean as 3+ hours one way, it was this trip that got me oriented on leveraging my eCommerce background and experience to focus on the thing that makes me the happiest, besides spending time with my daughters, and that is being at the beach on the open ocean (now living much closer to the amazing Oregon Coast).

Hence was born from that Hawaii trip and we have since expanded our product breadth to include beach outerwear like baja / jerga hoodies (aka drug rugs), beach activities / sports, beach house decor and both sun protection and after sun products among many others.  And one of the goals for the business was to highlight for people how important the ocean is to humanity (e.g. responsible for at least every second breath we take, food for billions, etc.) and become a caretaker for it via our alliance with 1% for the Planet, along with all water resources given there are also beaches on lakes and rivers.  That being said, it's taken on new meaning over the last couple of years as we learn how severely stressed the ocean is from human activity such as climate change, overfishing, plastic pollution (if you look at the picture closely enough, you can see this), etc.

Imo, this country took a giant step forward in electing Joe Biden earlier this month as he is fully prepared to tackle the challenges related to climate change as well as the ocean.  The ocean is the source of much of the life on this planet, yet we know more about near space than the ocean.  We have much work to do here and hopefully will be able to contribute in a meaningful way as we continue to grow our business along with our understanding of the ocean.  Given the focus on the blue economy and with 2021 - 2030 being the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, we believe we have a strong tailwind, but nothing is guaranteed and we have much work in front of us.  

That being said, we'd like to thank all of our customers for getting us to where we are today because without you we wouldn't be in this position.  THANK YOU and Happy Thanksgiving to all!!!