Ever since I started IVY in 2014, I’ve had this vision and idea to hand deliver longboards. I know what you’re thinking, “How is that cost efficient? How can your business make money from doing that?” Great question, and I don’t have the answer to that. I do know that in my life, all the best things I have done have cost me something rather than made me something. Money is out there, and it can come in a various assortment of ways, but I am generally much more motivated by impact than I am money. I want to create moments, stories and relationships through theIVYbrand - after all, IVY is about PEOPLE.
So obviously we can’t hand deliver every single board we sell, but when we hear of an amazing human like you’ll read about in the following story, you better believe we are going to do everything in our power to meet them and make their day. What do we get in return? Everything. Moments like these are everything to us, and the reason we continue to drive this brand forward.
Back in November 2018, I got an email from a woman named Stacey who was wanting to order a longboard for her 15 year old daughter, Abby. She told me that Abby loved our brand and has wanted a IVY board for a long time. Christmas felt like the perfect time to finally make that happen. As we continued to email back and forth, she began to share that Abby had just undergone surgery to remove thyroid cancer. At 15 years old, she was dealing with something that, in my opinion, nobody should have to deal with, yet she was still so sweet, positive and full of joy! Shortly after that email she had to have a second surgery.
When I was a kid my mom had thyroid cancer. She ended up having to have her thyroid completely removed. I think I was probably 12 years old when I heard the news. I remember my grandma coming and staying with us while my mom was in the hospital. I remember visiting her there, and refusing to leave at the end of the day when we had to go back home. I remember my dad having to take off work so he could be with her at the hospital. I remember after my mom had surgery and I saw her for the first time - She had a huge scar across her neck. She joked that she didn’t have cancer at all - that she’d been captured by pirates and they cut her throat - trying to lighten the mood for my siblings and I who at the time had no concept of how serious this was or could be. We just knew our mom was hurting. Regardless, I felt very connected to Abby. I didn’t need to know much, I knew there was something special about her and I had to meet her. I asked her mom if it would be ok if Corey and I flew out to California to hand deliver the board and surprise Abby. She said YES. Corey being the incredible guy he is was on board with the plan immediately. We flew into LA one Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning made the drive up to Kingsburg.
We pulled into Kingsburg around 1pm and had no idea what to expect. We had never been to this town, we had never hand delivered a longboard in this elaborate of a way, we had never met this family. I had only interacted with Stacy through email. We had no idea the incredible people we were about to encounter. We were greeted by Abby’s father, Brandon, who had taken the day off work to be there for the longboard surprise. Abby’s younger siblings Lucas and Ella also came out to meet us. This family welcomed us into their home with arms wide open. They way they loved and took care of each other made me feel at home. They reminded me a lot of my family. We entered the house and met Abby’s mom, who originally emailed me, and her sister Zoe. We waited in the living room and chatted until Abby came out of here room. When she came out, she was shocked! It took her a second to realize who we were, but finally got tipped off when she saw my IVY shirt.
This was a day I will never forget. We spent the afternoon with the Pettit’s, getting to know this amazing family, playing with their pet chickens, eating lunch and teaching Abby how to skate. By the time we left, they weren’t just some random family in Kingsburg, California - They were family.
This is the future. To me, business is no longer to exploit the customers, but to serve and love them. The benefits in running a brand this way are mutual for the customer and the company. I think we as human are driven by impact so much more than we’d admit or even realize. If we understood the impact we could make as a brand that has a platform, why would we not use it. I wish more brands would understand this. We’re not a huge brand with a massive platform, but here is my promise: No matter how big we get, IT’S ABOUT PEOPLE. Always.