I describe myself as a natural dreamer with a lot of wanderlust in my veins, a total adrenaline junkie, a fan of the unknown and the uncomfortable and even the dangerous. Between 2015 and 2016 I spent 9 months in Southeast Asia working with a Thailand-based organization that fights child sex trafficking, and the work took me from mob-run back-alley brothels to countries that would have thrown me in jail had they known my true role. In Indonesia I visited a prison - to teach a guy how to build longboards! - and narrowly missed a huge prison riot. I don't know how I find myself in so many wild and unexpected situations, but they lead to so many incredible encounters, relationships, and memories. I'm always striving to live life in the fullest way I know, and I love encouraging those around me to do the same.
I come from a pretty active and hectic background, but I’ve found that everything I do brings me back to people. I toured in a band for 6 years and it was never just about the music. Music wasn’t worth keeping me away from my family for months at a time - but people were. I carried this same vision over when IVY naturally formed. My dad was a carpenter and I always had a love for working with my hands and creating. Bring human connection into the picture and I have vision for IVY that goes so far beyond just a product.
Growing up, I always struggled to see where I belonged. I never knew where I fit in, and I always seemed to view things with an outside perspective. Even in my closest group of friends, I somehow felt that they all shared something I didn’t posses. I knew the importance of fitting in, but also knew the disappointment of feeling left out. Starting IVY was a beginning in the process of finding my place - Where I belong.
IVY is so much more than a board or a shirt or a hat. IVY has become a feeling. For me, IVY has become a place to belong.
"Shape a culture of belonging and you’ll never be alone"
One of my favorite things about IVY is getting the opportunity to meet the people that make IVY what it is! I'd love the chance to meet up and if possible go for a skate. Welcome to the IVY community!
The first thing you need to know about me is that sitting in front of a computer and typing out a description of myself is definitely not one of my strong suits, but getting things done is, so here it goes. I fell in love with skateboarding so long ago that I can't remember a time that I didn't love it. I recently found a picture of me at about age 6 or 7 getting my first board, a Veriflex Ramp Rat (Google it), hopping on it and proceeding to cruise down the street. I've never been the the greatest skater or even the most average skater, but I've always been up for getting together with buds and pushing ourselves around on 4 wheels.
At age 18 I moved out of my parents house, started working and pretty much never looked back. I've been climbing the so-called "corporate ladder" starting out as a computer technician and over the years, moved to managing large teams of employees and managing projects with budgets of over 50 million dollars, but have never felt any of it was my true calling. That being said, the corporate environment has taught me so many lessons on how to manage my time, manage and work productively with others, and most importantly how to follow through with planning and getting things done. And that's where my story with IVY begins.
About a year ago while sitting in one of my many "fun and productive" (insert sarcasm here) daily business meetings, my mind started drifting as to what my purpose and goal is for my career and my future. It was only about 4 months earlier that I had met Steve face to face (after being friends via social media prior to that) and I got to thinking about that longboard thing he had going on and thought "now that's what I need to be doing." I sent him an email, fully knowing he was on the other side of the world in Thailand, saying essentially that I wanted more for not only my life, but more importantly I wanted to show my son that there's more to life than a safe 9-5 job with a good salary and a 401k. I didn't hear back from Steve right away and was having 2nd and 3rd thoughts about sending that email, but about 4 days later (surprise, surprise...he was traveling), he responded with an enthusiastic "let's talk," which kicked off a whirlwind next 9 months of planning, scheming, dreaming and organizing which ultimately lead to the launch of ivylifestyle.net in April of 2016.
At this point you'd think I would say "...and the rest is history" but in reality, this is just the beginning. For the first time, I truly feel that my life has nothing but blank pages in front of it and I cannot wait to fill them with the future of IVY.