Like most entrepreneurs, my business partner Kristen and I dream of great success, only for us, success comes without the corner office on 59th Street overlooking Central Park. That’s why we launched Coast by Coast, a pop-up boutique based inside a 1972 VW bus. This mobile shop, curated through a swim, surf and outdoor lens, doubles as our rolling office, which means road trips and plenty of time outdoors.
Working on the road comes with a sense of freedom. Undoubtedly, there’s the scheduled itinerary of events, yet every now and then it’s two against one when Siri tells us to turn left. We veer right, following the signs to hot springs, farmer’s markets and hiking trails. Sharing these experiences creates a strong foundation for not only our friendship, but also our business.
Granted, this adventurous lifestyle is not all skinny dips, ripe peaches and mountaintop views. On the road, everything is constantly changing. Working with unpredictable Wi-Fi connections, driving through thunderstorms, and schlepping inventory to and fro is challenging. With so many moving parts and a lack of routine, it’s our practice to create consistency wherever we can.
Morning meditation is a practice that grounds us, our daily soft launch into the business world. Midday we try to take some time away from the computer to disconnect and declutter the mind. Simple things like a walk around the neighborhood or people watching on a beach remind us to slow down again and leave us refreshed.
Naturally, stress levels sometimes rise like the tides. Our favorite remedy, although not always practical, is jumping in the ocean. When you’re coming up for air, something shifts and you feel lighter. It’s a release, an out-of-mind experience. You’re so focused on the physical sensation, you don’t have time to think about anything else. The mind becomes still. It’s simple, yet powerful.
When you spend time with someone in those long patches of wilderness that separate big cities, you learn to rely on them. A bond forms and it builds trust. In the great outdoors, without sharing a word, the two of us perform the ritual of making a small patch of Earth home. The stakes go in, the tent goes up, and as the last ember of sunlight dims, the mind surrenders and we can just be.
This article was originally published in RANGE Magazine Issue Four.
Photos by Kristen Cleary.