When the soul is not aflame, no light of speculation will illumine the darkness of indifference.
- Abraham Heschel
It’s hard to sell anything. It’s especially hard to sell anything when you have another full-time job. It’s extraordinarily hard to sell beanies in the summertime when you have another full-time job. Or so I’m learning.
Nolan had his G tube removed in March, which was, there’s really no way to overstate it, a monumental moment. Last month, we went on our first family vacation in two years. It was just an overnight at a spot 10 minutes away but, hey, you gotta start somewhere, right? Overall things are slowly climbing back to ‘normal’ (always a relative word) and we’re starting to feel like a family with two healthy boys who, everyday, bemuse and amaze us. It’s strange to think how much has changed since I drew up the concept for NOLIN two years ago.
It’s been fun, rewarding, exciting and, of course, difficult. I mentioned my other, full-time job, which is a start-up 6 years in. Why I would start another one is a great question without a great answer. Like most start-ups, NOLIN has been twice as expensive and taken twice as long as planned. In many ways it started as a sort of therapy. Caught in a situation with a special needs child, there was an energy and an impulse to do ‘something.’ Now, with Nolin’s biggest challenges looking further and further in the rearview mirror, there is a new energy taking the place of the old. This new energy is about really doing this. I mean REALLY DOING THIS. I’ve been able to focus on the goals of NOLIN in ways I haven’t been able to until now. And trust me, we have big plans. I’m switching to ‘we’ now because I’m uncomfortable saying ‘I’ so much. It sounds lame. In the future there will be an actual ‘we’ so in the spirit of big dreams let’s act like ‘we’ are there. There’s so much we want to do. We believe we’ve made as good a beanie as you can find anywhere. Unique to our product is that the entire supply chain- from sheep to sew- is domestic. Truthfully, this might not always be the case for all of our products, but it will always be the case for our signature beanie line. We are so proud to be a part of this small but growing swell of American textile revivalists. We will support the community any way we can, always. In addition, we will always strive to use the most responsible suppliers. Not because it’s trendy or a marketing buzzword but because it’s the right thing to do. For example, when it’s all said and done, mass-processed, non-organic cotton has about the same pollution impact as coal. That’s not a cute marketing ploy, that’s a problem.
There’s so much to do and it’s hard to be patient. We are close to delivering our first batch of newborn hats to Baby2Baby, which will be an emotional moment. Really the culmination of not only our business vision, but our personal lives as well. The more families and kids we can help, the better and the hope is, as we grow, so can our philanthropic efforts. In addition to humane charities, we have a vision of starting a special collection to benefit our country’s waterways- rivers, lakes, streams, etc. The land needs our help too and, as the saying goes, “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” Everything is connected; we see the health of our children and our planet as one in the same. THIS MATTERS.
But for now, back to the art of selling beanies in the summertime. That’s the first step to making NOLIN a company of ‘we.’ Because I’m tired of this ‘I’ shit. Pass it on!
With gratitude and cheers,