This last week I had the opportunity to photograph a dedicated and relentless San Diegan (…Diegon?), mother and entrepreneur. I was contacted by Sabina a few weeks ago after she found my work on Instagram. It turned out that she too is an entrepreneur, who runs a local convenience stores with her husband, raises two ridiculously polite and fun children, AND in her spare time has invented, perfected and hand-made a line of beach-ready waterproof hats known as “Shaya Brims.” If you know any single thing about me, it’s probably that I am a hat person. I need hats. They are the peanut butter to my jelly (sorry Shane…you know you’re a close second). So you can imagine my delight at how nicely Sabina’s hats looked in these photos, and in person. Did I mention that’s her in the photos? Hello! Can anybody say Sports Illustrated? C’mon!
This experience got me thinking about how lucky I am to be a small business owner and entrepreneur. Before this, I spent most of my life working for “the man.” Corporate jobs are great in so many ways. Steady pay, benefits, stability…but when you’re creative and independent at heart, when you want to do things your own way…there comes a point when that stability becomes a prison. The consistency becomes mundane. The benefits become meaningless because you feel empty.
I took this leap of faith a few years ago, and believe me, I have most definitely second-guessed my decision along the way. The start up costs are significant. Sacrifices were made, and are still being made. Relationships can become strained. Creating your own success takes a lot of work, and that means less time for other things, even important things like family and friends and fun. But in the end, the hard work and dedication starts to pay off, and you start to realize that all of the sacrifices were worth it. I think if you create a product you truly believe in and are passionate about, whether it’s a photo, a hat or anything else, people will start to take notice.
I’ve learned a whole lot along the way thanks to plenty of mistakes, lots of late nights and early mornings, some wonderful mentors, and the endless support of my family. Now that I’m a little ways into the journey, it makes me really happy to help my fellow entrepreneurs (especially the ladies! Heyooo!) create their own success, too!
If you’re digging these brims as much as I am, share the love and check out Sabina’s hats. I’m sure they’ll be gracing beaches across the world in no time!