When you're doing what you love, you
never know who you'll wind up meeting along the way. Mark Dowley and Shep met while sailing in Antigua many years ago and always stayed in touch. Aside from a love of the water, they also share a passion for music and traveling and a love of old cars—specifically Jeeps, Broncos and ICONs (more on those kinds of vehicles in a minute). Mark's career has him working with some of the leading artists in the world—in fact, he's pretty much the definition of bi-coastal. Mark was one of the first people we called when we found out we'd be heading out west, and he also happens to own two ICONs. What is an ICON, you ask? This is where Jonathan Ward comes into the picture...
Over a decade ago, Jonathan quit his day job to focus on doing what he loved, which at the time was all things Land Cruisers (sales, parts, restoration, you name it). Fast forward a few years down the road, and Jonathan is now in the driver's seat at his own company, ICON, where he is CEO and lead designer. Jonathan and his team assemble custom utility vehicles by hand (let that sink in for a minute... by hand). Simply put, there are no other cars quite like ICONs.
We hope to be behind the wheel of our very own ICON one day, but until then we'll just have to convince Mark to let us take one of his for a test drive every once in a while.
Jeff Burch is our kind of guy. Not only does he give back, but he has a passion for sailing and can almost always be found out on the ocean charting his own course and chasing his competitors. After buying his first boat at age 14 (with money earned from mowing a few hundred lawns), he's followed his dreams and found a great group of sailors who love the sea as much as he does. He's since created “Hot Ticket Racing” with help from his beloved boat, the Hot Ticket.
We met Jeff back in December when we sent him about 3,000 pink and blue lights to deck out his boat for the Newport Beach Christmas Parade. It was then that we realized just how bright Jeff and his team (or “family” as he likes to call them) really are! This crew always has their spirits high and their sails even higher. That's something we can get on board with.
It's pretty safe to say Teddy Schaffer is a jack of all trades—not only did his design win this year's Design a Tie for Dad Contest—he's an artist, songwriter, pianist and singer. A senior at The Hopkins School in New Haven, CT, he's also captain of the track team, an avid skier, runner, biker, surfer and part of a group called Aracy's Friends—where students help children express themselves through art at Yale's Smilow Cancer Hospital. It's not hard to see where Teddy gets a lot of his inspiration—his father Tony is President of C.A. White, Inc. Real Estate Company and chair of the Town Green Special Service District in New Haven. Talk about a pair of go-getters!
Something tells us we'll be crossing paths with Teddy in the future, but for now we're happy to hang up his winning
artwork in our offices. Check out the real thing on vineyardvines.com.
The one piece of advice we usually give to people (when they ask, of course) is: Do what you love and the rest will follow. We were introduced to Wade Kilbarger at the opening of our Newport Beach store – not only was he there to officially welcome us to the West Coast, but he was covering the event for his fashion blog, The West Prep. Wade is a big fan of East Coast style, and he's made it his goal to bring a little of that look to California with the help of his girlfriend, Katherine. In fact, when we approached Wade about being a part of this catalog, he asked to include Katherine since it was Valentine's Day!
Aside from the fact that Wade was decked out in khakis, a button-down shirt, a navy blazer and a bow tie, we could tell he loves his job. Hey, there are worse things than wearing what you love to work.
Check out Wade's world at thewestprep.com.
You asked—we listened. When we heard how many fans we have out on the West Coast, we knew it was time to make some waves out there. After spending lots of time cruising around in California (talk about hard work), we fell in love with Newport Beach.
With its nautical chart in the entry-way, wooden masts and custom Jarrett Bay cash wrap, our store looks like it's been there forever, and we couldn't have done it without our store crew!
To say the least, we can't get enough of California (we always make a pit stop at In 'n' Out Burger on the way in and the way out)—the only problem is, once we're there, we don't want to leave. But it's nice to know we're leaving our store in such great hands.