They say you can’t tap your head and rub your stomach at the same time. Debatable. But you CAN in fact go fly-fishing and stand-up paddle boarding all at once.
Sean pushes the limits every day—he’s adventurous, he’s passionate and he’s turned his passion into a really cool career. He teaches fly-fishing and stand-up paddle boarding at the fishing club at Yale and shares his craft with people all over the world.
The best part about being an entrepreneur and doing what you love every single day is being able to share it with other people. Along with his mentors, he brought sustainable fly-fishing to remote villages on the Gambia River in Senegal. He says it was totally rewarding and the fish were monstrous!
If you’re thinking about trying something new or taking a risk, whether it’s fly-fishing, stand-up paddle boarding, or starting your own business…go with Sean’s advice…
“Stay humble, and keep coming back!”
Grant’s an old friend…and he’s the man. He worked with us for seven years doing anything and everything we needed him to do—he started in our warehouse and ended by building stuff for us...anything from our marketing pitches to our desks and store fixtures.
He’s the good kind of yes man: he’ll never miss an opportunity to figure out something new, and he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty. In fact, Grant is an amazing woodworker.
When he left us, he worked a few odd jobs before starting his own cutting board business. At first, it was tough. Grant didn’t cut a paycheck for himself for three years, and for six years he’d wait tables for eight hours and then head to his workshop for another eight…"I’d clip my business card to people’s checks, and every day we’d keep growing."
“I’m proud of everything I’ve made…from my cutting boards to the boats I’ve restored, they’re all parts of me.” He’s a humble guy who does what he loves, and we’re happy he’s found his Good Life.
When Caitlin George started with us, she crashed on her older sister Kelly’s couch and used a rolling rack as her closet for three months. Even though Kelly’s in finance and Caitlin was in customer care, both headed right for vineyard vines headquarters. At least the commute to work was easy!
Spend five minutes with their family and you’ll feel the love. They moved from the Midwest to Andover, MA, because they love New England and the ocean. Every Fourth of July, they spend the day on Crane Beach in Ipswich. “No matter where we all are, we’re always here, in this spot, together, on the Fourth,” said Kelly.
Spending time with them was a blast. They made us feel like family right away and we got to experience their Every day should feel this good moments together.
Pete’s good people…He started making beautiful fish prints in the 1980s. The first one he did was at a Seafood Fest on Nantucket. He was visiting the island, and he walked through this booth clearly set up for kids who wanted to make their own fish prints…He said, “Hey, I’m a kid at heart!” and gave it a try…Not too shabby for a shot in the dark…
Since then, he’s been trained in Japan in Gyotaku, the art of Japanese Fish Rubbing that was created as a way to have a record of the day’s catch. He’s made fish prints of a ton of different species; he loves to work with bay anchovies, octopuses, blue fin tuna, and even…SHARKS! He’ll print them on different grades of paper, depending on the fish.
Four times a day, from May through October, a hand-built, 31-foot Friendship sloop sails in and out of Nantucket Harbor.
It’s skippered by Captain Jim Genthner, who’s sailed the Nantucket Sound since 1982. Capt. Jim’s story is about the power of one man’s dream, and the determination he had to carry it out.
Capt. Jim came from a long line of shipbuilders and self-made men. And, at 12, he knew that he wanted to spend his life on the water.
After a few years on a research vessel and a few more as a carpenter building ships in MA, he’d finally had enough saved to build his boat!
The young dreamer finally got his wish when the Endeavor launched in the spring of 1979. He took his mom, dad and other family members out on the maiden voyage to thank them for their support.
A few years later, with the help of his brother and a fortuitous trip to Nantucket, Jim was chartering out of Nantucket Harbor’s Straight Wharf. Slip 15. Capt. Jim had made it!
Mark and Claire moved to Nantucket and never looked back. Claire took a teaching job on the island and was nervous at first—she didn’t know a soul on Nantucket! But, the community warmly welcomed her; this is the kind of place where people really help each other, whether that means cooking a meal or offering a place to crash. Mark was soon to follow Claire, and now, almost 10 years later, they’ve got two amazing little boys, Bennett (5) and Harrison (3), who get to experience the magic of growing up on an island.
Every day, there’s an adventure right outside whether it’s catching crabs in the marsh stream, going hiking, or building forts in the snow. Mark even coaches a hockey team with our friend, Cam.
On Nantucket, you hit beach no matter which direction you walk, and the friends you make in pre-school are the ones you’ll know through adulthood. Mark and Claire love the water and they love their island home, and WE love that they’re teaching their boys to jump right in.
When Cam Gammill interviewed at vineyard vines in the early 2000s, we offered him a job on the spot. He quickly told us he’d love to accept…but would have to push his start date back by three months so he could spend the summer fishing on Nantucket.
We knew he was one of us right then.
“Back in those days, you did everything when you worked at vineyard vines,” he says. He really did it all, from packing boxes and managing the warehouse to running the wholesale department to being our resident “model.”
One thing we’ll never forget? Cam wasn’t sold on the Shep Shirt. He created his own (self-proclaimed better) “Cam Shirt,” which we actually sold for two years until Shep allegedly sabotaged it with a poor color choice. Only two people know the real story there…
While still at vineyard vines, Cam became part owner of Bill Fisher Tackle, the oldest tackle shop on the island. In 2008, he had an “aha” moment sitting in traffic on I-95. It was time to jump into another adventure: moving to Nantucket full time.
Cam eventually opened his own company—aptly named Fisher Real Estate. “Shep and Ian were great at instilling an entrepreneurial spirit in all of us.” Cam notes that he stays connected with everyone from his life at vineyard vines who ends up on Nantucket—all of these folks contributed to his success.
Cam met his wife, Julie, on the island and they now have three young daughters, Neely, Morgan and Blake, and two dogs, Bass and Albie. The girls have a true love for the water…“they can sit there with a net and catch crabs for hours.”
We’re grateful that Cam opened up his stomping grounds—and his island crew—to us Vineyard guys!
If you spend the kind of time on the Vineyard we do, you’ve probably seen or heard about the awesome boat with the American flag sail.
Kurt runs Catboat Charters, a custom private sailing charter company based in Edgartown. An entrepreneur, an American flag, and a boat? You could say we were fast friends.
Like a true entrepreneur, Kurt lived and worked on his boat for years while he got his business going. “I just had a guitar, a few shirts, and some shorts. It was challenging but worthwhile!”
It’s hard to find anyone that loves the Vineyard as much as we do, but the El-Deiry family comes pretty close. Joe’s the general manager of an excavation and landscaping supply company and the long-time volunteer Weighmaster for the annual fishing Derby. His wife, Rebekah, is a Vineyard native who runs Island Window Design and is the Dukes County Associate Commissioner of Youth.
After decades of fishing and decades of friendship, Ed & Sol are their own comedy routine. You might even say they’re kindred spirits. They were introduced years ago when a photographer stopped them in a parking lot and asked to take their picture together for a local newspaper. It just goes to show, the Vineyard really does bring people together. Spend a little time on the water and you might catch a fish… or you might reel in a lifelong friend.
Run by our good friend, Polly, and her husband, Patrick, Among the Flowers Café on Martha’s Vineyard is as warm and bright as the name suggests.
Back in the ‘70’s, our family would meet up with Polly’s at Wasque Point to go fishing together. We had a 1979 yellow Chevy Blazer, and Polly’s family had a matching truck in green. Fast-forward almost 40 years later and we’re still friends!
Every year, the Jervis family packs up their car and heads to their favorite place in the entire world, Martha’s Vineyard, for 11 blissful weeks of summer. The Vineyard is the kind of place where you can (and should) ride a bike almost anywhere you want to go, where you’ll pass someone you know on every street, and where life feels a little less complicated. This is where the Good Life really lives, and we’re so glad we’ve been able to share it with our good friends, the Jervis', over the years.
We’ve always looked up to Coop, and whether he knows it or not, he’s been a big part of our success. He is admired around the island...everyone knows he would literally give the shirt off his back to any fisherman or friend in need.
Born on the Vineyard, Coop left at 11 because of his dad’s job...but the island called him back. About 40 years ago, he walked up to his wife and told her that they had to go home. So, they packed up the car and the kids and left.
His son, Dan, has been on the island since he was 3, and he’s always been his dad’s fishing buddy and business partner. It’s awesome that they’ve been able to spend as much quality time together as they can.
We like to think we know pretty much everyone on the Vineyard by now. Abbie is one of the coolest, most experienced fly-fishers around, and we’re happy we met her out on the water.
Abbie’s the owner and guide at Kismet Outfitters on the island. The company teaches all levels and ages of anglers how to fly-fish—they even host trips across the U.S. and abroad.
She started fishing from her dad’s shoulders when she was too small to wade. But, it wasn’t until she moved away for college that she realized how special fly-fishing can be.
One day she had a realization that she should become a fly-fishing guide…so she did just that.
She went to guide school and started her business soon after. Why the name “Kismet”? Because Abbie says that this was her destiny. (Kismet means destiny or fate!)
Abbie participates in the infamous Fishing Derby every year. She barely sleeps during it, since the stripers are nocturnal. But she says it’s a “good tired.”
On a typical day of work, she tries to make two trips—ideally, she’ll see the sunrise and the sunset. How cool is that?
Eventually, Abbie hopes to expand and possibly open a space where the fly-fishing community can get together. “You have to be a certain type of person to love fly-fishing, and you have to be able to help one another grow.”
Her Every day should feel this good moment? “Sharing the gift of fly-fishing.” Teaching the art of her hobby is what she lives for. “I love giving clients a lifelong passion…because fly-fishing is something you can do your whole life!” We’ll take a lesson from her anytime.
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