Thanksgiving Day Note

To All -
As we approach the time of year where gratitude is celebrated, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you, both personally and professionally on behalf of this company. Personally, thank you for believing in this brand. Your belief in this brand has allowed my wife and I to officially make this a family owned and operated business this year. Not only did my beautiful wife, Fati, envision and spear head our 2020 women’s line, but she also made the decision to embark on this endeavor alongside me at The Lomas Brand. And professionally, thank you to our community for all you've done for The Lomas Brand this past year.  If you’ve followed us in the past, you know that periodically I like to speak directly to our community, as transparently as possible, about what certain times in our company's existence have encompassed and how those experiences help tell the 'why' behind our gratitude.  
It starts and ends with thanking all of you.  While this year has been tough for all of us, overcoming difficulties and positivity is where I tend to draw motivation from and I think a lot of people are the same in this sense.  So as we reflect on these past few months, I hope sharing these experiences will help cultivate positivity, be a voice to those who feel voiceless, motivate those that need it, and multiply an effect of a glass half full mentality.

Remember back in March as the lock down started? Of course, we all do. I specifically remember finding myself reflecting on the past 5 years and what The Lomas Brand stood for all that time. I recall asking myself was this shut down thing survivable?  I innately knew from the onset the enormity of what was coming at us. I knew no one was going to be invincible and no plan would be fool proof. The Lomas Brand was meeting a moment of truth.  

In this moment I slipped into feeling negative, worried, and scared as so many of us did. I contemplated and questioned every past move I'd made. Recalling that when I’d left my well-paying corporate sales career to self start a clothing brand, I was playing with fire. And, of course, when you play with fire it can easily burn you.  I thought, is this it? After five years, did that decision finally come to burn me? I sat with that thought for about an hour.  But what happened next I didn't foresee. A moment of "fight or flight" in its purest form.
That hour of thought lit a spark in me.  That spark then landed on a can of gasoline. Like the race car driver Senna, driving the final 7 laps of the '91 Brazilian Grand Prix stuck in sixth gear - willing something past failure on its way to success was the only option.  I couldn’t jeopardize what we had done up to this point, all the lessons that had been learned, relationships that had been built, all the sacrifices made, and all the effort that had been left on the field.  To have to close as a result of something not in our control was not in the cards. The time had come to fight and The Lomas Brand emphatically threw the gloves off - they’ve been off ever since.  I didn’t care what got in our way - The Lomas Brand was going to win this battle. They say you have to dig deep when problems come near and over the last 5 years we’ve dug deep. Overcoming every obstacle thrown at us thus far, so I knew we'd be able to withstand more. 
As the months went on, small businesses across the country fought this same battle.  Adapting to ever changing mandates while bills continued to pile up, taxes still had to be paid, supply chain systems mangled so badly to a point of being unrecognizable - fighting though, nonetheless. And like hell.  We watched our friends and families lose their businesses, shut doors, and get laid off one by one from their jobs.  But our fight kept on. And not because of me, but because of each and every one of YOU reading this right now. Month by month our community, you - our customers, our foundation, were fighting this battle alongside us, for us -unbeknownst to you probably, but with every purchase you made from The Lomas Brand.  As has always been the case but this year it meant even more. 
From our inception, I’d set The Lomas brand booth up across all parts of San Diego at farmer’s markets, street fairs, chamber of commerce local city events, small business events, anything and everything - not just for sales, but to build a foundation rooted in community. That kind of foundation can take years to establish and is incredibly difficult to build - but it is as strong as rock.  Time and time again this foundation would weather storms. I think back to April, when we were featured on a CBS local news segment for our comfortable clothes during quarantine. The CBS reporter who did the story, believe it or not, had randomly come across our booth 2 or 3 years prior at a market in downtown San Diego with her girlfriends.  When the time came for a story, so many years later, she thought back and remembered us, what we stood for as a company, who we represented and the quality our brand defines. That segment was an enormous much needed gust of wind in our sail, a boost in our confidence that strengthened us to not give up. That is just one example of so many over the last 9 months, where you, our community, selflessly picked us up and kept us moving forward. Every email, every note of encouragement, every new customer, every returning customer - you're the force that propels us forward and awarded me the ability to write this note at this very moment.  
What was also building over all those years selling at markets, was a bond with our fellow small businesses and the amazing people behind each and every one of them. When you’re on the market circuit, you see each other all over the place at different events, every weekend; often times spending hours getting to know the business in the next booth over (fittingly, that's exactly how Fati and I met). All of the businesses became friends. We’d watch families grow over the years, celebrate wins together, talk shop, but most importantly, lend a supporting hand in difficult times. Resilient and ambitious people small business owners are.  People who see odds merely as benchmarks to beat and well-versed in all facets of business, having to wear every hat.  These are the people that innovate new ideas, break barriers, send rockets to space, love their craft wholeheartedly, and who will give everything it takes, until there is nothing- and I mean nothing, left to give.  It's the reason why they say Small Business is the backbone of the country- innovative, risk takers, optimistic leaders who are willing to be on the front line where the stakes are highest. Willing to bear the heaviest of weight on their back.  Driven by the determination to succeed for their families, and addicted to an intoxicating freedom from where they were before.  It's truly a privilege to work amongst these amazing people who continue to inspire us. So today and throughout this holiday shopping season, please keep in mind these wonderful people within our community. Please know that your support means the world to all of them and us. 
And to all the small business owners, their families and their teams today, I hope this marks a wonderful Thanksgiving for you all. If you’ve had to close your doors, I know that at this very moment, you’re already climbing back in through an open window.  I know that because as the saying goes: it's not the size of the dog in the fight; it's the size of the fight in the dog.  And if there is one thing that holds true, it's that small businesses can fight.  And win that fight we will.  

On behalf of The Lomas Brand, Happy Thanksgiving to each and every one of you and your families that have been the wind in our sail. You all are so wonderful and we’re lucky to celebrate with you today : )  I know you have a choice of where you buy your clothes at, so thank you for deciding to shop at The Lomas Brand. Each one of you are truly seen, felt, and appreciated here. 

May you all have a happy and safe Thanksgiving weekend.  Stay positive, stay safe, and long live the foundations that are built on community.  
-Sean, Fati, & The Lomas Brand Team