The 4.5 Year Update - From Sean

Hi Everyone! 

  Sean here. Throughout the past few years I’ve always really enjoyed taking the time once in awhile to give our brand community an in-depth update on what The Lomas Brand has been up to, how our business model has held up, and where all of us at the brand plan to take things in the coming 12 months. So with that- I’d love for you to please read this and share in our excitement of what’s to come :) 
  As we approach our 5th year in business (crazy how time flies) I can’t help but think back on where & how it all started.  Those days prior to the inception of the brand, full of personal angst and hardships. The idea of doing something for the rest of my life I had no interest in (corporate sales) had weighed heavily on me and lead me to a place in life I didn’t want to be at anymore.  I had to make the conscious decision to make a leap of faith. That leap of faith though also required having the wherewithal to run a business, which I didn’t know if I had or not. There would be a huge learning curve.  The crux of it was, I’ve always been an unconventional learner.  Classes and school in general had never grabbed my attention, I was always a C type of student.  Though when I was able to put my hands into what I was doing, learning on the go, letting my creativity design a plan of action around a challenge had always captivated me  ( I’d in the past self taught myself how to be proficient in guitar and drums, skateboarding and surfing etc.) No question about it though, I doubted myself prior to starting.  I feared you had to be good in school to run a successful company.  Well, almost 5 years later, I can say with 100% certainty that that couldn’t be farther from the truth. And in my personal opinion, there is and has always been an over importance placed on textbooks and classrooms and not enough on hands on day to day operations in todays professional training world, especially in entrepreneurship. 
  So anyway, I went for it. I felt compelled to establish my brand in the same manner I aways learnt best; that hands on and unconventional approach. An approach that completely contradicted what almost every book said and says to do, but I trusted a feeling wholeheartedly I had that it would work.  
  To be able to do that properly I knew I had to be fully in charge, meaning not having to answer/explain a process or decision I’d make to a boss or financier.  So when it came to funding, I did actually take a look into obtaining investors.  But the thing with investors is that when they put their hard earned money into you and your vision, they want answers and plans.  Well, with how I learn, I knew I wouldn’t be able to provide that right away and if I tried to, it would have interfered with my creativity and ability to learn my way.  So investors couldn’t be present at the start (still are not today).  I had to find a way to grow with a non existent budget and no experience. An enormous challenge if you’re seriously trying to compete in this competitive field of apparel.  So I researched all types of other brands and I found they were all somewhat the same.  Big marketing budgets, stellar photos, big Instagram followings, usually a name that was hard to pronounce. Really they all blended together.  Except for a few that had a core foundation.  Brands like Patagonia and TOMS. They made me think. I’d also read a book about taking a leap of faith and one thing struck a cord with me.  The book told me to identify my “worst case scenario”. If all went to hell and the brand completely failed what would that look like?  Well, that was simple; I’d done a good job at my past employers and getting right back into corporate sales would likely be relatively easy.  So rather than thinking I’d be homeless ( ha ) doing this exercised helped me realize I’d just go back to where I was and that realization gave me the fuel to not worry.  

  Fast forwarding a few years we find ourselves here today, almost 5 years in. From that leap of faith in 2015 came so many wonderful blessings from the world. None bigger than meeting my wife.  Going back in time, two years into The Lomas Brand, I’d foregone taking a paycheck for 2+ years, putting all the profit from all of your purchases back into the company to fuel growth- of course meaning sacrificing personal financial stability. Not just personal finances; but time. Normal weekends being with friends, meeting people, going out, just stopped happening and weren’t going to be happening for quite some time to come. Those things just couldn't be a focus of mine.  I had to shift my everyday focus to growth for Lomas and how best we could achieve that. I thought, "how did people grow businesses before the internet?" What came to me was, " A trustworthy and friendly face to face handshake from the person at the top." That was it, I could do both of those things. So I worked farmers markets literally every weekend for years. Shook hands and told our brand’s story till I was red in the face to everyone and anyone who would listen. (Side Note: this was the best training I could ever received in learning how to treat and value a customer, whether they were the first customer of the day or the last).  EVERY Saturday and Sunday - long hours, morning to night.  I’d come to terms internally with being a stage in life behind all my friends and peers who’d met their significant others, bought homes, started families, etc. So often when we hear about how owning a small business has sacrifices, our minds immediately go to financial. But when you're 2-3 years in you begin to realize what the word “sacrifices” also means and that a financial sacrifice is only one of many.  But then out of nowhere, this leap of faith 2 years prior at the time, placed the most wonderful person I’d ever met smack dab next to me in the booth assignment to my right at the Solana Beach Farmers Market one Sunday. So fittingly, this wonderful little beach town that has so graciously gifted me so many life moments, now placed what would become my wife right next to me, literally. The rest was history. Now, as my beautiful wife, Fati, has joined me in this pursuit of building our brand, its transformed it into a family business vision that we dream may one day be run by our kids and then their kids, who knows. All I know for sure is that if The Lomas Brand fell tomorrow and went out of business, it wouldn’t change the fact that it's the biggest success story I could have ever imagined bc it brought me to her.  
  And finally, here’s whats been happening here at HQ.  Together, Fati and I have expanded our team with two recent new hires, The Lomas Brand is selling worldwide spanning 6 continents but most importantly to us, we’ve built a brand the way we wanted it to be built and stuck to our founding principles. A foundation of first class quality products above all, tireless hard work, exceptional customer service and building your trust in our brand name along with nurturing a community connection that no marketing budget could every buy.  This tireless hard work our brand has committed to has brought us year over year growth. Growth that we don’t just measure from bottomline spreadsheets, but an enormous growth in quality and style that can be directly seen and felt in our new 52 piece Fall 2019 Collection we hope you all enjoy immensely.  And as hard work often does, it brought us a gift we didn’t plan for.  As a result of putting out our own vision and unconventional business model, it rewarded us with a new division to The Lomas Brand; a Consulting branch.  Over the last 18 months we’ve been recruited and hired to consult for a number of other start up businesses interested in our style taste, customer loyalty, and operational business model.  And not just start ups but also iconic and established brand names like TOMS.  It has been a dream come true and I attest that all of this comes from our commitment to being a community brand and doing things right. One that all of us are a part of. That and the simple one line I read that helped me identify that the worst case scenario, really isn’t something to fear at all. 
  This update isn’t to boast in any way, shape, or form as we routinely can’t stress enough.  Rather the opposite.  It's to thank all of you for building this with us, sticking with us and for trusting us. For supporting us as our products developed and evolved over time. For allowing us the time needed to mature along this journey.  Our story is unconventional, yes, but the support we’ve received from ALL of you is really the most unconventional aspect of the past 5 years.  The gift of an encouraging, supportive community behind you is the most wonderful gift any brand or business would kill to have.  And it being Thanksgiving, I wanted to let each and everyone of you truly know how grateful personally I am for you and every hard earn dollar you’ve so willingly spent of yours on our products. That thankfulness extends from everyone here at The Lomas Brand for gifting us such an irreplaceable gift. All of you are what made/makes our unconventional approach work. 
  Long story simply put, 4.5 years later and we’re all in this together synonymously; my brand, your brand, our brand.  And I couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve created, grown, and nurtured.  
  This Thanksgiving, please know that all of my personal gratitude is going out to each and every single one of you and your families.  I wish you all a wonderful and safe holiday weekend full of good times and many laughs.  I hope you all enjoy too our best ever collection (as it will be 35% Friday-Monday : ))
  Happy Thanksgiving everyone and cheers to our one and only community Lomas Brand for many years to come!

Warmest Regards, 

Sean, Fati and Everyone at The Lomas Brand