Holstee and Mee
By MULTIWEAR Co
Recently I reconnected with Dave Radpavar, one of the 3 founders of Holstee. We connected about 10 years ago when they were running Incubaker and they interviewed me for a product I had designed and licensed that ended up in a lot of magazines including Fast Company, O magazine, and was featured with a full page in the SF Chronicle. I was working fulltime at the time and without kids but also quite unfamiliar with the landscape of product launches and I got to witness in the coming years how the founders of Incubaker moved from Europe to Brooklyn and began living the American dream, seemingly without any hindrances. It was the stuff of dreams, or at least it seemed from my vantage point. They initially began marketing their tee-shirt with holster pockets, hence the name Hols-tee. Everything they did was with a consciousness of our generation: nothing seemed to be an impossibility and everything was done with the consideration of its impact downstream.
Shortly after they made their move, they released the Holstee Manifesto which seemed to be more of a company Declaration of Independence. It was rules they penned that they wanted to live by in making their dreams a reality here in the States. All of it is memorable but here are a few tidbits: 'if you hate your job, quit." "Do what you love." "Getting lost will help you find yourself." In spite of Holstee's first product launch, the Holstee, this Manifesto was the thing that went viral and their company took off.
Though I relate to the sentiments such as "Do what you love" (I went for a second Bachelor's degree because I found I loved design and wanted to be a designer), I have to admit I often felt like this life described in this Manifesto was quite unattainable, possibly for the 1%. There was an economic crisis going on, everyone was being laid off, and millennials were entering the workforce with no job prospects. It is kind of like the comparison that has been made between the TV show "Girls" and "Sex and the City" - one is the reality of being fabulous and broke and the other is an altered reality of having it all and being fabulous as a result - though it would be awesome to be a Miranda or a Carrie, maybe in reality most people are a Hannah. Playing devils advocate, I would wonder: what if everyone in the world only did what they loved? It is definitely a privilege that I would say is given first to people living in first world countries.
In spite of the aforementioned doubts, I've found that my life today aligns much more with the thoughts captured on that piece of paper that ever before, especially in the phrase: "Getting lost will help you find yourself." Perhaps it was getting married, having kids, and having more career wins and losses under my belt, but I do think time helps you to find yourself because you have more experiences, more 'data points' in your life to guide you. When you've worked more and experienced more, you value what you do more and you value your remaining time. "Life is short", that is also on the Manifesto and that's not a new thought, but whether it is career or family or a hobby, some or all of it, everyone on this planet needs to love. Some get to love their jobs, some get to love their families, some get to love a hobby, some get all, some get one or two. But we're all looking for something to love in our lives.
Now that I'm a 'mompreneur', I realize how much I value family over money or career and how that value and that experience is my new compass to my next endeavor. Doing what I love means a bit of a hectic blending of work and family, but it allows me to 'have it all' or at least try it. I think many mompreneurs are in this same boat and many are finding creative ways to do everything that they love all at once. More than ever before, people who are great multitaskers are able to both "live their dream" and "pay the bills" (lol, that one is not on the Manifesto). It is great to be in the mompreneur space because you get to see moms living their dream every day, following their passion, doing what they love, and also being amazing and present parents. Thanks again to Holstee for guiding so many of your fans through life with a simple but well written piece that has stood the test of time.