Easter was busy on the beach. All over Australia and as every year, there’s a huge exodus from the city to the coast, families sneaking in a mini-break at the beach in early autumn. The weather in Port Macquarie was perfect, and all kinds of beach goers were taking advantage of the glorious long weekend.
The highlight for me was spotting a surfer girl wearing a reef mix fashvest. There she was, striding up the sand, surf board under her arm, a pin-up girl for Solar Bare. I said hi and introduced myself as the designer. She was happy and excited and told me she loves the designs. And then she said, “wow, you know what? Another girl just paddled over to me in the surf to ask me where I got that amazing rashie.” Apparently she loved the vibrant reef prints, too.
And moments later, the other girl, who was visiting from Lismore, came walking up the beach with a board under her arm. She called her over. “This is the designer!”
The three of us chatted about the story behind the prints, and I’ve gotta say that some people have amazing knowledge of reef fish. She recognised at least four of the prints (coral trout, panther grouper, blue spotted cod, parrot fish) and it was one of those moments of laughter and bonding with complete strangers, where you all realise you’ve found some special connection. It was a moment of magic that gives an entrepreneur tremendous uplift, but also connects people in a genuine way.
We talked and talked about keeping it real. Following your own path and how connection should come naturally. That there is a spirituality about spending time on the sand and in the surf. How the Great Barrier Reef provides extraordinary inspiration and that you can’t beat nature’s intelligent design. That building a brand and starting a business is tough. How there can be more to an apparently random meeting than you first think.
And importantly, that leaving your own kind of footprints in the sand is cool. The ones you want to leave: an imprint of who you are, your values and your personality. The ones that show you’re walking with purpose.
Turns out, that pin-up girl and I have found a shared purpose, and a wonderful new friendship. How good is that?