My Resilient Crew

In 2011 I opened a brick and mortar clothing store, Aloha Beach Club, with one of my best friends. From our flagship store in North Park, San Diego just outside downtown, we eventually expanded to locations in Kailua and Waikiki. Work travel became an exciting reality for me and my family.

From opening these stores to packing boxes of tools to fly to far away places and make magic happen, for almost 10 years my experience with Aloha Beach Club taught me so much about what is possible. This is where I got my start in design, carpentry, and eventually entering into the world of a creative.

Out of all the extravagant places I’ve been privileged to visit and swing a hammer, our most recent trip to Phoenix was one of the most challenging ones. Whenever I’m heading out on a work trip that will take an extended amount of time, I bring my family with me. In many ways, it’s a non-negotiable. When I started traveling 10+ years ago for Aloha, my wife and I dreamed of the life we’d have with our kids, taking them a long these adventures and really integrating them into the lives we live.

So, when the opportunity to take this client in Phoenix arose, we booked at Airbnb that we’d call home for 17 days, packed our three kids in the van, and headed East. There was no better way to start this long drive with the kids than witnesses the glorious super bloom of 2023 as we left San Diego. And like with most work trips (and often family trips), things don’t typically go as planned. We drove straight into the vortex of intense physical labor in the Arizona desert and kicked off the work week with my business partner’s diesel rig and trailer full of heavy machinery blowing a head gasket halfway through the drive. Miraculously, at least the tools made it and our family arrived in one piece.

We sat outside the Airbnb drinking a Coors Light with the full moon rising and with cowboy grins on our faces, we said, “We’ll figure this shit out.” The next day, we figured the shit out. It reminded me of how resilient we are if we keep the fight and fire burning in us through adversity.

My kids and my wife teach me that everyday. In a fear driven world we are taught to become complacent. “Stay home and stay safe” and we stress over so many things, but in reality the things we stress about can make us resilient. Facing these things can make us stronger. It’s my 6-year-old daughter Lucy, my 4-year-old son Sonny, and my 2-year-old ragamuffin daughter Sierra that remind me to stay resilient because they are and they always will be. In my adult years as a father of three I’m reminded to be childlike again. Calculated ignorance and full of resilience.

As I write this post, I’m barely 24-hours back home from Phoenix and hopped on a last minute flight to Oahu for another potential client. I’m exhausted. This life is a glorious whirlwind. The flight attendant just announced a delay in taking off due to May Gray low pressure or some BS. I’m flying to Oahu for 24hrs with a tape measure and notepad. It’s where all my projects have always started. A full circle moment from the years spent flying between San Diego and Oahu for Aloha, feeling free from the vortex of the desert we drove away from last night.

I’m going to take some notes and measurements, and I’m ready to take on this next adventure with my resilient little crew I call my family.

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Billy lives in San Diego with his wife and 3 children. He is a traveling carpenter and goes wherever the woodwork wind blows, with his family in tow. Outside of family and work his passions are surfing, music and a good ole backyard BBQ with friends and family.