A month into the job I went to Jakarta for 2 weeks on my first factory development trip. I have never been to Jakarta so it was a first time experience. I was excited to see our factories and the capabilities they had. I like to relate a factory trip to the clips from Mr. Rogers when they used to show how things get made, except I get to see it in real time, and smell.
Unfortunately the 2 weeks for the development trip were by far the most difficult I have ever experienced. I ended up doing hours upon hours of administrative work that is a waste of time and money when on at factory trip. We should have been focusing on improving processes, learning how the factory set things up and made sandals, not filling out paper work. This was a learning lesson for me as I am surprised that long established companies would do work this way.
A month after the Jakarta trip the footwear team (consisting of me and the girls footwear designer) along with the wetsuit designers went on a domestic (Aussie) market trip. We where to go to Sydney and the northern beaches, then hop up to the gold coast and visit Byron Bay. I can say that I have never had a more packed travel schedule than this job is ending up having.
After a full day of kicking around the city of Sydney we drove over to Manly. This is one of the main beach for city dwellers and is a famous surf spot. The beach is simply beautiful.
One night in Sydney after dinner one of my co-worker’s friends took us out to a cool little hidden bar. It was Monday, and the place was mellow but busy. The wall background was perfect for black and white photos. If your ever in Sydney, check out the Grasshopper Bar if you can find it down the alleyway, its rad.
After a tour of Sydney and Manly we flew up to the gold coast. This is the Aussie vacation destination. The entire coastline is developed with resorts and there are several world class surf spots. Snapper Rocks and Duranbah beach are 2 of the most famous waves on he planet, and some of the most surfed. The crowds can get heavy.
Lucky for me, the footwear Product Manager is a obsessed surfer. He met us up here for 3 days, and each morning we would head over to D-bah for a dawn surf.
I got one of my best barrels ever which I can describe as the ocean giving me a hug….its imprinted into my brain forever.
Snapper Rocks and Superbank where pretty flat the entire time. This is the second time I have been here and I have never gotten it with swell. I would love to see it when is pumping. Maybe next time.
Our last night on the Goldie we ended up dragging each other out to some of the clubs in Surfers Paradise. Think of 18 year old’s getting smashed and terrible club music in a velvet draped room. It was a big joke being there as all of us on the trip are well past this point in our lives, but there is something to be said for stepping back and visiting he insanity once is a great while.
Here I am doing the belt buckle, it is my little piece of Americana I can bring and a nod to Jeff Prescott my old university roommate who dazzled me with this move so many years ago. Thanks Jeff!