Ed: Sydney Chaney Thomas is a Moraga-based writer and businesswoman with three books to her name, all currently available on Amazon. She is also co-founder of a sustainable sailing apparel company called Ocean SF, and operates a nonprofit that works to reduce plastic waste called the The Trident Project.
Sydney teaches entrepreneurial marketing at UC Berkeley in their International Diploma Program and, in addition to this column, she writes a popular lifestyle blog, which can be found at sydneychaneythomas.com.
Transition, Work & Motherhood
June 1, 2018
When we begin in business we never start off believing quitting that business is an option. My former Ocean SF business partner, Andrew Lacenere, was forced to resign recently due to health reasons, and dealing with his departure has been challenging to say the least.
I’m not surprised as being an entrepreneur is stressful and start ups invariably take an enormous toll on our health and nervous system. When things go right it’s amazing, of course, but as things go counter to expectations – it is often quite the opposite.
New enterprises such as ours are comprised of both the high and low. When we started this latest endeavor, I had worked for four tech start-ups and only one over time proved successful, so I knew the challenges that awaited.
Regardless, I still believe in my initial premise; sustainable, beautiful, performance-based apparel.
Life can be unpredictable, but with determination and fortitude I’ve learned all obstacles can be overcome. Thankfully, I’m surrounded by so many good people – all of whom continually reach out to me and have been so generous with their love and support. My friends have pulled me through these last 22 months and for this I am forever grateful.
My friend David, from the Race Committee at Berkeley Yacht Club, posed in his company jacket. My long term friend, Tina, reached out with legal advice, my friend Craig with his retail experience, and my girlfriends all came through with extra doses of the medicine they’ve always given me – their friendship.
This too shall pass. Though rocked by the loss of a respected business partner, I look forward to continuing to build my beautiful brand, and to coming out stronger and wiser when all is said and done.
(Ed: As this column focuses on the problems and successes faced by women in business we’d be most interested in hearing from any local businesswomen who may have found themselves in a similar place – and how they were able to resolve the problem.)