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But Why?

To start, if you haven’t read Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why” – then please do yourself a favor and read it! I have never been so inspired in my life. Which is kudos to Mr. Sinek because that’s his outspoken goal in life.

Currently I’m on a ten day road trip for the company I’m a part owner in. My job on this trip is simple- sell. I know what we have and I know how we got to this point, but the WHY we started this company has never been in my pitch. And honestly, lately it hasn’t been in my mind at all when it comes to decisions I make within this company.

There are three basic questions that you answer when you’re starting a company or selling a product: WHAT, HOW, and the often forgotten WHY.

The order above is so often our approach in every day business. “I know what I have and I know how it can be beneficial to you.. But I don’t know why I’m doing this anymore.” When it should be, “This is why I do this, this is how it’s beneficial to you, and oh by the way- this is what it is.”

Take Apple vs. PC. There’s a reason why everyone knows someone who LOVES Apple. But name someone who is a die hard PC guy! You can’t. Because Apple stands for innovation. That’s their WHY. PC’s are just computers. Yes, they can even be great computers. There are probably countless instances where Microsoft or whoever is better at something than Apple. But Apple customers love their product because Apple loves their product. And they let you know it.

For me, it’s Vera Largo; coastal clothes with a modern, youthful edge. We started this company because we felt like these clothes didn’t exist. Everything associated with coastal is slouchy and linen. We wanted modern, hip, loud..

Being on this trip has reinforced the above- there isn’t anything like us. We are unique. So instead of looking at a store and seeing walls & racks of the same clothing with a different logo and being disappointed when Vera Largo won’t work, I’m HAPPY to remind myself that we aren’t trying to be them. That’s not WHY we started this.

Henry Ford once said, “If I would have asked the people what they want, they would have said a faster horse.”

Conviction, or the why, is the most important thing a young professional can protect. It’s so easy to lose sight of it once you start chasing a dream. BUSINESS happens. It’s no longer imagining and talking. It’s doing and STRESSING. But at the end of the day you’re the only one who can sell yourself so you better know WHY your worth it.

…Seriously. Read that book. I can’t wait to get back on the road.

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Lately it’s been a whirlwind.

My morning started like a dream; Woke up in my NYC hotel, took my time getting ready & then walked across the street to Starbucks while I waited for my driver to arrive. My iced coffee and banana rang in at right around 3 bucks so with confidence, I gave the barista my card. The hustle and bustle of a NYC Starbucks is one to intimidate, so when It was publicly announced that my card declined, humility was an unexpected starting line for a tornado of a Tuesday.

When I logged into my bank account, it was immediately clear what had happened. The most random transactions imaginable left me with less than enough to afford a 3 dollar breakfast. I got hacked.

Fortunately, I have a support system of a family that is unfailing. Still sick to my stomach, the resolution of that issue transitioned into a waterfall of press from the previous night. The articles I read confirmed what I felt, Vera Largo is coming alive. The feedback we received last night in the most surreal venue imaginable is something I will never forget. Our friend, Persio, reminded me that a year and half ago we had only an idea. No clothes, no hats, not even an image could portray what we envisioned. Now we are reading about ourselves in multiple publications.

As I lay in bed and think about the last week and everything that’s gone on I can’t help but think I, we, got SO much accomplished. But that attitude reminds me of this morning. When they swiped my card and told me it was declined, It was a left hook I never saw coming.

As many thing that are going right in my professional life and my personal life, tonight I’m reminded that the better approach is a humble one to begin with, instead of being surprised with.

I have a long way to go. It’s time to get to work.


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Another Blog About That Cheerleader From Texas..


I want to begin by saying that I am writing my first entry in a while, because I am blown away by ignorance. Because of that, I will approach this annoying, mountain of a mole hill, with extreme delicacy; not to call your opinion ridiculous, but to validate to myself in writing what I believe. I think that’s important sometimes, especially in today’s world of such publicly broadcasted opinions. It’s important to know where you stand.

Moving on to the meat of the entry. Literally. Let me tell you a little bit about my upbringing so I can help you understand where I’m coming from.

I was raised with a strong appreciation of the outdoors; hunting, fishing, or even simply playing I was taught to appreciate everything about the world we live in. I started hunting at 8 years old. My dad got me a .243 and took me to Ozona, Texas, just me and him, I was on cloud 9 and will never forget that trip. When we got there, I was in little boy heaven- we slept in a cabin full of bunk beds and we go to ride fourwheelers everywhere we went. Are you kidding me!? It was a dream. The camaraderie at the cabin was and always has been something to cherish. You learn and discuss so much with your elders in such a isolated setting. From life lessons that mold your character to understanding and RESPECTING the power of a weapon.  When it came time to actually hunt, dad got me all loaded up and we set off in to the early morning darkness. I remember walking in that first stand and him telling me to be quiet- a quiet that i had never heard.. We got settled in to our blind and as soon as the sun came up, I aimed, shot, and killed. It was the most heart racing thing I had ever done and I was addicted.

That first doe, taken with a rifle, had no chance. Let me be clear in saying that I do think gun hunting is easy and should be an ENTRY into killing game.

With that said, I switched to a bow and arrow as soon as I could pull back enough weight to be lethal, and in the meantime, I used a cross bow. See, we bow hunt to up the challenge, up the thrill. It takes practice, preparation, patience, and a lot more skill.

I think growing up hunting taught me to respect animals in a way most people can’t understand. Understanding that taking one animals life to eat is one thing, but when you get into managing your lease, it’s a whole different ball game. When you spend a great deal of time on a lease, most people begin to manage the buck/doe ratio. They educate themselves on what a mature dear looks like that is ready to die, and what a young buck looks like with a lot of growing to do. You know when it’s your turn to kill a trophy buck, but you also know when it’s your turn to take some old does. Understanding this is understanding that educated hunters help manage the population.

I say allllll of that to Segway into the story about the cheer leader hunting big game in Africa.

One argument is- The animals she is killing are endangered.

Let me assure you of something. When you go on a safari hunt, unless you are a poacher, which she is not, you don’t just get dropped of on a plane and run wild through the safari slaying innocent animals. There are VERY expensive excursions in place to manage and GROW African wildlife. On these hunts, you will be tracking the most mature, closest to death animal possible. And in the process, the boat loads of money you pay for the trip go DIRECTLY to conserving African Wildlife.

Another argument is- She’s a coward for killing them with a gun. If it was fair, she’d use her hands- then see how she would do.

Really? Use her hands? The most primitive hunters didn’t just use their hands. Ever. That’s absurd. Some she was able to kill with a bow and some she was forced to use a gun- If anything FOR THE HUMANITY! A hunter wants to be as lethal as possible for one reason and one reason alone, so the animal does NOT suffer. There is always a weapon needed when hunting any game. Except Mosquitos. Except Mosquitos…

Lastly I hear- The pictures are disgusting, it breaks my heart.

Like everything on Facebook, unsolicited information and garbage is everywhere. A girl hunting game, spending her time in the outdoors, traveling, seeing the world other than a bubble of drama that happens here at home- should be the most wholesome thing on your newsfeed.

My hands are in the air on this one. It genuinely blows my mind how bad this topic offends people. I don’t want to argue with anyone. I just hope I helped you see it in a different light- that hunting is a very well thought out lifestyle, dedicated to passing on family values and a wholesome upbringing.

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Relax man..

The last hour and a half I was bombarded by around 9 different things. All of which, I was scrambling to take care of. I manage my time well usually, but occasionally I slip up, get overwhelmed, and become very short-tempered.

I stopped to drop off some mail near my house- only to add to my frustration- I missed the pick up by a matter of seconds. As I was pulling out, a Mercedes came out of nowhere, nearly running me off the road. I would have let it go, but he turned on my street and punched the gas again. I don’t know why it pissed me off so bad that someone was speeding on my street, but it did.


I became Ross Hansen in a matter of seconds and used my neighbor’s 3 year old as an excuse to confront the jerk. He whipped into his driveway just down the street and I whipped in after him…. But it wasn’t a him… Not a him at all…

Out crawled a lady every bit of 80, cane and all, appearing ready to whip my ass.


She shouted: What?!

I said: Don’t you know this is a neighborhood? Slow down!

She looked at me like I’ve never been looked at before. I couldn’t help it- I started laughing. I can’t make this up- it was the best job anyone has ever done cheering me up.

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1, 2, 7.25.

I promise I’ll write about a fun topic eventually… Vegas is coming up.

Minimum wage is low. But who exactly gets it? Have you had it? I have. And it sucks. But Before you get to thinkin’ that I’m in favor of raising it, let me be clear- I’m not.


In Texas, minimum wage is $7.25. So if I was truly on my own and had no other option, here’s how I would make it work- I’d apply at McDonalds. I’d start out by doing whatever they let me do, I’d take every shift possible and I would make damn sure I at least got 40 hours. That would put me at $1100 roughly. I would find the nearest apartment to that McDonald’s and lease it. I’d run to and from work and I’d be lucky, because that would take care of my $100 gym membership that I wish I could afford. I’d buy eggs, salad and other items for cheap and eat healthy all week long. I’d be lucky, This would save on the salad I wish I could eat at Jason’s Deli. But most importantly, I’d show up every day early and do what I could, where I could & guaranteed, have a raise by the end of my first month. And man I’d be lucky, because I’d be in pretty great shape, too.

Repeat for wal-mart. Repeat for HEB or Kroger. My exaggerated point is to say that the majority of people who depend on minimum wage, will live on minimum wage for the rest of their life. They have no goals. And if they do, they won’t be there for long. I’ve been there. Now, my story isn’t as intense as the one told above but none the less I had to be smart with the little money I made. Yes, I lived in a nice house that belonged to my parents, but they taught me how to manage my money thru jobs like this. Minimum wage is minimum wage for a reason- it is a step to a better job. Not a career. Quit feeling sorry for people and giving them a crutch. Isn’t that how we got in this healthcare mess?

Yes, I know inflation is a real thing and eventually we will need to raise minimum wage. But how wealthy do our minimum wage employees need to be? What motivation will there be to be a better person if minimum wage gets you a house and mini van? I realize we aren’t quite there yet, but we’re headed there.

“America once was a place to chase a dream. Now it’s a place where if you whine enough you’ll have a pretty good chance, too..”


Damn it, just another thing that gets under my skin.

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America’s Tragedy.

Recently I’ve seen countless efforts to raise awareness on military death by disrespecting other’s same tragedy.

Philip Seymour Hoffman, who I assure you is worth mentioning, died recently due to a drug binge. Hoffman appeared in countless movies where he played a character we will never forget. Movies like Along Came Polly, Twister & most recently, The Hunger Games. Beyond the spotlight, he was involved heavily in several charities such as American Red Cross & Feeding America. These roles and involvement’s didn’t just happen. He busted his ass through school to even get a shot. And once he got it he became something great, entertaining us all.

America’s Tragedy isn’t acknowledging one death versus another on a public stage. Americas Tragedy is putting people in categories. Please hear me when I say that I am thankful for our military and the act of heroism that each and everyone of it’s members displays when they put on a uniform. BUT, to belittle another mans death by degrading him and his life’s accomplishments because of the way he died, is shallow. Philip Seymour Hoffman lived heroic in my opinion- Chasing a dream career and doing it! His parents weren’t actors. He wasn’t born into it. He worked for it -Then dies recklessly. A common stereotype of those in the military is the exact opposite, to be frank- The kid with the reckless background changes his life by joining an armed force and (heaven forbid) dies heroically. (Again, because i know how literal most people take things- that is a stereotype. Not everyone in the military comes from a reckless background.) How can you say that a member of a certain group deserves more recognition than one of another? Is this high school? Having a sense of entitlement because you are in the military is the tragedy. Let us praise you- We will, don’t beg for it.  What about the fireman? What about the police officer who most of us bash except when in a time of terror? Do we need to send an American Email Blast on every death?

This may be a little exaggerated but its amazing to me how people think it’s ok to slam one man’s life to exalt another’s. You, the beggar, are America’s Tragedy.

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The Introduction.

Hello, Hello, Hello! So excited to get this going again. So many cool things are coming up this year I don’t even know where to begin.

I’m so happy to end my previous blog. I got wild and unorganized. I began forcing material instead of writing about the things taking place right in front of me. I was, however, able to log over fifty entries in a little under two years- something I’m pretty proud of and will be hanging on to for nostalgia’s sake.

I will be giving this blog a little more exposure for sheer Vera Largo purposes. Most of the material I write about will be a product of the traveling I do, so I want to share with as many viewers as possible. Other entries will be poems. Other entries will be The Really Random Breakfast.

So let’s go! This year started off right with a very productive trip to NYC. Two trade shows are right around the corner- Chicago next week and Vegas February 17. Last August we participated in the Vegas show and scrambled to piece together decorations for our booth. This year, we are learning from our past and planning everything. No more going to the Las Vegas Dollar Store and buying tiki torches and lei’s an hour before the show. Seriously- we did that…

One of the coolest pieces of the planning process is the promotional party. Sorry, I just got out of hand with the ‘P’ words.. But it’s a blast having an investor who wants to do some serious promoting. The party is in the works, but until everything is finalized I’ll keep the details to a minimum. Just know it will be big and I cant wait to start advertising it.

The line itself is evolving more and more. Currently we have swim shorts, shorts, pants, several different Tee’s, polo’s, button up’s, jackets & blazers, hats & beanies. I tossed and turned until two a.m. last night because of how excited I am. It’s fun being involved in something that your friends have no idea just how big it is.. This year is basically us getting our feet wet. Spring and fall- we’re covering the map in specialty stores preparing for a ridiculously big Spring ’15 launch. It was hard for me to understand- Why are we in so many stores but not in Texas? ESPECIALLY when I see local t-shirt companies popping up left and right, doing well and doing it quick. I have to remind myself of whats coming. I have to tell myself to be patient. Locally, we will be selling website only for the most part but we promise, we will be here.

Lastly- The past two saturdays i have woke up with either Cracker Barrel or Waffle House on my mind- I was up early and had no one to go with. By no one i mean Brenna or close friends. Part of this blog is going to be The Really Random Breakfast. Ha, I’m really excited about this. Basically, 90% of my Facebook friends i know nothing about. I know who they are dating, married to, or other boring things, but I don’t know them personally. That is my goal with this part- it’ll be fun. Taking the least expecting people to eat a really good breakfast.

Fun Fact: If you put a raisin in a glass of champagne, it will keep floating to the top and sinking to the bottom. This is a good party trick if no one comes to your party.

Be good.