Despite no longer being a student, I am hacking away at my keyboard from the 2nd floor of the new FSU Student Union. The massive space molding conversation, piano strokes, and Mariachi music creates a strangely inspiring environment to work in. I might do this more often... Life in Tallahassee just over a year since graduating has been good to me, but there are moments (like right now) where I miss the luxuries and amenities provided by Florida State.
It has been quite a while since I wrote one of these, so I’m going to try and move quickly while attempting to cover a wide range of topics. Hopefully in a similar manner as the logs previous. If you’re part of our email list (you can sign up in the form below this post), you got the only other sneaky, little life/business update last week. Will and I had gone down to Fort Myers to aid in the hurricane relief efforts. To sum it up, we did a lot of debris clearing and house emptying as the most prevalent effects of the devastating Hurricane Ian were to be found in the storm surge that carried water and debris into lawns, houses, and driveways. We helped out friends and family of Will's over the course of the week, and even spent some time slogging through the muck that had taken over the Edison Sailing Center where Will learned to sail. It was a not so gentle reminder of the absolute insignificance that we have when compared to the power of nature. We also spent a day volunteering with the Cajun Navy helping to distribute food and water to people that had been displaced due to the storm. We weren't entirely sure of what we were getting ourselves into when we first drove down, but I think both Will and I were happy to be able to lend our hands to help with the earliest efforts of cleanup and rebuilding.
But let me go back to the part where I last left off… Basically the very beginning of the summer. The beginning of my descent into the black hole that is Fire Island. I have used that analogy quite a bit over the past few months, and it is something I don’t think I’m necessarily proud of, but it is something that I did and do feel. I did have an absolutely lovely summer, thank you for asking. Spent with family, friends, and the amazing community that is Ocean Beach. I was also the Assistant Chief of the lifeguard crew, which was certainly an experience to be had, one that I don’t think I will do again, simply because I don’t feel comfortable submitting yet another 3 month block of time to the great chronological abyss of the barrier island. I have some ideas of working part time next summer, whether that is just weekends or Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, but those details are still to be determined. I will say I did learn a TON from being assistant chief, and it truly gave me a new perspective on leadership within organizations, and, in a significant way, brought a lot of new ideas about the future of Dunsel’s to the surface. The opportunity cost of a black hole is - well it is hard to calculate. The unfortunate part about working full time as a lifeguard (It really is the only unfortunate part) is that doing so is very demanding. The energy and mental stamina required of the job soaks up a lot of your (my) ability to get other work done. In the early summer it isn’t so bad since the routines are still fresh and the excitement is still high. However, by about mid-August, everything feels sluggish. Pair that in with missing weekends for this reason or that reason, making up missing hours for those reasons, and then you’ve got a recipe for 14 days in a row, with little time to reset. Now the paycheck at the end of that isn’t the worst by any stretch - and if you’ve been around these parts for a while, you’ll know that lifeguarding has been a very effective way for me to support myself as I travel along this entrepreneurial journey. The consequences of this are known only to some extent, but the new connections, chance to reflect, and opportunity to have an insufficient, but reliable stream of supplemental income have been worth it in my book.
So that was June to September summed up. Will and I are both back in Tallahassee which has been great. We are both now full time entrepreneurs as Will has finished the Masters program in the Jim Moran College. Other exciting news is we have grown our team by one! Natalie, our newly crowned “Community Manager”, started as an intern for us this summer doing mainly social media planning and content creation. Since then she has shown the entrepreneurial spirit needed to survive in this environment. Not only just survive, but grow too. She is working closely with Will and I to design the strategy, direction, and future of the brand. She is excellent at working her network and connections to her and our advantage, and has already been the root of a massive, potentially game changing opportunity for us. I will elaborate on that as the cards unfold…
You also may have seen on our instagram, that we have just opened up a Yacht Club. Well a virtual one that is… The Dunsel’s Yacht Club is an effort to increase our impact across the sailing community by recovering more sails than ever before, and aiding collegiate teams in the process. I forget if I had mentioned it earlier this year on the Founders’ Log, but the gist of it is that we are creating a channel for other clubs to fundraise, get solid team gear, and clean up their (and their community’s) outflows of waste. Much like how Dunsel’s began if you remember. When Will and I started this was a fundraising effort for the FSU Sailing Club. It wound up working so well that we decided to run with it as a business venture. Now this very same concept is available to any and all collegiate sailing teams in the South Atlantic (SAISA) conference. We are still experimenting with certain aspects of the program, but we already have gotten 3 clubs signed up, a significant amount of sails recovered, and some more clubs in line to join.
I won’t say it explicitly since it isn’t completely set in stone, but we may be attending a certain conference championship in the very near future to continue to spread the good word, and support college sailing in every way we can. Again, this information will be shared in time.
Last but not least, a little early holiday update. Despite the fairly limited use of email in recent months, we will be reengaging this channel once again. For starters, you may have navigated to this log by the email update I will send out shortly after finishing. You also may be expecting a gift from us as thank you for your continued support of us over these past 2 YEARS. It is insane for me to think that Dunsel’s has existed and grown as much as it has, and we want to give back to those of you who have been with us for so long. So, keep an eye on your emails! I typically sign the emails as ‘Jon from Dunsel’s’ so if you aren’t sure if the emails are going through, you can always search that phrase in your inbox to double check. You might be sitting on a few discount codes, exclusive releases, and more. If you have yet to receive emails from us, you might want to consider signing up by entering your email in the form below this blog.
It's not so easy to write up about roughly 3 months, and it's even harder to reread it and think, well that seems like not so much... There has been so much planning, development, and new direction the business has taken on that it continues to feel like a new business on a weekly basis. I probably sound like a broken record with how many times that has come up, but it's the truth. Will and I are booked for the next weekends through Christmas. We will both be traveling to attend different holiday markets across Florida, Georgia, and beyond. (You can view our market schedule on our Instagram page)
Thank you again for reading, listening, liking, and sharing our mission! We could not do it without you.