If you just had a baby and you have a 5 year old at home and someone tells you that you have a rare form of bone cancer, what happens next?
Well, after an initial emotional earthquake, getting bones and major muscles removed (and not replaced), being infused with what doctor’s term “the highest level of chemo given to a human”, and being told if you survive you won’t be walking without assistance, you start to evaluate how you are living your life. You develop a mental checklist of what you will do differently when you get out of this mess.
My mind drifted towards many memories, but one in particular was unknowingly about to transform my life. I remembered a night full of fun with family/friends on the water. While joking around (which is typical for little old me), I started talking about how we were Fanatical about Nautical…then took one step further and conjured up the term FANAUTICAL (referring to us real aquatic fanatics). My husband had commented that the word was genius (of course, I agreed) and mentioned we should market it. Then, like millions of people with a great idea, life got in the way and we never pursued it any further.
As I was lying in bed watching the ceiling fan click by the precious moments I once took for granted, I thought, ”Hmm, as odd as it seems, this big “life inconvenience” is a gift. I thought of more things undone and about Fanautical and the free spirit, fun and liberation it represented and how the word meant the life I was determined to regain and rebuild.
I always liked to be in the middle of fun. I thought that the whole world must be having a blast and I was stuck in bed! I thought of a fish in the ocean watching everyone splash and play around him. One day this fish (I named him Louie) said the heck with this, I am pushing through these seemingly impossible boundaries and traveling with whoever is having the most fun! Talk about impossible, who would of thought a fish could travel with people. Everyone has challenges they need to overcome to find the fun in life again. This is what Fanautical's Louie represents.
Over the next two years, I tried desperately to scratch out of hell. I morphed into the new me, finally seeing freedom. I began to slowly piece together myself and started to defy the medical records. I began to teach myself to walk again, ride a bike even, and eventually skiing ended up getting checked off my list of fun things I WILL do again...Now the monumental physical hurdles were crossed, next, the mental gauntlet. I began to pursue my passion of this business that I dreamed of at life’s edge.
I began with an on-line apparel store. I created a brand with a love for life and pushing beyond the perceived limit. Drenched in bright colors, Louie was on (or traveled with) every piece of my “moor”chandise. In the spirit of whimsical fun, I played with quips and wit and a sarcastic fun fish that makes everyone smile. I pushed societal boundaries by saying that the names of apparel we are given to use are not questioned and they are ridiculous. So as a symbol, I decided to make up my own ridiculous names. Fanautical doesn’t have sweatshirts (we have Keep Warm Shirts), we don’t carry outerwear (we have Won’t Save Your Life Jackets), and you won’t find any hats on our shelves (we have Not Just White Caps)...I think you get “the drift”. How a”bow”t creating that business as a life saving device? Fanautical is just that.
Eventually, I got a call from the Kraft organization regarding locating at Patriot Place (adjacent to Gillette Stadium). They stated they had been looking for someone local with a creative idea over the last couple of years to help foster their business. How cute… that is me! Now the business has created a tidal wave of interest and there is no looking back, I am in too deep.
“Push Boundaries the world does not have a ceiling”.
Lots of Life, June
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