57 - Jake Danehy, Fair Harbor

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This is a podcast episode titled, 57 - Jake Danehy, Fair Harbor. The summary for this episode is: <p>In Episode 57 of Earned, we sit down with Jake Danehy, co-founder and CEO of sustainable beachwear brand Fair Harbor. To start the episode, we dive into how Jake and his sister/co-founder Caroline conceived the idea for Fair Harbor—named after their hometown on Fire Island—while in college, after learning about how plastic bottles can be converted into yarn. We learn how the brand generated the majority of its early revenue from trunk shows, and how consumer insights from these events inspired Fair Harbor’s anti-chafe, meshless lining for its hero boardshorts (made almost entirely of upcycled plastic). Jake reveals how the clothing brand has seen unexpected advertising success from radio,TV, and even beachfront plane banners, before explaining why it was important for Fair Harbor to become a B Corp. We hear why Jake’s sister Caroline was the perfect co-founder, and Jake shares why he believes the two are the right pair to move the brand closer to their ultimate goal: becoming the next iconic American heritage brand.</p>

Conor Begley: I'm so glad I met Jake earlier this year. And as you can tell, I'm a big fanboy of his brand Fair Harbor, and they've been growing like a weed, north of$ 50 million in revenue now. In this episode, you'll learn about all the quirky growth hack techniques he had, whether it was putting massive banners on airplanes across the coasts of Florida and California, a Kickstarter campaign that raised, I don't know, hundreds of thousands of dollars, and then... Or is radio ads, which who does radio anymore? It's working for him. Remember, if you enjoyed the show today guys, make sure that you leave a review, that's what our team wants these days, we'd really appreciate it. Thanks and enjoy the show.

Speaker 2: Explore the minds and marketing strategies behind today's winning brands and businesses. Tap into the power of the creator economy with Earned by CreatorIQ. Here's Conor Begley.

Conor Begley: Hi, everyone, welcome to Earned. Today I've got Jake Danehy on the show today. Welcome to the show, Jake.

Jake Danehy: Oh, Conor, great to be here. Thanks for having me, I appreciate it.

Conor Begley: And before I get too much into Jake, I have to show just how much of a fanboy I am of his brand Fair Harbor. I've got a Fair Harbor hat, he has sent me a Fair Harbor Hawaiian shirt, my own, and I've also got Fair Harbor shorts on that you can't see underneath the camera as well. I'm decked out right now.

Jake Danehy: I love it. Thanks for the support, appreciate it.

Conor Begley: I met Jake at a round table with other brand founder CEOs in New York. And for background on Jake. So Jake is the founder or co- founder of Fair Harbor, which is a brand that he founded with his sister, Caroline Danehy back when they were both still in college, which is... You guys are much more ambitious than I was in college. Also, you guys are both Forbes 30 Under 30, EY Entrepreneur of the Year on your side, as well as CEO on your side, and your sister's creative director. Or chief creative officer. Congratulations on all the success you've had so early in life.

Jake Danehy: No. Thank you very much, I appreciate it.

Conor Begley: So let's go back to the beginning. I really do want to start with this college thing. What was it that made you decide Bud Light and beer pong wasn't the thing, and founding a company was the thing?

Jake Danehy: It's funny. We had Keystone Lights at Colgate so I had my fair share. It's one of those things that actually, it started a lot earlier than that. I grew up going to this place called Fair Harbor on Fire Island, and basically grew up surfing, and fishing, and everything like that there. Because Fire Island is a glorified sandbar, the Island's about 27 miles long but only about 100 yards wide and so any plastic waste that wasn't disposed of correctly went to the waterways. And I love surfing, and fishing, and everything like that. Ultimately that time in my life really resonated with me. It's those amazing memories that we had with our family back in the day. In college, I went in with expectation of being an economics major. I played lacrosse as well. And I probably would've gone to finance or real estate or something like that which a lot of my peers did and my dad did. He went to Colgate, and he was an economics major and ended up going into real estate. Saw that path in front of me, but I honestly hated economics. I was fine at it, but it just didn't really excite me. I remember I was in Intereconomics I'm like"All right, this is not for me." I ended up taking geography classes. Geography's not just studying maps it's about global ocean currents, climatology, how microeconomic sectors work together. And then on a macro scale, how societies evolve. It was a super interesting liberal arts degree. But a huge piece of that was environmental studies and how humans impact the environment. And the big thing that we learned about was the global ocean... Great Pacific Garbage Patch. And this is back in 2013 that we started learning about it. And man, I just really thought back to my childhoods in Fair Harbor and Fire Island and ultimately wanted to do something about it. Ultimately ended up writing a thesis on plastic waste and the fact that it affects our health and our ecosystem. And in doing so found a mill that was converting plastic bottles into a yarn. At the same time, my sister Caroline had always been super into a fashion, and actually the resident tree hugger of the family so her bar mitzvah theme was actually sustainability. Where mine was ice hockey and lacrosse, hers was about sustainability, and all her furniture was made out of recycled magazines. So basically she was the perfect co- founder for me and turned inaudible about this problem. And so that's when we started.

Conor Begley: Was that something that came from your parents or was that something that you guys both independently latched onto as a concept? Sustainability generally, right? You a little bit later her a little bit earlier.

Jake Danehy: I don't think it came from our parents. Our parents always loved being outside and doing things, but they were never really sustainability- focused. I think it was really Caroline at an early age. And then for me just wanted to protect our environment and the places that we really enjoyed.

Conor Begley: I was just reading about some of the work they're doing on the Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch, and it's pretty cool some of the stuff that they're doing out there right now, some of the automated drone technology they're using to collect it. It's cool. It's cool to see people band together around a common initiative. You were ahead of your time. That was nine years ago, 10 years ago that you're were inaudible.

Jake Danehy: It's been great to see the progress that's being made, but still, a lot more that needs to be done.

Conor Begley: Okay, so you decide to do this, right? So this is what we want to do. There's somebody creating yarn out of plastic bottles, we want create this brand. Because I think your sister was probably what 19 when you guys decided to do this. What were the next steps? I mean, even today, it'd take me a minute to figure out how to start my own apparel brand.

Jake Danehy: So she was a senior in high school, I was a junior in college at this point, and we had... Because I was a geography major, I had no real business experience. My dad was in real estate and didn't really know the first thing about starting an apparel company. But we had this program at Colgate called Thought into Action. And so what they did is they basically paired up aspiring student entrepreneurs with actually a real- life alumni entrepreneurs. And we'd meet once a quarter, talk through our problems, and they'd really help us figure it out. They helped us incorporate the business. Basically, I ended up finding a consultant who helped us with production. The biggest thing was when I was a junior we had the opportunity to pitch out a mock shark tank competition. So the university brought in Jessica Alba, MC Hammer, Neil Blumenthal from Warby Parker, Jennifer Hyman from Rent the Runway, and then ended up talking to the university, and then four students had the opportunity to pitch in front of them for funding. We ended up winning$ 20,000 in grant money to start the business, and so that helped with the first production run and we made... We had one board short, five different colors, 100 of each, and that was how we started the business.

Conor Begley: That's cool. What was it about the board short that you were actually able to sell? How did you actually take the first 500 and go out and sell it? inaudible.

Jake Danehy: Again, I just boot- strapped it. After I finished the semester, just threw them in the back of my car with a plastic table, and drove out to different beach towns, and set up in parks and really spoke to... Talked to anyone and everyone that would hear our story. Learned just how to sell and that rejection was okay, and you just had to sell better the next time.

Conor Begley: I mean, they say the most common path to being a CEO is sales, right? I think ultimately what it's about is it's about communication, it's about talking to people, it's about understanding their perspective, et cetera. That's awesome. And being rejected and failing, right, but not letting that shatter your confidence. Very cool. One of the things that really stood out to me... Not to skip ahead too much. Obviously, you've seen a lot of success. I should've mentioned it earlier, but the last time we talked I think you were north of$ 50 million of net sales which is really impressive. Congrats on that. One of the more interesting soundbites was around this unexpected consumer insight you had around your shorts and then how you actually leaned into that, right, and how that was a big driver. So talk to me about that a little bit, specifically around the board short.

Jake Danehy: Definitely. We started the business with board shorts. Which I'm a surfer, I love board shorts, I've grown up in board shorts. And board shorts have a fixed waistband and they have nothing in them from a lining perspective. I think I learned firsthand how important it was to listen to customers. And these trunk shows were incredibly imperative to do that because in the first three years we'd done over 500 trunk shows. That was our really only source of revenue. We had an e- commerce site, but we weren't spending any marketing on it so no one knew who we were, any way to find out about us. Really this was our lifeblood was going to these different places and pitching our product. A common theme that I kept hearing was... Particularly from women were saying," My husband and my kids absolutely hate mesh lining, I don't even know why it exists. It's ruined vacations. I have to cut it out, it's so wasteful. It makes my kids really unhappy." And I'm like" All right." I never set out to solve the mesh lining issue, but I just kept hearing this over and over again. And so what we ended up doing was making a swim trunk elastic waistband with a built- in boxer brief liner that we marketed as not your dad's swim short. Anti- chafe, fight the chafe. It just took off for us. And it was an incredibly amazing insight to learn early on because just listen to the customer, hear what problems they're having and how you can provide a solution that you can understand the matter of seconds. And so that's really the number one learning for us when we started was just to continue listening, and this weird insight of fighting the chafe and replacing mesh lining with a super self- built- in boxer brief liner.

Conor Begley: And I think it's a great combination of, obviously, the brand as a mission- driven brand when it comes to sustainability, but I think that you also have some very unique utility built into the actual product itself, right, based on a consumer need. I think sometimes people can get caught up in just the mission part of it, right, which is important, right? I think that people really connect with that, it's a story they remember and it makes them feel better about being a part of this community. People also buy Patagonia stuff because it's just really good clothes, right? It's just really sturdy and well built, and well designed, and et cetera. The other thing that I thought was really interesting that we spoke about... I'll recap it for people. We're at this round table and we're supposed to be talking about mostly direct- to- consumer advertising, right, which is... In everybody's mind it's influencers, Facebook ads, all these things. And then you came out of left field with" I don't know, man, radio is killing it for us." It's like radio, what is this 1957? What are we talking about here? And you're like" No, it's done really well for us." And I think it's even more surprising given that the nature of your products is very visual, and it's a very visual brand. What made you decide to test radio in the first place? And then, once you started testing it, just how does radio advertising work? I think most people that listen to this, including myself, never run a radio ad campaign. I just don't know how that functions.

Jake Danehy: I think it really stems from, how can you reach as many people as possible for the cheapest value possible. And radio's just an incredible way to do that. We're very close with the team over at UNTUCKit and they advertised on radio early on and saw success with it. And I think it's important too because it's, how can you get your point across in a matter of seconds to convert a customer? People's attention spans are so small these days and really helped us... Even learning from those early trunk shows, people were intrigued by us because of sustainability but it wasn't why they bought the product. They bought the product, to your point, because it was better, it had this attribute that made their life better. They didn't have screaming kids or whatever on the beach. So we advertise with Sirius XM. It was just able to tell our story at such a wide level at a pretty cheap CPM in terms of being able to... People driving their cars during the summer and just getting out there and just hammering our mission of what we're trying to do. And then we also partner with Howard Stern and Bobby Bones to help tell that story through their voices and just continue to hit people over the head with it. It was just a cheap way to reach lots and lots of people. And then we measured it from Howard. So after you purchase from us, we have a Howard survey and people actually fill it out more than they don't.

Conor Begley: That's pretty cool. That's a good way to capture it, right? It's fascinating. It makes a lot of sense that you heard this from UNTUCKit, I think it's a similar... There's a lot of utility, easy to describe utility in there in terms of the actual product. And it's like oh, yeah. I mean, that's a problem I've had for a really long time. Swim trunks suck, particularly the ones with the mesh liner. Cool. Well, let's talk about some of the other channels of acquisition, right. So I know you're just getting started in the influencer space so we can, I think, put that to the side. But at the same time, I think that, from what I understand, you're north of$ 50 million gross on your e- commerce site so, obviously, you've got both e-com and offline in terms of distribution channels. That's a lot of revenue to be driving through your e- com site. What are some of the tactics? And actually, I want you to talk about trunk shows after this too. You've figured out radio ads, those are working. We're stepping up our distribution. What were some of the tactics that you think led to getting north of$ 50 million gross on your website?

Jake Danehy: We've done a lot of different things and tried to be as diverse as possible. Of course, we do spend on the gorillas in the room in terms of Facebook and Google, which are a lot of our spend, if not a majority of our spend. So catalog has been a big channel for us, and so really leveraging catalog to tell much more visual stories, hit a lot of our existing customers, drive their LTV, as well as... We've been using it for prospecting, which has been productive for us. And we launched TV this year so we were doing linear TV, which actually has been very productive. And so radio. One of my favorites is airplane banners. So we fly airplane banners on beaches. Which is just perfect because you got such a captive audience in our ideal locations. People are sitting on the beach not really doing anything, and we fly airplane banners by them. We did California, on both coasts of Florida, up and down the east coast.

Conor Begley: In terms of an airplane banner, what's the cost of an airplane banner? I mean, there's got to be different levels, right? You get a little banner, you get the really big ones. What costs that?

Jake Danehy: Oh, we do the big boys.

Conor Begley: You go for the big boys.

Jake Danehy: We do. There's a bunch of different levels. You can do letters. So I don't know if you've seen letters go off of the tail. You can do letters plus a little image, you can do skywriting. It's the same cost for flying, the only difference is actually the printing of the banner. And so we're like all right, let's just invest in printing the banner, and then we'll fly it as many times as we possibly can.

Conor Begley: I love that. It's funny because I think the cost of the banner... Again, like you said, one- time cost, you can use it over and over again. The reality is, flight costs aren't that much, right, it's not comparatively at least. I love all the sneaky advertising techniques that you're testing out. The non- traditional not sneaky, but nontraditional. That's awesome.

Jake Danehy: And the faith in your conversational points, people talk about them and they built the word of mouth.

Conor Begley: Totally, totally. Okay. You recently announced that you are becoming a B Corp, right, a B Corporation. I'd love for you to talk about what's entailed in that process, right. What does that look? I've never talked to somebody about it, right. I actually don't know even though it's become a very popular topic and very popular concept, I've just never asked anybody about it. I'm not even sure if I've talked to somebody who was a B Corp founder. I'm sure I have but I just don't know, right. And so would love to understand what that process looks like. What's the rigor involved? What are the things that you have to do? And then separately, what was it that motivated you, right? Because this is something that theoretically is a cost to the business in terms of time, and effort, money, et cetera that you've got to make sure that everybody's on board with when you decide to do it. Talk me through that.

Jake Danehy: I guess multiple questions there.

Conor Begley: Sorry.

Jake Danehy: An intern of ours three years ago, at the end of her summer, suggested that we become a B Corp because we basically talk all about sustainability and building a better company. And she's like" Well, then you need to actually stand behind what you preach." And so I was like" All right, that makes a lot of sense. I appreciate you saying that to us." And so Sophie actually, she was a two- time intern and now she works for us full- time. It took us two and a half years to actually finish the process just because... And which I actually really appreciate because it's a pretty strenuous process. They really look under everything and you have to provide a lot, a lot of information. So the first thing you have to do is you have to convert from a C Corp to a public benefit corporation. As a C Corp, you're only fiduciary responsibility is to investors and providing profits to investors. Whereas as a public benefit corporation, you're also fiduciary responsibilities is for social and environmental good as opposed... So that was a big step. And then also, just making sure that we did everything by the book. For Fair Harbor, in particular, we had always had that sustainability and social conscience as the backbone of the business, and so we didn't really have to change anything we just had to go through all of the processes of providing the information, the proof that we actually do all of this stuff. And so it took over two and a half years, but I'm proud to announce that I think it was in May that we're officially named a B Corp.

Conor Begley: That's cool. What are examples of things that you have to meet in terms of standards to actually get that done? What's the strenuous part of it?

Jake Danehy: Fabric certifications, factory certifications. So all of our factories are WRAP certified, all of our fabrics are traceable, energy consumption. Our employee handbook, making sure that we're giving people ample vacation time, paternity policies, maternity policies. There's a lot of different things that we had to make sure that we had our T's crossed and our I's dotted to... That we are really living up to what their expectations are from a B Corp standpoint.

Conor Begley: That makes sense. Okay. Let's talk a little bit about a topic that you and I talked about recently, right? For Tribe, when we founded it, we both initially decided not to raise money, and when we needed the money we couldn't get it because we were figuring things out. And then we grew very, very quickly and had access to capital but really didn't raise a lot, right, so we would essentially boot- strap the business. And so when you had reached out it was like" Hey, I want to talk about this," right. And the topic is something that I think faces a lot of CEOs, brand founders, people in executive roles, is around this balance of growth versus profitability, right? If you hire an extra 10 sales people and you run an extra 50 airplane banner ads, right, you spend more money and you're less profitable but theoretically, you should grow faster, right? And this topic, in particular, I think comes up around when there are significant changes either in the business or in the macroeconomic environment, right? And so for you, I know this is a balance that you're thinking about, right? How much do I lean in one direction or the other? So I'd love for you to take the people that are listening in through your thinking on that. What was your process? What were some of the outcomes? And then I think in addition to that, obviously, you've added a large financial partner to the business fairly recently, right, so congratulations on that part. So how did you incorporate them into that thinking? What was their feelings and contributions?

Jake Danehy: So when we first started we had that initial grand money from Colgate, which allowed us to invest in our first line of production. And then basically went out and actually physically sold our products, made a little bit of money, and we're like" Okay, well let's"... Now we want to make another line. We ended up doing a Kickstarter campaign in December of 2015, which helped us fund our second line of production. And then-

Conor Begley: You have all the growth hacks, all the different growth hacks.

Jake Danehy: I've tried everything really. So we took that, sold that. I graduated college in 2016, did it full- time just myself working in my parents' basement. And then in 2017, we're like" All right, we've already done 500 trunk shows at this point, we can't clone ourselves so the only way to really grow is to focus on E- Comm, and that's a good way to amplify us." But always really viewed E- Comm as just another distribution channel as opposed to the end all be all. And so we raised about$ 500,000. And the objective was, how can we learn how to grow an E- Comm business? When I was raising that$ 500,000, we had an investor, this gentleman who I used to coach lacrosse for, I went and pitched him to invest to raise capital. And he's like" Jake, I don't want your cap, I don't want your equity." He's like" You need to learn how to run a fundamental business." Because he's like" If you just raise too much money right now, you won't learn how to actually build a business." And so he said," I won't buy your equity, but what I will do is I will help you finance your inventory because you need to learn how to turn inventory." And so he gave me a certain amount of money. He said," You can have this, buy your inventory, and you need to pay me back after you sell it." And so I went to sleep every night thinking about this gentleman, just in that I had to pay him back after the season. And because I had to do that and finance our inventory with debt financing as opposed to equity, I was just very cautious and scrappy in terms of how we actually sold the product. We turned inventory. So we did that from 2017 all the way until 2019 growing substantially year after year making sure that we made profits and that we were profitable on the first purchase. And so that was very fundamental for the business and how we were able to grow, and just learning good business fundamentals. That was really from day one valuing our dollars and valuing our money, and continuing to build that way.

Conor Begley: Have you read Shoe Dog?

Jake Danehy: I have. There's actually a couple copies behind me right now.

Conor Begley: For those that don't know, it's the book about Phil Knight and Nike.

Jake Danehy: My favorite books of all time.

Conor Begley: Wait, say that again.

Jake Danehy: I said it's one of my favorite books of all time.

Conor Begley: It's a great one. For those that don't know, right, so it's a book about Phil Knight. Is it an autobiography or a biography?

Jake Danehy: He wrote it so I believe that's autobiography.

Conor Begley: He wrote it. It just reminded me so much of during his early days... This was pre- venture capital, pre- access to high- risk capital. He would sell every shoe he had and then use every dollar he had left from those shoes to buy the next round and just kept doing that over and over again. It was a crazy time. Just the rate at which his business was growing and the fact that he couldn't get access to capital was wild, right, but I think it ended up making him a better business person. Another topic I think is really interesting when I look at your business is, obviously, the relationship between you and your sister, right? I'm not sure if you've read it, but the Founder's Dilemma by Noam Wasserman. Have you read that book before?

Jake Danehy: I haven't, no.

Conor Begley: Okay. It's a really good one, right? What he did was he studied, it was 10, 000 different high- growth businesses. Oops. Studied 10,000 different high- growth businesses and looked at them every year for 10 years in a row, right. And then what he did was looked at the founding relationship, so what was the preexisting relationship to the founders when they created the brand? And then tried to figure out what predicted success. And so it's like okay, it's better to have two founders than four than one, right, because two there's enough equity to go around versus four it's a little bit to split up. One of the things he looked at was what is... How did the founders know each other, right? And it showed a ranking of success, right. So the best was co- workers so your former coworker's highest prediction of success. Then was friends, then was random acquaintances, then was family, right, so family was fourth out of that list. What he pinned it down to was, when you go into business with a family member, you have a preexisting relationship that you're trying to protect that makes it very hard to give the other person critical feedback. It's the same thing to a lesser degree with a friend, right, where there's a preexisting relationship you have with that friend that you don't want to harm, right, by giving them critical feedback. So I'd love to hear about how you and your sister have worked together because, obviously, you're coming up on quite a few years of working together now and it seems to be going really well. So what's the rhythm that you've found that works well in terms of you guys being able to work together even when times aren't ideal? I'd love for you to talk about that a little bit.

Jake Danehy: I need to read that book, that sounds super interesting. So I've worked with friends, I've worked with siblings, and I've worked with actually random acquaintances in terms of our entire founding process. By far and away, working with Caroline has been the best relationship out of those. And I think what we realized at a really early stage was, number one we respect each other tremendously, and then we also have differing skill sets. And because of that, that has really allowed us to be great business partners. I really trust her through and through from a creative standpoint, from a photography standpoint, from a copy standpoint, she's just really, really good at that. And she trusts me from a production standpoint, from an E- Comm standpoint, from a sales standpoint. We really I think compliment each other well. Where it hasn't worked in the past is when we've had equals that have similar skill sets, and that's where really I've seen heads start to bump. But because Caroline and I don't have the same things that we're good at and focused on, we really trust each other to do those things well.

Conor Begley: Well, and it sounds like there's a mutual respect for what the other person does and the fact that they're actually good at that job, right?

Jake Danehy: Definitely.

Conor Begley: Okay. So last question and then we'll get into some fun end- of- show questions. One of the other topics we've talked about is the decision around being CEO, right? I think it's fairly common for younger CEOs when you do see this meteoric rise early on, to hand off the reigns, right? Whether it's Ben at Gymshark, or the co- founders of Google, or whatever it is, right. I know that's something that you've thought a lot about, right? And I think you're doing a great job as CEO and want to continue doing that, right, so, which makes sense. How do you think about that decision moving forward? And what were some of your thought processes prior to that in previous stages of the business?

Jake Danehy: Caroline and I have a tremendous vision for where we want the business to go. And I think at the current point it's still putting a lot of those puzzle pieces in place in terms of the right people involved from a creative standpoint, from a product standpoint, from an operation standpoint, and making sure that our vision is really at the core of what we're building. I believe that I'm the right person at the moment to really bring those people together and move it forward. I'm not opposed to the conversation down the line if there is someone that's better than me from an operational standpoint, but the current moment in terms of where we're going and in the products that we're building, I'm a true merchant in terms of production, and product, and making sure that we have the right product. And so being in that role I think is important, at least for the time being. There will be different levers of growth that we want to unlock and I might not be the right person to do that. But for the current time, I think between me and Caroline at the helm are the right people for our business.

Conor Begley: That makes sense. What is the big vision? So you say we have a vision for where we to take it. What is that, if you feel comfortable talking about it?

Jake Danehy: Of course. We want to be the next iconic American heritage brand. We want to be with our customers 365 days a year. We want to build better products and have a stronger relationship with our customers than I think incumbent brands do. I do want our brand to consistently have a soul. It's really from a lot of different customer touchpoints from retail is a strong initiative of ours. Wholesale continuing to build that out as well as really optimizing our E- Comm business. Women's, we've had a really strong start with and we're excited about expanding that further and continuing down that path, as well as kids has been awesome for us. Really building a great wholesome family brand for every member of the family is what our true vision is. And doing it the right way sustainably and with great products.

Conor Begley: You mentioned kids earlier. I think that you're certainly reaching the parental audience on radio I can tell you that much though. That's good.

Jake Danehy: Kids that at least don't have access to their credit cards yet so we need to get the moms.

Conor Begley: I remember a brand I talked to that was definitely for kids, right. Their biggest problem was that they had a lot of YouTube content and they had a huge drop- off right at checkout because kids didn't have a credit card, right? They would come in want to buy it just not have a credit card or not have their parents' credit card. Awesome. Okay. Well, let's do one fun end- of- show question. You said that you used to surf, be outdoors, do all those things. Are you still, as the CEO of a very fast- growing brand, able to take time out, or is it something that's gone by the wayside?

Jake Danehy: Man. I wish I could say I surf a lot. So three years ago... Actually, it's four years ago at this point, I got 82 days in New York and that's a lot, but that was literally just me working by myself and my sister was still in college and so I was living at my parents' house and I had access to a car and I would just drive out before work most mornings. It's been more challenging to do that now so I haven't been... There's just a couple more moving parts. But I'm looking forward to getting back in the water soon.

Conor Begley: That's the Let My People Go Surfing, right? Is it Yvon Chouinard, is that his name?

Jake Danehy: That's another one of my favorite reads.

Conor Begley: No, that's a good one, it's a good one. Well, I really appreciate you taking out the time, Jake, and thank you so much again for the great gear on my side, both stuff that I purchased and stuff that you sent to me. I'm excited to continue to watch the success. And stay in touch as you guys build this next great American heritage brand, it should be exciting.

Jake Danehy: Well, thanks for having me, Conor, I really appreciate it. I'm glad you like the gear.

Conor Begley: Awesome. Thanks, Jake.

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In Episode 57 of Earned, we sit down with Jake Danehy, co-founder and CEO of sustainable beachwear brand Fair Harbor. To start the episode, we dive into how Jake and his sister/co-founder Caroline conceived the idea for Fair Harbor—named after their hometown on Fire Island—while in college, after learning about how plastic bottles can be converted into yarn. We learn how the brand generated the majority of its early revenue from trunk shows, and how consumer insights from these events inspired Fair Harbor’s anti-chafe, meshless lining for its hero boardshorts (made almost entirely of upcycled plastic). Jake reveals how the clothing brand has seen unexpected advertising success from radio,TV, and even beachfront plane banners, before explaining why it was important for Fair Harbor to become a B Corp. We hear why Jake’s sister Caroline was the perfect co-founder, and Jake shares why he believes the two are the right pair to move the brand closer to their ultimate goal: becoming the next iconic American heritage brand.