“Meet The Beach Lifestyle Brand Cleaning Up The Earth, One Recycled Bottle T-Shirt At A Time” – Forbes

Yeah, I was that guy.

The sounds of Bob Marley, Michael Franti and Jimmy Buffett poured from my stereo speakers. Nameless exotic shores drifted across my desktop screensaver, as slowly as the seconds that ticked off the corporate clock.

The dress tie around my neck strangled me like an ever-tightening noose.

On casual Fridays, I sported a colorful tropical shirt – a loud if silent scream for help. I grew my blond hair out until prompting frowns from someone down in H.R. On weekends, my standard uniform consisted of cargo shorts, a faded old t-shirt, flip-flops and not much else. When I wasn't drinking a martini or some rum concoction, I threw back a cold Red Stripe or two (or three).

The beach permeated every fiber of my being.

There was only one problem: I lived in landlocked Birmingham, Alabama.

Why didn’t we move to the coast earlier? I still ask myself that question. Sure, we had four kids. And we had deep family and professional roots. But as far back as I can remember, my soul had always longed to live at the beach.

Finally one day, something just snapped. A couple of my businesses failed in rapid-fire secession, and I was depressed; demoralized. Not just about my floundering entrepreneurial endeavors, but about my life – slipping away before my very eyes. I remember reading a paraphrased quote by Henry David Thoreau:

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.”

What if this wasn't just poetic pontification? What if Thoreau's words were intended to be taken literally; a secret prescription for living a truly fulfilling and happy life?

Live the life you’ve imagined. I began to imagine my ideal existence. I imagined a small house at the beach, nothing fancy. Ideally on the water, with a dock. I wanted to be outside all day long, basking in warm summer sunshine. On the beach, on a boat, nestled up to a funky beach bar. I wanted to laugh all day with friends, beautiful both inside and out. I also imagined traveling often and traveling far, without the restraints of time.

Fortunately, I have a loving wife and supportive children who were willing to step off the ledge with me… to help imagine and create this new life for our family.

Without knowing a soul, we simply picked up and moved to a small town in Florida's panhandle called Santa Rosa Beach... which, coincidentally, hugs a two-lane, Gulf-front road named Scenic Highway 30-A.

Today, we enjoy that life I once imagined, and I truly believe it's because I went confidently in the direction of my dreams rather than letting my career or tradition dictate our family's path. Now I want to help other people imagine and create their ideal lives, while there's still time.

So, while our company name was inspired by a short and scenic drive near our home, 30A isn’t just a line on the map. It’s a lifestyle; an attitude. It’s that happy place we all dream of when we need to unwind, unplug and celebrate life.

Our 30A family's mission is simple: To share happy stories from the beach, in the hope that we can inspire others to live the life they've imagined.

We hope you ❤️ the beach as much as we do. If you do, you’ve found your tribe.

Mike Ragsdale is the Founder and CEO of 30A®, a beach lifestyle brand established in 2007 in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

The 30A Team, December 2017

PHOTO: Our 30A family, December 2017

About The 30A Company

30A® is an authentic lifestyle brand for everyone who loves the beach. We share environmentally friendly products and stories that celebrate our small-town coastal lifestyle and values. With over 1.3 million social media fans, 30A has global appeal and distribution across 220 outdoor outfitters, lifestyle boutiques, surf shops and retail chains, as well as 30A's own direct-to-consumer channels. 

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