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Mother + Entrepreneur + Soul Searcher = Cheryl Lovelace

Cheryl surfing March 2014

Cheryl Lovelace is a successful business entrepreneur who has been searching for love and peace through her life as a wife and mother, surfer and independent woman.

Surf Mei Mei, Kelly, was introduced to Cheryl Lovelace when Kelly started surfing in New Jersey in 2013, where surfing is dominated by men.  Kelly went to a Cinco De Mayo party, hosted by Greenlight Surf Supply (a New Jersey’s surfboard shaping and supply shop), where Cheryl hosted the party with her husband Brian, the Manasquan shop owner, and their daughter, Mazzy.  Cheryl strikes me as an independent woman who has this beautiful grace about her, even though she was chasing Mazzy around during the party.  My friend told me that Cheryl might be one of the rare girls who surf in the cold and harsh Jersey winters like Kelly.  Beside her fearlessness, Cheryl is definitely someone Surf Mei Mei wants to interview: as the founder of a local design bamboo sock company, Footprint, she is a mother and an independent woman who followed her heart in order to have a truly balanced life style.

A year has gone by until I saw Cheryl again at Greenlight Surf Supply’s annual Cinco De Mayo party this year, and Surf Mei Mei finally had the chance to interview her.  This time, Greenlight Surf Supply has expanded into 3 different entities: Greenlight Surf Supply, The Stand Up Paddle Place (a paddle board supply and rental shop), and East Coast Surfboard Factory (a shape shop for local shapers and boards).  Cheryl, Brian and Mazzy recently returned from their winter surf trip as part of their annual getaway from the cold.

Brian, Mazzy and Cheryl Josiah's

How does Cheryl do it as a mother, wife, business owner and surfer?

“I am very lucky.”As we sit down with Cheryl during the party.  The entire time during our interview, she does not want to steal her husband’s limelight and keeps on saying “Brian (Cheryl’s husband) is one of the reasons why I can have it all!”

Originally from New York, but learned to surf in Maine, Cheryl Lovelace was a financial advisor for one of the largest financial corporations.  She was dating her then, engineer boyfriend, Brian, fell in love and joined him as part of the surfing crew.  I asked her how did she transition from working in a crazy urban life style to a quiet beach town?  She simply replied, “I learnt my life lesson.  Brian and I split up for 7 years because I was young, selfish and didn’t know my life’s priority. But I realized he was the one after an intensely vivid dream I had about us.”  This might sound surreal but she continues with a serious tone, “I had to show Brian how I have changed.”She knows she wants love and everything else will come.  Therefore, she had to set her priority straight, which included putting God first, quitting her corporate job and to truly love people around her.

Since then, Cheryl was on a mission to “leave a good impression” and started her green company, Footprint, with the help of her husband in 2007.  She chose socks as her merchandise because of her active lifestyle; she used bamboo as the exclusive material as one of the earliest pioneers (the use of bamboo in apparel started in early 2000s as part of sustainable movement, according to Beijing University).  Coming from an investment background, she had to learn everything: how to design, production, sales, distribution, legal, accounting and all aspects of the business all by herself.  As she calls herself, a “frugal entrepreneur,”she understood that she needed to utilize her own skills in order to keep initial costs down.

Footprint Booth at Marathon Expo

“I started footprint in 2007 while I still had my day job as a financial advisor, so I was able to build it up while still having a steady income stream until I could finally let go of the corporate world and just concentrate on footprint. It was scary to leave a “secure” job with good income and benefits…but my new idea of wealth is now my quality of life…working from home with a flexible schedule. My family gets to winter in the Caribbean and we live by a lovely beach in NJ. My business is online both retail and wholesale and I am not stuck in a brick and mortar shop. I am grateful for my former career experiences and how they have shaped me. The relationships I have made over the years are now customers of footprint too.”

Bamboo is a material that is not only super sustainable and comfortable, but is also able to achieve a stylish and trendy look. The fact that bamboo fibers are soft and silky against our skin, are more breathable than cotton, repels odors and are equipped with antibacterial properties, can improve the quality of your life by helping your feet stay fresh and healthy.  If you are an active hiker, climber, and/or just “go through”socks quickly, you will appreciate bamboo socks are less likely to get broken down due to its fine and intricate fibers, in comparison to cotton and polyester.  You might have seen her product somewhere as Cheryl does wholesale as well as retails to various merchants in U.S.A.  For more information, please go to http://www.footprintbamboo.com/

IMG_5077 When I chat with Cheryl this year, she looks healthy, beautiful and tanned from her recent trip to the West Indies.  Her business is on track, her daughter has grown cuter and taller, and her husband has just expanded the business.  She seems to have everything figured out, including her love for surfing as a major part of her life style.

How does she balance her life between being a mother, wife, business owner and surfer?

If you’re a surfer you understand how that made it into this category of priorities!  If the waves are up, you go surfing. Although I am not as free to just go surfing when I want post Mazzy, I probably am more so than people who work 9-5 jobs still.  My husband Brian goes into the surf shop at noon, so the mornings are my time to do things (either together or alone) like, surf, yoga, gym, church, ship orders, or work on footprint stuff. Noon on I am raising Mazzy who just turned 3!  We have great neighbors who will watch Mazzy for Brian and me to have date nights…plus every few months we’ll drop her off with his parents overnight and go see live music in Philly.  Since Brian’s schedule is also flexible, he can stay with Mazzy if I have an event to market at, but luckily a lot of my legwork was done prior to having Mazzy, and now internet marketing is effective to sustain the business.

wave seq 4

Cheryl Lovelace has her life figured out after she set her priorities straight and choose what she loves and is passionate about.


All images are originated by Surf Mei Mei & Cheryl Lovelace.
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3 thoughts on “Mother + Entrepreneur + Soul Searcher = Cheryl Lovelace

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