It’s been almost 5 years working on Tide & Country. We have done a little bit of this and a little of that. Needless to say, we are masters (at least amateurs) of all things. Even though Tide & Country has just hit its’ stride the story goes back to December 2015…
When it all began
Back in December of 2015, I, Mackenzie, was in college in Savannah, GA attending what used to be Armstrong State University (now Georgia Southern University) working on a degree in Business Economics. I was searching for my purpose in life and contemplating all things of my future; where to live, what career, what lifestyle, what boyfriend/husband (thank goodness I didn’t end up with that one…dodged a bullet). Mind you I was full swing into my Senior year of college and part of a Sorority and also working for my dad which was hard enough.
Everyone assumes when a child works for their parent that they have it so easy. Well, I am here to tell you that those people are wrong wrong wrong! Working for my dad was tough. He expected more out of me, and he didn’t let things go as easily as he did with his other employees. I was held responsible for a lot. But it taught me the value of hard work and determination. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to quit or was threatened that I was going to be fired. Like I said, I didn’t have it easy. I learned later on that he was making me tough and grooming me for what was to come after I walked across that graduation stage…REAL LIFE. So, to all of those people out there working for your parent, I feel you and good luck. And to those potential employers that underestimate the candidates that have a family business on their resume, you need to educate yourself more on just how tough they had it and dig deeper to understand the skills they learned from working for a family member. That in itself proves they can handle personal matters along with business.
To get back on track, I came to my dad with my struggles. I told him that I wanted to have my own business. Of course, he started off with how hard it is and how much of a sacrifice and blah blah blah. I didn’t want to hear it. I asked for his help after I told him about the idea I had, and he took the bait. I wanted to be the next Southern Tide or Spanx (Sara Blakely is my idol), but I wanted it to have my vibes. I liked to hunt and fish and loved the coastal rustic décor. So, I wanted to have all that together. I was still a girly girl at heart. I’d wake up even earlier to put on makeup before I went to sit in stand.
Knowing all that my dad said he wanted to help me grow the business. He seemed very interested. I think he liked that I was following in his footsteps of being an entrepreneur. We sat there at his office one night until at least 11pm trying to think of a name…because back then I thought that was the first step. We kept racking our brains trying to think what symbolized the costal rustic lifestyle and all of my favorite things in one. We ended up with Tide & Country. Tide being coastal or for the water and Country being the rustic side. I had the brilliant idea to make the & sign out of a hook, cotton bowl, and fishing line.
We did it
I was like, “my goodness, that is it!” I didn’t exactly say it that way because I was so excited that my sailor mouth came out, but I’ll keep it PG. We had something good. We designed a few t-shirts. Posted them to our website and BAM we were up and running.
This was the point I learned about Copyright and Trademark and how important it was. I was not about to let this million-dollar idea slip through my fingers. I did my own Copyright and set up an appointment with a Trademark attorney and made it happen, with the help of my dad, of course (I was still green).
To talk a little bit about my dad, he was born to be an engineer and work with his hands. He went back to school later in life to achieve his goal of having a degree. From his humble beginnings as an electrician, he now has 2 bachelor’s degrees, a masters, and a grad certificate. (You can go to our About page to learn about us and a few fun facts.) He was happy with his work, it is what he had always done, but he still wanted something more. He taught me to fish, and how to rewire a lamp, weld, design on the computer, braid my hair, how to study and further my education, and now how to build a business. I wouldn’t be where I am today without his love and determination to keep me on the right track. We argue about life and business because I like to do things the millennial way, and he is more old school; he is coming around, but we also laugh and pick on each other which is really what makes this special. It how we have such great YouTube videos because the bloopers are hysterical!
Never thought this would happen
If you were to tell me when I was younger that I would have my own business (a coastal rustic lifestyle brand), and I would be working with my dad, I would have laughed and said there is no way. I wanted to be a doctor or businesswoman working for a Fortune 500 company, but this is way better. The freedom to do what we love and bring that to our supporters (you all) is what makes me happy. I love the limelight (lights, camera, action!) and being able to tell my truth and help others along the way.
Where we are now
With Tide & Country I am able to make such great content through our blog and videos. I talk about products that I love and ones that help me live the Tide & Country lifestyle, no matter where I am at. We “Live It Everywhere.” I handmake soap that is to die for and candles that make you want to eat them or at least make you feel like you are experiencing wherever that scent takes you. I bring you funny videos about lifestyle products (fishing equipment, clothing, tech, hunting gear, home and office) that encompass Tide & Country and helpful blog posts about different aspects of the lifestyle that I think everyone would love. I wear the t-shirts and the hats almost every day and support environmental initiatives to preserve our water and land for future generations. I am Tide & Country, and I want you to be it too.