Growing up, my father and I would take long hikes in the forest near our home. He would blindfold me, lead me around in zig-zags and circles through the woods, then take my blindfold off and ask me, “Which direction is home?” He knew I loved exploring - so instead of forbidding me from doing it, he trained me never to feel lost. We would pick blackberries off the trail's edge and he taught me to identify different animal tracks and how fresh they were. It was a special time to me.
As a teenager, I began working for my father at his jewelry store. Describing what I did is pretty simple - I did whatever the hell my father asked me to. It was quite an education. I learned how to do simple repairs, managed our vendors, worked with customers, managed the team, and eventually how to run the entire store. You could say I was being groomed to take over the business in our small town in Indiana. Our lives were centered around the store but we’d still make time to get out into the wild together as often as we could.
At the age of 34, I had worked side-by-side with my father almost every day of my career, except for the three years I spent studying jewelry design at the Gemological Institute of America and working for a high-end designer in southern California. The jewelry business was all I knew at that time and I never could have imagined a life outside of it.
This would change in an instant.
In April of 2013 my father, who was incredibly healthy, was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer - it shook the foundation that my life was built on. And it would change my perspective on life and how I was going to live mine.
My father, Big Mike as I affectionately called him, was my mentor, business partner, and best friend. He had given me so much and now I felt helpless - like I had nothing to give when he needed it most.
As my father received treatments for his cancer in New York City, his doctors quietly recommended looking towards different types of cannabis to assist with the loss of appetite, tremors, anxiety, and sleepless nights that were ahead of us. Turning to me for help, we headed to Colorado to find answers. The products we found for him helped tremendously throughout his two-year battle and gave him comfort in his final days, but cancer finally got the better of him.
About a month before he passed away, we had a conversation where he said, “If you ever have the opportunity to get into the cannabis industry, I want you to go for it.” Remember, I had been groomed to take over our family business, the jewelry store he spent his life building, so this was an incredibly powerful statement. And at the time, I didn’t realize how much him saying that and giving his approval would eventually shape my life.
I realized what I had loved was working with my father - not the jewelry business itself. I didn't want to spend the rest of my life chasing my father’s passions. I needed to chase my own.
It wasn’t long before fate led me to be the point-person on building a CBD brand. It was like Big Mike tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Here’s your chance.”
I worked tirelessly on everything from developing and sourcing the products, the packaging design, to the marketing for the brand launch - and it was successful. In fact, it beat all of our expectations from day one. And because of that I was invited to move to California to become Director of Brand Development and General Manager of one of the leading CBD and Hemp manufacturing companies in the country.
It was in California where my understanding of hemp's health benefits, terpenes, and other natural ingredients really took off. I immediately felt that same passion I did as a young man working for my father and I knew he had helped lead me to where I was supposed to be.
Soon after, the idea for Radio was born and my passion for helping people, like I was able to help my father, was taken to new heights.
Mother nature sends us remarkable frequencies but it’s up to us to “turn on our radios” to receive them. I wanted to provide people with purposeful products from nature that would improve their lives to better pursue their passions like I do with fly fishing.
Being out in the water in some of the most remote and breathtaking places in the word takes me right back to being a kid with my father. The concentration and focus fly fishing needs to be successful takes my mind into a deep meditation where the rest of the world disappears and I become one with nature.
I hope that our products can help you overcome whatever ails you so that you may continue to pursue your own passions, whatever they may be.
Much love and good vibes,