Next week I’ll be on a sailboat in the Caribbean, island hopping the British Virgin Islands on this sweet 45′ catamaran from Voyage Yacht Charters. It’ll be my 5th trip down, and I’m looking forward to visiting some favorite spots and discovering some new ones. And if the winds are right, we hope to sail to Anegada this time.

These trips are the best. They are the ultimate escape. Leaving the real world for life on a boat, temporarily, is healthy…I think.

And with these kinds of trips come the memories and feelings that you experience and never forget…along with the merchandise. Yes, we are all tourists purchasing something, anything, that’ll help us stay connected with that temporary feeling. I have a favorite t-shirt from Ivan’s Stress Free Bar (Jost Van Dyke). That t-shirt allows for a ‘permanent reminder of that temporary feeling’.

What’s the point of this rambling? Well…I’ve been going back-and-forth on this since I launched Snoloha…and I think a Snoloha store absolutely makes sense and has to happen.

It really has become much more clear to me why this needs to happen – feeling and vision.

Since launching Snoloha, I’ve relied on other retailers and the internet to ‘tell the story’. And both have done a very nice job, and I most certainly will continue with both channels. But in order to fully tell the story and to showcase the vision in my head, there needs to be a Snoloha branded store. But I don’t even like using that word ’store’…maybe I’ll steal from Hendrix and call it the “Snoloha Experience”.

I’ve not had the opportunity to create the Snoloha setting and the environment that’s in my head. Going back through early business plan renditions, one thing was very constant that I’ve lost sight of – creating a setting that when you walk in, you’re not sure if you are in a ski lodge or a tiki bar, but you know one thing…it makes you feel good, it puts a smile on your face and it makes you want to hold onto that feeling long after you walk out.

The internet, as great as it is, can never replace a physical experience (at least I hope not, or we’re in trouble). And my retailers, as great as they are, have other brands to merchandise and sell.

The connection that this brand has with people is more powerful than I could of ever imagined. It’s not fair to rely on just the internet and other stores to share it. I can’t go to Ivan’s website, or have an ice-cold ‘honors system’ Carib at a different beach beach bar, and get that same feeling.

Of course saying it’s time for a Snoloha store is one thing…next comes location and dinero.

A Snoloha t-shirt at Ivan’s…hangin’ on an old pair of Atomic skis. Yup…an old pair of snow skis at a beach bar in the Caribbean…gotta love it.

“I wish I was there tonight on Jost Van Dyke
Sipping on some Foxy’s Firewater rum
Or kickin’ back with Ivan
With all my friends down in the islands
Wouldn’t take much for me to up and run
To another life somewhere in the sun”
~ Kenny Chesney, “Somewhere in the Sun”