When you take up surfing, you learn pretty quickly what you’re comfortable with. If freezing temperatures and bone-crushing waves aren’t your idea of fun, then you take the smart route and only enter the ocean on your own terms.
Heidi Merrick grew up in a surf town. Her father is a renowned board maker, her mother ran a surf shop, and Merrick remains a surfer to this day. But early years spent in New York, London and Paris kindled a love of fashion equal to her love of the ocean, and when she paddled into the treacherous waters of the apparel industry, she took on only what she was interested in taking on. The result has been a solid niche in “quintessential California minimalism” and a balanced life of business and family, making her captain of her own ship—or rather rider of her own wave of success.
“A lot of my contemporaries have partners or husbands that run the brand,” said Merrick, “but I don’t. It’s just me, and I think it gives me a more measured approach where I count the costs before I do things. I say, ‘Is it worth my time and effort?’ I’ve kept the business in a place where I like to run it. I’ve been good about saying no, making sure I still love it and am designing for the right reasons.”