Yowza! I can’t believe it’s already been two weeks since I shared the first post about the AMAZING weekend we had in Wilmington, NC on the weekend of their inaugural boat show in September. (Where is the time going?!) As the days are getting shorter and as Patriyachtic keeps sailing forward, in my head, I keep going back to that crazy and hectic but motivating and inspiring weekend. People, it was SO GOOD to hear how enthusiastic folks are about Patriyachtic!
Last post, I recalled how we rolled into Wilmington on Friday night, met our great new BFFs who donned Patriyachtic caps and tees and gave us a “thumbs up” on the whole concept of "a brand for people who love boats and who love America.” After we parted ways with Jeff, Debra, James, and Neil, we headed over to The Reel Cafe, a cool restaurant with a terrific patio and all-around great vibe at the corner of Front and Dock Streets. Snagging three plates loaded with fresh local seafood (and getting a really cute waiter to boot), Veronica and Patti and I brainstormed about our approach for Saturday’s boat show “infiltration.” Launching Patriyachtic on a budget, we were trying to figure out how to showcase our clothing, gifts, and gear at the boat show -- without actually having a booth there!
We weren’t long into that conversation when the cutest bunch of UNCW students rolled in to the Reel Cafe. We figured they’d make a great group of models – so we chatted them up and had a plenty of laughs getting to know two of the ring leaders: Justin Spence (SaltyCaptain3 on Instagram) and Hunter Whitson. They were ALL about Patriyachtic, and we loved that the first thing these fellas asked was “Is it 100% made in America?!” Hell, yeah, it’s 100% made in America! (And how reassuring to meet young Americans who “get” the importance and value of Made in America!) These two lively students and salt water sportsmen kept us entertained -- and did everything they could to wrangle the Patriyachtic beer koozies out of our hands. No dice, though – because we had such a small inventory, we had to use the koozies for our photo shoot the next day!
When we were full of great food, happy to have made some more new Wilmington friends, and tired from a LONG day of getting sh*t done, we called it a night and headed back to our Dennis Hopper-famed crash pad, which we realized was just one floor below Level 5, the nightclub we’d visited earlier in the evening. As the music from Level 5 pumped above our heads and I faded off to sleep, dreaming of all that Patriyachtic can become, the “ding” of an Instagram alert startled me from my dozing. ‘Twas none other than our fun UNCW pal, Justin, sharing a picture of himself late night, victoriously holding a Patriyachtic koozie high in the air! "Wait, what?! We didn’t give that to him!!"
I suddenly recalled: wiped out from the eventful day, I’d paid our bill at the bar, setting down my almost-empty beer and signing the tab. I’d thanked the bartender profusely for treating us so right and then given our cute waiter a high five as we headed out the door. In the hullabaloo of departing and saying our farewells, evidently, I’d left the koozie on the bar -- and the ever-vigilant Justin spied it and claimed it for his own. Those sly UNCW kids! Well played, Salty Captain! We’re glad to see our gear found a perfect home with you – someone who clearly loves boats and who loves America! Looking forward to seeing more snaps of you and Patriyachtic gear on Instagram soon!
All in all, Wilmington was one surprise after the other – including hopping on one of the best flat-bottomed, coastal-angling boats on the market for a terrific booze cruise up the Cape Fear River. Such a pretty place for a boat ride and a boat show! We'll definitely be back for next year's show!
As for right now, we’re busy getting orders filled and making plans for Patriyachtic to drop anchor permanently in Morehead City, NC. There's plenty of packing to do and logistics to resolve -- but we're excited about our move! We’re also enjoying the crisp fall weather and thinking back fondly on the fun we’ve had this summer with Patriyachtic. Hope you’re having a great fall too, and we're looking forward to staying connected with you and our other Patriyachtic fans as the days get shorter and the temperatures drop!
Patriotically, nautically yours,
PS Would you like to have your own Patriyachtic koozie? It’s super easy! Three quick steps:
1) Sign up for our e-newsletter (and get more cool stuff!) here.
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3) Follow us on Instagram here.