If they were having a Walter Matthau lookalike contest at the L station, maybe I would go down there.
These events seem finally, irredeemably, adult. But take heart: I think, given the year we have all had—all of us, the whole country--it would be a good time for those of us who are able to step back and thank God we are all lucky enough to still be here in our chairs, with jobs and the chance to fight again tomorrow. There were many times and many dark nights since 2003 when I simply could not visualize how we were going to continue in business…but we did. It would make a highly entertaining book, or essay in a group of them about people who’ve started businesses and then can’t believe what they’ve gotten themselves into. But once you’re in a crouching position, you have no choice but to run.
I had always hoped that a company like Maclaren would be the one to buy us. I admired them even when I didn’t know anything about anything in Baby--and as significantly, I admired their SUCCESS. For me, being bought by Maclaren is like a financial company being bought by Warren Buffett: added to the price, there is the imprimatur of the most respected guys out there recognizing what YOU have done and perceiving value in it. And that has no price. I’m not sure how many real options there were for Netto to get married, but I cannot tell you how proud I am that we did to who we did.
Maclaren and Netto will do great things together. They have paid me the compliment of asking me to design for them—what I didn’t tell them was, I’d have paid them to let me do it. The prospect of doing what I have been doing for a company with their stature and ability to promote and distribute will be quite a difference from the last five years. Looking forward to that is a good feeling. If anybody ever told you what you’d be going through when you start a business, you either wouldn’t believe them, or you wouldn’t do it—I’m very lucky that it ended this way. Because now, we can really begin.
Appropriately, my beautiful wife Elizabeth bought me a motorcycle for my birthday, even though in contrast to appearances it was an impulse purchase and not planned to combat the conventional midlife crisis. I love this bike, even though I can’t ride it yet. It symbolizes all the possibilities of the future, all the places we will yet go.
I’ll ride it out to Williamsburg —with a helmet on, nobody can tell how old you are.
New York, 2009