THE DAY THE CURTAINS RAISED

February twelfth, the day the curtains raised and my existence on the stage that we call life began. I don’t know why I’ve always hated birthdays. Perhaps it stems from my parents tipping extra to the servers so they would sing happy birthday as loud as possible as I tried my absolute best to keep a smile on my mortified little face. When I analyze it and dig even deeper I realize that all of my birthdays have been depressing. I can’t say I know the root cause but I do know that I dreaded the day and now in my adult age I even neglect to tell anyone about this supposed joyous occasion. Then the craziest thing happened, I woke up on the anniversary of the day in which I was born and actually for the first time in a very long time, if ever, I enjoyed myself. I know this has a lot to do with all of the self-help and mental conditioning that I’ve been relentlessly working on over the past year and a half and a lot to do with the company that I keep but it was so nice to wake up surrounded by love and appreciation. Lately I’ve been counting everyday as a day of birth. A new day for new opportunities. I wake up in gratitude and in a better state of mind than I was in the day prior.  But on this day, the twelfth of February, I really loved enjoying the gifts that the universe has given me. Oh, and the homemade vegan pancakes didn’t hurt :)


Friends, I hope you all learn to love your life and appreciate who and what you have. This is our only go at this thing so make it count. 


-Danny


JUICE

I try to make it a point to go running Monday through Friday around 5am. I like starting my day with motion, fresh air and a clear mind to get the creativity flowing. I won’t lie, some days are harder than others and I’ve really been trying to trade in my horrible coffee addiction for a more healthier option. Preferably one that doesn’t serve me up some dehydration with a side of mid-day crash and as much as I love my old sponsor, Redbull, I just can’t go back down that rabbit hole. Cruising down the isles I happened to stumble upon Trader Joe’s cold pressed juice. I won’t lie, I’m not a health or juice expert by any means but I have had pressed juices from Erehwon, Whole Foods, Earthbar and Sunlife just to name a few. I can’t say they benefited anything other than my tastebuds and maybe it’s just me but for $10-$12  a juice you would think it would at least add a little pep in my step which is exactly what this green monster has been doing. I’ve been drinking it for about a month now and I’ve discovered two things; one, it lifts my mood when I’m feeling sluggish which has me down to a cup of coffee a day or sometimes none at all. And two, I’m not nearly as hungry throughout the day which means I might finally be able to wear a Speedo next summer (watchout ladies). Now comes the harsh honesty that I feel that I must divulge in order for this to be a non-bias “review”. When I first started drinking it, my initial reaction was to spit it out. The bitter aftertaste has a strong kick and just sort of lingers on the palette like an old damp sock that’s duct taped to your foot. You want to get it off but you can’t. This part passes though so just stick with it until the green little organic fairies start singing their sweet little symphony. And lastly, the price, you can purchase 1 quart of this green concoction for a whopping $5.99 at your local TJ. It’s no secret that as much as I love making money, I equally love saving it as well. So boom! There’s my take on it for those of you whom are like me and felt the need to part ways with your java bean love affair and are desperately seeking a new connection. 


-Danny


RICHARD PRINCE AT THE GAGOSIAN

A lot of people were texting me on Thursday night telling me that my photo of Roxy was hanging in the Gagosian Gallery at the much anticipated Richard Prince opening in Beverly Hills. I’ve known about him using my Instagram photo for a year or so and the question I’ve always battled with is, how do I feel about it? Am I mad? Do I think it’s cool that such a celebrated artist highjacked my image and reappropriated it as his own (and sells it for $50,000 a show)? I knew the only way I could finally be able to resolve this question was to come face to face with it and interpret my feelings in a physical setting. I walked in, turned to the right and was instantaneously confronted with the quandary that has poked at me since the day I found out about it. There it was, my photo, now claimed by another artist and hanging in one of the most prestigious galleries in the world. I stood there, analyzed it and the only thing that I could think about is when I took the actual photograph on my phone. I remember I was so upset about Instagram banning my account numerous times for uncensored content. In that moment I wanted to make peace with the fact that I will never win against a machine that has full control of how and what we post from a creative standpoint. It was me fighting a censorship that I knew I would never win. I posted the image and then the oddest thing began to happen. I started seeing so many other people censoring their photos with their fingers or in other creative ways which means this one post gave birth to a ton of images that didn’t exist prior. I wasn’t upset that people used it as inspiration. I thought it was amazing because that’s what art is, visualizing something, being inspired by it and then bringing it to life from your own viewpoint. As I walked away to go admire all of the other work I finally felt closure. Out of the billions of photo’s floating around on Instagram, Richard Prince took notice of one of mine. There was something there that spoke to him and he paid it the greatest compliment that another artist can give, he turned it into his own and then hung it on a white wall where it may have never been able to exist on without his influence. 


Everyone go check out the show running until March 21st.


-Danny


ON TO THE NEXT ONE

It was amazing to sellout of our sweatshirts on the day of the release but I forgot how crazy it is to pack and ship so many orders over a weekend. We spent a solid 48hrs folding, packing and making labels just to make sure everything heads out to you as soon as possible. As fun as it was, we’re already on to the next one. 


-Danny




WORKSHOP

It’s been over a year since we’ve released anything. To be completely honest, SS has always been a passion project. I would get a little idea and just want to see if I could make it, maybe even sell it. Then the gift and curse happened, things would sellout in a day, sometimes even less. Once money and outside voices start to saturate your motives, it’s almost guaranteed that your fire will begin to burn out. I felt like I didn’t have full control anymore which is why I knew I needed to take a break. It’s really funny because I get so many DM’s asking where I’ve been? We’ll get into that another time but long story short, for this new year I decided to completely start over and make sure we’re more hands on with everything we produce. Take it back to the humble beginning and DIY mindset that started this whole thing. It feels amazing to get back to a place again where it’s not about the money but purely about the magic of turning an idea into reality. 


-Danny


FOR THE LONG HAUL

When I was a kid my parents owned a trucking company. My dad would wake me up at 4am on days that I got to miss school and be his co-pilot. I would reluctantly roll my body off my Ninja Turtles sheets and wiggle down until my chubby little feet hit the cold floor. The aroma of brewing Foldgers coffee would fill the house as my mom packed our sandwiches in an old beat up plastic Igloo ice chest. She would pack my dad two sandwiches and pack me the same so I could be just like my hero. I was his little big boy and whatever she made for him she had to make for me. I would ask to hold the ice chest and metal Thermos but my underdeveloped arms didn’t have the wingspan for both. My dad laughed and handed me the metal capsule that looked like it could survive a nuke and put me in charge of his coffee. Now bundled in winter clothes and wrapped in my Transformers blanket and topped off with one of my dads old trucker hats that boasted his company logo, I was ready to hit the road. I can still remember him having to boost me up the metal ladder that leads to the cabin of the truck. It was as if I was climbing the steps that would lead me into a magical world. A place where it was just me and my dad and we were on a ship and if people below us on the land spoke our language by making an arm gesture, he would let me pull the chain that would release a roaring horn. My pudgy body finally made it to the top and as I opened the metal door a familiar scent instantly hit me. A true truckers favorite diffuser, a mixture of Armor All and diesel. I put my seat belt on with excitement because I knew this ship was finally about to sail. I yelled “all aboard!” as the engine turned and the glorious black smoke shot out of the polished stainless steel pipes. The ground would shake each time my dads tan suede work boot stepped on the gas until the clutch got pushed down and the grinding of first gear was slid into place. The road was about to be our voyage and the destination didn’t matter because everything through my curious eyes and those panoramic windows was vast and adventurous.  


SS©20 Trucker Caps will be hitting a truck stop near you. 


-Danny


PRODUCTIVE

Being productive is all about taking a ton of little insignificant steps that eventually lead you to the top of the mountain. No excuses, no putting it off until tomorrow and no waiting for someone to push you. It’s only you, your focus and your forward motion that can get you across the finish line. 


-Danny


IT’S BEEN TOO LONG

Damn, I feel like it has been a lifetime since I had a moment to sit down and post an entry on here. I guess that’s what happens when you decide to take a hiatus from your business ventures and join corporate America as you try to run a never-ending race with top industry leaders. In short, my life has been consumed with marketing meetings, sales quotas and confined within an office space that I feel like I don’t belong at. Don’t get me wrong, I love being surrounded with people who enjoy making money and excel under pressure but my spirit is just too large to be tethered to a workspace that is not my own. So, I am taking a leave and going to jump back into the driver seat of what truly makes me happy; creating through my own thoughts with my views set on my own agenda and the liberation to answer to no one.  I’ll still be working remotely because it would be silly to not take what has been offered but now I have time to spend with you again as well as work on a new project that I’ve been reluctant to release for nearly two years. Let’s face it, starting over from the bottom is a scary thought, especially when you have tasted the champagne at the top but it’s the fear and challenge that builds character. 


Perhaps we should also start this relationship over. Hi, my name is Danny and the last time we met I broke my promise when I told you I wouldn’t leave. Well, I guess all I can do now is show you through my actions that I’m here to stick it out. Through good days and bad.. I’ll be here. 


-Danny


Photos by LC © 2020