In honor of Father's Day, we thought it would be fun to get to know Eric, literally the very first #sakurabloomdad! So, we sat down with him to ask a few questions and see what he has cooking behind the scenes at Sakura Bloom!
Name: Eric Banach
My family includes: Lynne, Teja (10), Jai (8), and our dog, Luna (11)
I'm from: I grew up in western Massachusetts (Easthampton to be exact), spent about 10 years in Los Angeles after college, and as a family we've been on the move from Massachusetts, to Boulder, CO, and are now lucky enough to live in San Diego!
My role at Sakura Bloom is: I've got a pretty diverse role so deciding on my official title took some time -- Plant Waterer, Event Setter Upper, Last Minute Shipping Guy? It was a tough choice but in the end I went with Operations Director.
I spend 80% of my time at work ordering our textiles, making sure we always have a variety of slings in stock, keeping the shop running, handling accounting and insurance, etc. and 20% trying to read Lynne’s always dreaming, half-sentence speaking, creative mind!
The most common question that I get asked is: How is your wife as a boss? And the answer is: I would say that I definitely take my work home with me! ;)
My favorite sling is: back in the day, my go to sling was Licorice + Slate. My current favorite is probably Marin or Black Currant Chambray.
The project that I'm currently most excited about is: we always have some interesting projects in the cooker but right now I am getting pretty excited about some sourcing travel that we are planning. Adventuring as a family is the best, and being able to combine that with work -- it's pretty hard to beat.
What's the best thing about being a small business owner? I would say the flexibility it allows our family, along with the community it has built around us. Making our slings right in our home state and working with our network of brick and mortar boutiques has brought so many great, like-minded people into our lives. So, while the ability to spend time with my kids and Lynne, and to take our work on the road to travel as a family is pretty awesome, the people we have met and consider a part of our extended family really take it to the next level.
My favorite thing to do with the Sakura Bloom team is: Vegas! We have been exhibiting at the ABC Kids Expo for the last 9 years and it is always a good time. We make it a family affair, the kids get some real life work experience in the booth and my in-laws fly out to help with kids when they aren't hanging with us. This year we're going to really have a full house, our entire team will be along for the ride!
People might be surprised to learn this about me: I started taking skateboarding lessons last year so that I could skate with our son, Jai. One day he asked me why I couldn't skate with him like the other dads did at the skate park, and that hit me hard. Growing up in New England, I spent most of my time skiing, playing hockey or building snow forts, I wasn't really comfortable on a skateboard. So, I started taking secret lessons so I could surprise him. It took quite a few lessons (thanks, Neal) and a fractured wrist but I was able to successfully surprise him one day, and we've never looked back. I get out there with him every chance I get.
My top parenting tip is: don't drop them! Haha... just kidding! Probably just enjoy the ride!
Something that tops my bucket list is to: Thailand with the kids! Lynne and I did some traveling around Thailand pre-kids and we're really looking forward to taking Teja and Jai, it is such a beautiful country. We actually furnished our entire house when we were there, that's a crazy but funny story for another time!
Looks like you started out on the model track with Sakura Bloom, love these pics of you and Jai, circa 2008: Yeah, I'm not quite sure what happened there. My modeling days were short lived. One day I'm modeling and the next thing I know my head is chopped off on the packaging and I'm back to the mail room! I'll have to ask Lynne about that ;)
Thank you so much for sharing with us, Eric. We love you SO much!! Happy Father's Day!! XOXO
PS! A special message for you from the rest of our amazing team!
"Thank you Eric for keeping our slings in stock, our water fresh, handling the numbers and always being cool and calm during product launches! You're the voice of reason when we're dreaming up a staff trip to Bali and the best coconut cracker in town. Wishing you the best day!” - Cassiopeia, Courtney, and Liz