I'm so happy to introduce my second It Girl of the year, Erin Wilson, founder of A Salty Soul – a casual lifestyle & apparel brand for those who simply love the sea and are passionate about giving back.
Erin started off her career working in marketing at Bose Corporation. During her time there, she was mostly in the Boston-area and was lucky enough to have the opportunity to move to Paris for almost two years. After nine years with the company, Erin felt she was ready for change and after a brief stint at a startup she moved into her vacation home on Nantucket last summer. She took some time off from the work scene and reflected on what she wanted to do with her life. Looking back, Erin is really thankful for that time.
Growing up going to Long Beach Island, New Jersey, Erin has always been a beach girl. Even though her background was working at large companies, she always had an entrepreneurial side. After being by the water full-time, she realized she wanted to start a brand that brought together so many people from around the world who all love the sea. This past Spring, Erin launched A Salty Soul while also working in real estate on the island full-time.
It was very important to Erin that her company give back. She is proud to say that A Salty Soul gives a percentage of profits to organizations providing kids with access to salty activities. After a lot of conversations with various organizations, she finally found what she felt was a gap on Nantucket – surf lessons for local kids. "People often have the misconception that everyone on Nantucket is a millionaire and that is simply not the case," said Erin. "I truly cannot thank enough people in this amazing community that have helped me figure out how to make the give back portion work. Starting this summer, A Salty Soul will donate money to The Boys & Girls Club so for the first time they can add surfing to their summer program."
Currently A Salty Soul sells apparel for both men & women (my favorites are shown above) but Erin hopes to grow the offerings over time. "I wanted to start small to see how people would react to the concept first," said Erin. "I am so excited that the women’s line is sold at Milly & Grace on Nantucket, an amazing boutique that everyone must check out! Hopefully more stores will pick up the line over time, but I am letting the brand grow organically to see where it goes. Everything is available for sale on our website and I will be hosting a bunch of pop-up events on the island this summer."
And of course, I had to ask Erin what her one piece of advice is for other women starting their own business. According to Erin, "No one (repeat no one!) is perfect and things will go wrong. That is life, and it is more about course correcting, learning from whatever went wrong and using those experiences to make your business stronger. Let your business evolve and know that things will change over time. Also, if you are going to launch something make sure it is something you are passionate about because you will be putting in a lot of hours. And in my opinion, life is too darn short so have fun, laugh along the way and never underestimate the importance of surrounding yourself with positive and supportive people."
You can shop A Salty Soul apparel here. And don't forget to follow them on Instagram.