“A DECISION COMING COMPLETELY OUT OF THE BLUE”?
For me not!
Of course not.
For you …. reader, customer, supplier, follower, friend, family……probably YES.
But for me it has been a process of thinking, feeling, “missing something” or maybe
“finding something”, realizing and more thinking.
And all this for months.
Understanding what I want to do in and with my life and what NOT.
Understanding that the direction I was going, was more and more in the “what I do not
want” direction, but even while seeing that, I was still going there, slowly but steady.
Understanding that the business is growing, that the hard work finally starts to bring
something in return. Something good but also something I dislike at this stage of my life.
Making the choice between growing or quitting, as standing still or just having some fun
in the margin, is no longer possible.
When I left the Moto GP world and crazy life of traveling and 24/7 availability for work,
I left for a reason. I made the basic comments “I want to have a house, with a garden,
make jam, grow tomatoes, learn Shodo (Japanese calligraphy), have dogs, go to the
beach and enjoy life”.
Of course things can not be that idyllic, but it was the way to explain what my life goals
And here I am…………having our lovely house on the hill, with a huge garden, lots of
fruit trees, plenty of space to grow tomatoes and a lot more, I have 3 giant dogs, live 5
min from the beach,
BUT……I am not making jam, not growing tomatoes, not spending enough active time
with my dogs, no longer at the beach every day and actually not enjoying life that much.
Because I am running a business which is growing, which needs more and more
attention, which makes me sit every free moment behind the laptop, to search, find, look
for, research, write, create, upload, add, count, prepare things with regard to products,
marketing, presentation, customer / order attention, projects, photography, accounting etc.
A business which needs constant attention for Social Media, to post, share, like, look for etc.
And I was already not a fan of Social Media, but understand that it is important for the
business. To me it is a waste to spend time with my phone, instead of with my dogs,
instead of pruning the trees in my garden, instead of going out with my husband, instead
of cleaning the pool, instead of meeting friends.
And in a way, do I start to be back in that life of Moto GP, where I was a slave of my
mobile, laptop, networking, of staying in touch and a slave of work all together.
And don’t get me wrong, with a lot of love I did that for years.
But I had a lot more love for the newfound life at home, without living out of my suitcase,
being away most of the time.
And I realised that this newfound life, now slowly started to disappear to the background
A newfound life which actually never got really lived. As between starting the business,
adopting more and more dogs, moving house, 2 years of renovations and construction
and Alejandro still traveling a lot with the Moto GP Circus so a lot came on my plate, I
never picked up that new life.
I LOVE WHAT I DO, BUT NOT HOW I HAVE TO DO IT.
This whole business was unplanned and started by coincidence behind the laptop,
at the dining table, while being available for my replacement in Yamaha Racing,
with long distance support. And from one plastic tupper box under the table with
some goodies, it grew out to what it is now.
A small funny business with focus on sharing, inspiring, connecting people, storytelling.
And at the moment it is even more enjoyable, as the orders keep coming in, from
all over the world. From Peru, Jordan, New Zealand, Alaska, USA, Japan, Denmark,
Egypt, people found the Sun Sand Salt products.
With beautiful interactions with customers & suppliers, in many cases “new friends”.
With such a fun time at markets, where you can deal with people in person, where
the dynamics are different every time, where the vibes are what I am looking for.
With all the nice products, creations, colors, stories and backgrounds.
But despite all this good energy and positivity, I am missing to live life and the
possibility to decide in which dosage you give your time to the business.
And now at this point, where I can only jump to the next level, a level with
more dedication and spending time on the business, I realize that I prefer to jump
out of it.
For what reason do I have this business? I have to proof nothing anymore,
not to myself and not to others. I can make this work, if I dedicate fully to it.
But that is where it goes wrong. I can not dedicate to it, the way I should.
Not with time, not with energy, not with priorities, not with my private life the
way it is.
I can not and at the same time do not want to.
I want no more pressure,
no more business posting on Social Media,
no more looking for new products,
or to keep creating, keep designing, keep promoting, keep connecting, keep
No more issues with accountants, tax department, social security, trimesters,
stock control, Facebook, Instagram, web page, product uploads, post offices.
mobile phone, invoices etc.
No more issues with not having cash flow while there is a lot of money in
the stock and business in general.
And in 2018 I had too many times the confrontation with “real life” and putting
business life last (the death of my father in law, the broken foot of my husband,
dogs who needed operations, a husband traveling a lot, my father in
hospital back in the Netherlands…………
every time the business got “switched off” and that is not possible for a business.
I keep canceling markets to be with people or my dogs, but you can not cancel
your source of income on a weekly / monthly base. But I knew where I had my
So this feeling of discomfort with the situation kept growing.
Some months ago, I posted this below quote already on Facebook and now
recently my dear friend Mia also posted the whole poem with the quote.
I took this as a reminder and confirmation.
I have had this confrontation with my life-style several times in my life.......
it made me give up everything I had and move to Africa, it made me start with Moto GP,
a life full of new chances and opportunities, it made me also quit with Moto GP again and
so on and on and on.
Obviously I need this reminder and "jump back to basics" every now and then.
My "second life" had some re-starts and nothing wrong with that, as long as you keep coming
back to that feeling of content, appreciation, less is more, slow life, feeling privileged and
embrace what you have.
WHAT IS THE PLAN?
To be a social human being instead of a social entrepreneur.
Back to basics, back to normal.
Declutter my life, materialistic, emotional and social.
Make jam, grow tomatoes, learn Shodo, paint, write, whatever …..create in any other way.
Help people, help animals where I can.
Take care of the environment.
Meet and spend time with beautiful people, again being able to give my time.
Get OFF Facebook and Instagram
Stop with all these networking groups, at the end you are so busy with looking for “networking
options” that you have no time to actually connect with someone.
I will keep the Sun Sand Salt web site as a personal web-site, with the shop part deleted and
with more focus on the blog and photos. And to keep the brand Sun Sand Salt alive.
And maybe new projects.
Everything is possible, isn’t that great?
But nothing that will be this time consuming and life overtaking again.
To get there, will be a process of some months. My goal is to stop at the 1st of July 2019.
From now on I will only be:
* selling (out) all the products (and there is a lot, more than you only see in the shop)
* no longer order extra stock or new items.
* the web-shop will be available till the 1st of July
* and I will also keep selling at markets till that time.
And after that………I will continue my life in the sunshine here in Catalunya, with Alejandro,
Kuma, Kira, Nati, the house, pool, garden, trees, my family & friends, the beach.
Back to slow life!
Back to calm.
Back to "cut the bullshit".
And see what that life brings me.
With new space, new approach, projects, maybe freelance jobs, new simplicity.
And for sure some jam making and tomato growing will be involved.
DID WE CHANGE THE BUSINESS STYLE?
This was asked by a customer, who saw more and more Eco related posts and texts on our Social Media
pages. The answer is a bit complicated.................I would say "Yes, there is a change happening".
On the other hand...."No, we have been concerned about environmental issues already and our personal and
business philosophy was and is in line with the new Eco-wave".
We already bought our products from suppliers with certain values, from suppliers who take care of people
and the planet, from suppliers who want to be / make a difference in this world.
Suppliers who are making their own products with love and care..............slow business.
Besides all this..............we care about our oceans, beaches, animals, nature reserves!
We already bought some Bio cosmetic products, we already bought some products made with natural
But the actual change started last year when we did our daily walks with the 3 dogs on the beaches in
Sitges and area. And we started picking up some big plastic trash items which we found on the beach,
this changed into a daily mini beach clean up.
Where we found plastic straws in unbelievable big numbers.
That made us think about an alternative for the plastic straws.
Last year during my visit to Phillip Island - Australia, I mentioned the bamboo issue to Youki, my dear friend,
who is drinking through straws on a daily base, due to a disability.
That made me even look more into the subject.
And I found a good supplier for Bamboo straws. And not only straws, they also had the Bamboo toothbrushes,
all Eco certified, sustainable, compostable, no use of plastic etc.
So that was one change of direction.
MEETING LIKE MINDED PEOPLE
When you start selling this kind of products, you get in touch with another kind of customer profile.
This brings more awareness and information for example about other Eco products, activities, groups
This is how we found the Ecovela candle and the produce bags of BitsyBags,through the markets.
Products which we also took in our collection. And with big success.
And people might say that all these new products have nothing to do with beach life. I might disagree,
it has everything to do with people who love the beach and sea. Who want to take care of the future of
A lot of plastic products are found in the oceans. And every little bit you do to change this plastic pollution,
will make a small change.
This below "quote image" says it all. It is the same about saying "what I can do is so little compared to the
size of the plastic pollution". But what if 8 billion people think like that, the difference would be huge, if they
all step in. (image shared from the Facebook page of "Bamboo and Coconuts"
NO FINANCIAL BENEFIT, BUT PERSONAL "FEEL GOOD" BENEFIT
And no, this Eco business is not very lucrative for me. It costs more money than I make. But that is not important.
Every customer who goes home with one of these products, makes me happy and feel good.
I believe in the ripple effect, people will spread the awareness.
No, we are not going totally Eco, Bio, Vegan, natural etc. with all our products!
But yes, we are trying to get more and more of this kind of products, if we do think they fit within our business
philosophy and product collections.
SO VERY TRUE
Recently I have been criticized by some people, about me not posting in a steady rhythm on
Social Media, for not writing a blog for months, for canceling some markets etc.etc.
In other words, running my business in a bad way.
The honest truth is...........YES, they are right.
But even more honest, NO, I do not care.
I am a one-woman-business, trying to do it all in the margin of regular life and started with a lot
of fun and happiness. And that feeling I want to hold and keep.
So I am doing the PR and Marketing, Social Media updates and so no, exactly how I want.
Well, thinking about it, that is not correct, not "how I want" but "what I am capable of, within my
day to day life".
Between the last week of April and now, my father in law passed away after some hospital time,
our best friend got a stroke, my partner broke his foot, a nephew had temporary brain damage
after a sports incident, 2 of our dogs needed some surgery and recently my own Dad ended up
in hospital and needed an operation related to a heart infarct.
5 months of hospitals, emergencies, caring, worrying, organising, traveling........weeks that were
completely overtaken by the things happening in life, not the things I was planning in my life.
And then it is very obvious that my business is not on plan A, but not even on plan B or C.
Maybe we can better talk about "in the range of plan K".
I am lucky enough that I am in a position that I can drop everything and start caring, helping,
worrying, visiting, etc. for other people (& animals), who are important in my life.
So even though some of the advises are not negative...........I do not need to know what I have to
do for my own business. I am not Amazon, Bol.com or one of the other giant companies, I am just me,
having some fun and.....
TAKING LIFE WITH EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS TO ME,
WHILE I WAS BUSY MAKING OTHER PLANS.
And now I go to the beach, as it is also important to have your priorities right :-)
After working in the fast Moto GP world for over 23 years, the most asked question of other people is
"what is your favorite place", "where did you like to work most".
Well, to me that are two questions with different answers.
A favorite place to visit, might not be the best place to work and where you can work well, is
maybe not the most stunning place to be. And the factors to make something the best place to stay,
is for me.......close to the BEACH, nice hotel, nice people, nice culture, great food and drinks (wine),
nice climate etc.
For a great place to work, I would mention other things.....nice surroundings of the circuit, professional
workers at the circuit, climate, practical, not too far from hotel and airport etc. And of course good results!
Some circuits were really a "Yamaha Circuit".
But if I have to say what is my favorite place to visit for a GP, my top 3 of all these years, will be:
1) Laguna Seca
2) Phillip Island
3) Rio de Janeiro
Not because it was the best place to race or work, but because I loved it there. I loved the beach / ocean
connection, the culture, the nature, the people, the food.
ABOUT THE MONTEREY CONNECTION
I have so many good memories in Monterey area:
* whale watching with a small boat, quite close to the coast line
* watching the otters in the sea while having breakfast in the Clement Hotel Monterey
* the 4th of July on the beach of Monterey
* driving through Big Sur and visiting purple beach (Pfeiffer Beach)
* doing the 17 mile drive by car
* dinners on the terrace of Cafe Rustica in Carmel Valley
* arriving with small planes from San Francisco to Monterey
* arriving at Laguna Seca Circuit
* eating with my Japanese colleagues of Yamaha at Bubba Shrimp (a bit touristy, but we had so much fun)
* going for a clam chowder in the Fisherman's wharf
* going to Pebble Beach
* visiting the small lighthouse of Monterey
* private visits at the aquarium, which is not the typical ZOO place. There is a lot of research going on.
* driving around in Carmel by the sea, just to watch the lovely houses
* meeting super special new friends
* wine tasting at Bernardus Winery
* AND JUST BEING ON THE BEACH
I will go back
I do not have bucket lists and this would not be on my bucket list if I had one, as I have already been
there many times, but for sure I WILL GO BACK!
I will make that a goal in my life.
(Photo credit: Sun Sand Salt)
WHEN WORKING IN THE SALON / LIVING ROOM
I think 60% of all working time, I am in this area of the house. The salon / living room of our
small house on a hill, in the corner of the room, at the stunning wooden dining table, surrounded
with Buddha's, books, collectibles, shells, our dogs and a fantastic view over the hills of the Garraf.
This is where Sun Sand Salt is growing, improving and working creative on all the Beach life products
and the multi cultural gifts which we are selling.
It is a good energy space and there is always one (or all) of the three big dogs close to me, at my feet.
The winner is most of the time Kira, our adopted Saint Bernard, who is more or less my shadow
WHEN WORKING IN THE OFFICE & STORAGE
Our house exists of two floors with two different areas and entrances. The upper floor is our living space
and the lower floor is a huge terrace, a bathroom, the summer kitchen and my office / storage.
Actually, below this floor is another one, the bodega and I have to be honest, I am expanding my
space, as I am bringing more and more things to the bodega area (like market tent, table, curtain sticks,
trolley, baskets etc.)
The office / storage space slowly starts to be too small for all the things I am selling and keeping in stock.
But it is a nice and comfortable area, with entrance to a fantastic terrace, where I can have a break in a
hammock (yes, the ones we are selling of Piece of Mind Ibiza) and enjoy the view.
WHEN WORKING AT MARKETS
There is of course a front of the stall, but also a "behind the stall". The front has to look attractive and
appealing, has to show people interesting things. The back is normally a little messy and bomb explosion.
All the empty boxes and extra stock, plastic sheets for when it rains etc.are stowed under the table and
around my chairs.
And at the end of the day, the wine glasses start to show up, as there is always someone coming to
visit me, to have a chat behind the table.
Or the market ladies go around with their lovely warm mulled wine!
OTHER WORK RELATED WORKING SPACES,
My name is Anneke AND I STARTED in January