At the Arc'teryx Soho Store opening. photo: Hyo Kim

At the Arc'teryx Soho Store opening. photo: Hyo Kim

I want my work to be something I love. Something productive. Something that feels worth my time - time being our most precious resource.

Following up The Yellow Wall, The Gunks. New Paltz, NY.  photo: Alicia Sokolowski

Following up The Yellow Wall, The Gunks. New Paltz, NY.  photo: Alicia Sokolowski

Since 2005, I've worked in the fashion Industry. I learned to sew in college, so I got my start working in the craft. I sewed at a factory in Dumbo and did fabrication work for puppet studios, maternity companies, and other odd jobs. My favorite part of work was sewing - actually being capable of making something that someone wanted to buy. 

Me and Jelly on a hike. The New River Gorge, WV. photo: Nina Hensarling

Me and Jelly on a hike. The New River Gorge, WV. photo: Nina Hensarling

As I gained experience and progressed in school, I began working for local designers, taking on internships and assistant jobs. After that, I worked at Proenza Schouler, designed for Nicole Miller, and was at Nautica for over 7 years. 

Flying sailplanes - a hobby I haven't quite carved the time out for yet. Soon! Long Island, NY.  photo: Long Island Soaring Association (LISA) volunteer

Flying sailplanes - a hobby I haven't quite carved the time out for yet. Soon! Long Island, NY.  photo: Long Island Soaring Association (LISA) volunteer

I've taken something special from every one of those jobs, but then I got a job at a corporate fashion company. For years, it was a great place to work. They furthered my career and supported my hard work with promotions and raises. I liked my bosses. The design teams are made up of incredibly creative and interesting people, many of whom have their own companies.

Rolling deep. Styled by Walmart. The New River Gorge, WV. 

Rolling deep. Styled by Walmart. The New River Gorge, WV. 

I love designing clothing but after years in that job working in corporate fashion just didn't feel good.

Skiing at Whistler Blackcomb, BC. photo: Kevin Jones

Skiing at Whistler Blackcomb, BC. photo: Kevin Jones

I felt censored. I stopped caring about my work; I stopped interacting with my coworkers beyond what was necessary. I began working only the required amount. I would spend the entire day waiting for the second I could leave, just so I could go about my life the way I wanted. For the first time in my professional life, I couldn't see what the next move was. I wasn't working towards anything. 

My first outdoor 5.10 climb. Smith Rock, OR.  photo: Lucas Posada

My first outdoor 5.10 climb. Smith Rock, OR.  photo: Lucas Posada

Dank was kind of a fluke. I never dreamed I'd own a baking company. For years, I made banana bread that I'd bring on climbing trips. People loved it - that and a little gas money ensured a ride upstate to climb. Some people even said I should sell it, which seemed impossibly foreign to me. However, as I weighed my options for my next career move, a plan began to form. 

I forget what climb this is... The Gunks. New Paltz, NY. photo: Rana Quadri

I forget what climb this is... The Gunks. New Paltz, NY. photo: Rana Quadri

I've spent my life trying to learn as much as possible and the decision to start my own business was just the right thing to do. It's a lot of trial and error, but so was learning to work in the fashion industry. So was learning to rock and ice climb. So was learning to ride a motorcycle in the city. Everything is scary and difficult if you've never done it before. The risk of going out on my own seemed worth the reward of working for myself. 

My sister, Colleen, and I on our way to the doctor's office. Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  photo: Giancarlo

My sister, Colleen, and I on our way to the doctor's office. Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  photo: Giancarlo

So far, it has been. I like that every day is different. I like that I make my own schedule, even though I pretty much work on or brainstorm about Dank during every waking hour. And there are a lot of waking hours. The thing is, It just doesn't actually ever seem like work. And that's the goal, right? 

Standard Route, Frankenstein Cliff. Crawford Notch, NH. photo: Mihai Popa

Standard Route, Frankenstein Cliff. Crawford Notch, NH. photo: Mihai Popa

Ultimately, all I want is to make the best banana bread you've ever tasted and have fun doing it. I'm proud of my work again.

Showing some love on Overhanging Layback, The Gunks. New Paltz, NY. photo: Van Vu

Showing some love on Overhanging Layback, The Gunks. New Paltz, NY. photo: Van Vu