by April Archer, CEO
What a wild year, to say the least! As we begin the New Year, we reflect on the challenges and highlights of this past year. We recognize that grief, loss, and frustration resonate with all of us in some way or another. We also recognize that growth, joy, and beauty percolate in various ways, as well.
At SaraBella, we have managed to keep operations afloat and production open; for that, we are incredibly fortunate. We celebrate a renewed enthusiasm for small business and outdoor adventure. We continue to welcome all anglers, regardless of race, gender, sexual identity, religion, ethnicity, number of fish caught, etc. We offer choices, we accept people for who they are, and we believe in exploration, conservation, healing, and joy through outdoor adventure. SaraBella has donated monetarily and/or in-kind to Casting for Recovery, Forever Our Rivers, Project Healing Waters, The Mayfly Project, and Trout Unlimited. We signed the Fly Fishing Climate Alliance pledge, committing to become carbon neutral by 2030. We ended the year with the Celebrating Women in Fly Fishing virtual show, with hundreds of participants from around the world! We hustled to ship out the holiday fly rods, and only one got stuck with FedEx (all others arrived on-time).
I will say that what helped us to keep going is our love of water and our passion for connecting humans with fly fishing. We make a fishing tool, yes. We hope that each fly rod brings hope, gratitude, and joy. This may sound simple, but truly, it inspires us each and every day!
Here are a couple of quotes from our year that resonate:
- “I’m a wrapper. Not the kind that performs at concerts, but the kind that wraps fly rods” — Dean Millard, SBF rod-builder
- “We are Americans. Many of us came from a past of tougher times. We will survive” — David McElwain, SBF rod-builder and male breast cancer Survivor
- “Let everything happen: beauty and terror” — SBF customer who is an EMT and believes in the healing power of fly fishing
- My (spinning) rod is like throwing an apple, and this fly rod it is like flicking a booger”. — 7 year old boy
- “Forever & Always” — SBF customer who proposed while fishing in Alaska, with a SaraBella fly rod
Although I certainly don’t presume that 2021 will be “all better”, I do feel optimistic about the future. At SaraBella, we will continue to create excellent fly rods through an enjoyable customer experience. We will continue to give back to our non-profit partners. We will continue to employ and hire Veterans + Survivors. We will continue to value mental and physical health as we live, work, and play. In 2021, you can look forward to some new SaraBella product offerings and more virtual/hybrid events. We will also continue to innovate, collaborate, and demonstrate that small business can indeed make positive impact.
Thank you for participating in our success by sharing our story with your friends + families, joining us on social media, giving us your feedback, inviting others to the sport, supporting your local fly shops and guides, recreating responsibly, and by taking care of one another.
With gratitude + gigantic hugs…
April + SBF team