10 Years of Bowfish Kids // 2014 • year two

10 Years of Bowfish Kids // 2014 • year two

Talk about learning curves...

So, my second year on the boardwalk, a few other merchants and I on 13th street decided to band together to bring more attention to our businesses. We had all kinds of ideas, like calling ourselves "The Shoppes at Pier 14" (get it?!) and orchestrating 15-minute Frozen singalong events once a week in the summer. All of it was on a whim. All of it was... well. "Unsanctioned" might be the right word here.

That this caused traffic issues on the boardwalk was just the beginning. Soon, a cease-and-desist letter arrived from the Walt Disney Company, telling me I'd see them in court. Sure, I learned a little something about copyright law, but — more importantly — I learned the importance of working with other business owners and local government in a way that benefitted not just the mythical Shoppes at Pier 14, but all boardwalk merchants.

Amidst all the summer craziness, though, something genuinely long-lasting did happen: That year, I was able to introduce to the Boardwalk Merchant Association Sharon Snyder and her incredible foundation, Kisses for Kyle. We came together and had a "day at the beach" fundraiser for the kids and families supported by the foundation. They rode the rides, ate pizza, and played games — all for free. All because of the generosity of the business owners in our little town. It's crazy how many people are obsessed with Ocean City.

Frequently, when traveling, I meet people who gush about what a fantastic town OCNJ is. It took me a minute to grasp, but what I have come to learn and love about our city on a sandbar is that the people make this place what it is. So thankful for this community of small business owners + entrepreneurs that I belong to now. Huge shout out to the businesses who have supported the Kisses for Kyle Family Retreat year after year:

Playland’s Castaway Cove

We Make it Personal

Manco and Manco

Peace of Wood


Ocean City Paddle Board Company


Bungalow Bowls