Joshua Gaura has been working hard in the last few years to redefine the American dream. To do that, he had to hit bottom and realize once and for all that happiness didn’t lay where everyone seem to be looking. Growing up in a nomadic life, the young man bounced back and forth between Colorado and New York, internalizing a love for the outdoors, music and a liberal mindset. After going through college in New York, he went back to the mountains to live the ski bum life where he met his life partner who was vacationing there.
“After she left Colorado, I moved to San Diego to play music with my band. She ended up in Grad school in Athens Georgia, moved there. I followed her not far after. I had to quit my band and really didn’t know what to do. I was an outdoor lifestyle kind of guy who would have rather just stayed in Colorado. I didn’t know what I was going to do there but I made the jump.”
Feeling at a loss in this foreign environment, Josh relied on opportunities to help define his future. Following in the steps of his stepfather, he ended up working in the technology world. He was making good money for the first time in his life, but the more money and the more involved in that world he became, the more he wanted out. As he was getting ready to go back to school, an unexpected offer came his way. His former employer was selling the business and he was offered to partner up to buy it. It seemed like an offer he couldn’t pass and after finding ways to borrow the money to get in, he was right back where he didn’t want to be.
“I’m thankful for the fruits of the labour it provided me and I’m really thankful for having that company. At the same time, I put a lot of energy into dark places. That was not productive energy for me. I was constantly getting into it with my business partners with differences of opinion, differences of how people talk to each other. It was just toxic. Years into that is really how Weevil came about.”
Joshua had all he seemingly could wish for, a happy marriage with his beloved wife, a successful business on his part and a successful private practice on hers, two beautiful children. But, it wasn’t cutting it.
“We were unhappy. We had a huge property with all we could dream of. I lived in a fucking mansion. We had the American dream, but you know what, the American dream was not doing it. Whatever the American dream is, it was not my version of it. My wife was working her ass off. Too many clients, too much business. I was unhappy at work and I said let’s fix this.”
It’s while on vacation that the idea for Weevil came about. While they were talking about how much they needed a change, his wife asked him what he liked and Josh’s candid answer was, T-shirts and hats!
“I feel like we live in this society where the older you get, there is this projected image of what you’re supposed to be as a grown-up. There are all these expectations of working hard, saving for retirement, holding on to the shitty job because providing for your family is the most important thing. These people end up failing when they get older because they are unhappy. To me, these societal systems that were put in place weren’t working. I saw myself start to do it. I was a business guy. I had been successful in the technology world. I knew how to manage and run a business, I knew how to treat employees, I knew what philosophy and mentality I would bring if I grew a company on my own. With the support of my wife, I decided to make it happen.”
Partnering up with friends that had complementary skills, Josh built a sports attire design company with the motto “Get Off the Couch and Go Outside” and although it is to his admission the hardest thing he’s done in life, this company was also the most rewarding.
“I think this business is rewarding because we are spreading energy back to our roots. Creating a company that has the energy to allow people to do what they need to do with their lives and get back to their roots, that’s what we wanted. I wanted to get back to where I was when I was a kid and why fucking not. You know what? Why do I have to walk around in fucking pleaded khakis like the others in the technology industry? I drive a 4WD, have the bikes on the back. I ride whenever I can and if people judge me because I’m this old and shouldn’t be doing that at my age, well fuck them! I’m having a blast, my wife loves it because I’m happy and I’m bringing that energy home to my kids.”
The Gauras have built their version of the sought after dream. Joshua invested in a business he loves in which he pushes values he believes in. His wife moved away from her private practice to a job that allows her to get a better work-life balance. They downsized from their Athen’s mansion to get back towards Asheville where the mountains offer the playground they all thrive in. To Josh, the American dream is really just getting back to being a kid.
“Mountain biking makes me feel like I’m exactly back to where I was when I was 13 years old. I literally feel like I took a time fucking machine and went back to when I had a shiny new bike, got on it and rode up the Dillon reservoir to the Frisco trails and went sailing down the mountain on my BMX bike, but I’m doing it at 45 years old on a mountain bike with tons of friends around and it means everything to me.”
Since being a kid, Josh has always questioned the world around him, authorities, structure. All of that brought him to conclude with one simple thing: “Get Off the Couch and Go Outside!”