A few months back, our dear friend Mia Sebastian talked to us about getting a log. She really wanted the way it just glides on water, the way it turns, and how inviting it is to walk on all day long. She's always loved the idea of having her very own Ashley Lloyd custom shaped log.
She'd been talking to us about the kind of board she'd always wanted and had been trying out some of the logs we have so that she'd know more or less the specs to give Ashley. I told her what better way to fine tune her ideas on what her ideal board is than to talk to Ashley herself. Mia, a bit shy at first, got in touch with her. Ash, being one of the nicest persons in the world, was very accommodating and eager to hear Mia's wish list.
After a few email exchanges (and maybe some video uploads from Mia with matching costume...) Ashley started work on Mia's dream board.
We later found out that Mia would be traveling to California for a couple of weeks. Perfect because she could personally pick up her brand new board plus get to meet the maker.
She drove up to Sta Cruz and met up with my brother Miguel who lives just a few blocks away from Ashley.
Below are photos of Mia when she first met Ashley and her brand new log she named "Ash".
Ashley and "Ash".
Beautiful board Mia!
Here's a letter Mia shared with us:
So today I received this wonderful creation from a wonderful person - a new surfboard made (with love, it's written) by Ashley LLoyd.
It was exactly as I imagined it would be, actually, even better. The colouring was perfect, the design simple and soulful as I hoped it would be. The craftsmanship super fine.But just as beautiful and infinitely more precious than the board is its shaper - Ashley. Before today I had never met her and we only ever communicated on email. I'd seen her surf on videos so she's somewhat of a surf idol for me - kinda in another league if you know what I mean. I found myself nervous as we drove up to her house.
But Ashley was instantly warm, open, and generous with her thoughts and insights. We talked about getting to know people through their boards and surfing, about surf in the Philippines, and some projects she was working on. Her fiancé Alex was just as welcoming, sharing his surf and travel stories and offering us fresh coffee. Their house was cosy and charming. Full of artwork and memorabilia - details and memories from a life being lived with passion, and love!
"Made with Love" - that's Ashley's board shaping slogan and it may sound so cliche. But I could feel that Ashley really lives to create with love, and that she puts her heart into everything that she does - her shaping, her music, and her surfing. Its such a courageous thing to live this way, and I felt really moved.As we said goodbye she gave me a little smooth pebble, hardly bigger than a dime. She said it was a gratitude pebble, something you could keep in your pocket or wallet. As you rub it or hold it in your hand, it would help remind you of all the things you were grateful for. I'm definitely grateful for this day, for my friends and family who made it possible, for my mom and dad whose present the surfboard is, and for my sisters who make surfing a true joy.. I am also grateful for every new day that the Lord has given me, and the great Love that finds expression in so many wonderful ways.
With as much love I can muster,- Manang Mia
Thank you Alex and Ashley for making one Filipina longboarder extremely happy :)
Do drop by Ashley's Site to check out more of her awesome work.
photos by Mia Sebastian