Feb 14, 2019
Sean Lake is a case study in how to turn your passion into a profession. A former college dropout turned professional snowboarder, Sean has followed his passions to extreme heights (literally)—from helping a young Shaun White with his homework as the team manager for Burton Snowboards to managing tours for Tony Hawk.
Sean figured out early on that if something made his heart race, he could find a way to monetize it. As the Director of Sports Marketing for DC Shoes, Sean launched the brand’s first snowboarding division, and jobs like consulting for the X Games have allowed him to stay close to the sport he loves.
A seasoned marketing pro, having worked with major brands like Converse and consulted on events ranging from SXSW to Art Basel, Sean has found another way to spike his heart rate in recent years—and his new company is the perfect supplement.
Today, Sean is the co-founder of BUBS Naturals, the maker of industry-leading collagen protein powder and MCT oil powder products. The body and brain benefits that drive these high-quality supplements have been especially handy for Sean, who these days is more likely to be found banging out burpees than bombing black diamonds. But not all of the heavy lifting is done in the CrossFit gym. Sean, along with BUBS Naturals co-founder TJ Ferrara, didn’t just want to start another company—they wanted to do something unprecedented.
They’d researched the best-in-class certified B corporations like Patagonia and other charitable-minded companies like Toms—and they figured they could do better. Not long after that, BUBS Naturals was born, with 10% of every sale donated to the Glen Doherty Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit that helps special operations professionals from all branches of the military succeed in civilian life.
There’s a reason they chose the GDMF. Glen Doherty was Sean’s closest friend, a Navy SEAL (call sign “BUB”), and one of the four Americans killed in the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. The foundation serves to help U.S. vets find support in society and rely less on the same kind of military contracting jobs that lured Glen back into the field. Sean and TJ named BUBS Naturals in Glen’s honor and run the company around a strict moral code modeled on Glen’s own—starting with a relentless commitment to self improvement and helping others.
That doesn’t make it any easier to grow a startup, especially one that donates 10% of each sale to charity. Furthermore, each year BUBS Naturals donates 100% of all Veterans Day sales to the GDMF. It’s an extraordinary feat that can only be accomplished with extraordinary effort and an extraordinary source of motivation.
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