Like a lot of young people, this Portland native is looking for a dream job at a small, growing business. He currently works alongside his father at his family’s print shop, and spends his downtime outside—surfing, running, and climbing.
Photography by Zach Krahmer @zachkrahmer
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF. WHERE DO YOU LIVE, WHAT YOU'RE UP TO THESE DAYS.
I’m 25 years old and live in Portland, Oregon. I grew up here—in the neighborhood around Washington Park. I graduated from the University of Oregon a few years ago, where I studied business and advertising. I’m currently working in business development and production for my family’s manufacturing and printing company, and later this year I’m planning a move to New York City. On the side, I coach lacrosse at a local high school, run, surf and recently got back into sport climbing.
ANY BIG PLANS BEFORE YOU MAKE THE BIG EAST COAST LEAP?
I’m in the early stages of planning a road trip from Vancouver Island down to San Diego. Rock climbing, surfing, being outside.
RIGHT, SURFING—THE FIELD TESTER PICS ARE AMAZING. BUT SURFING IN OREGON? SOUNDS KINDA NUTS.
It is! I started last Fall. It’s the most humbling sport to pick up when you live in Oregon—not just because of the temperature or weather—but also because the swell is so inconsistent. The ocean here is rarely glassy and the scene can be a little intimidating. But I've stuck with it. If it's looking like it's going to be an OK weekend, I'll head down to a little village near the coast called Neskowin, wake up early, get breakfast and a coffee at the one cafe in town and head 10 minutes north to Pacific City for a full day of surfing.
THE WATER MUST BE PRETTY COLD. WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS LIKE OUT THERE?
The best analogy in terms of cold is to think about the first snow storm of the year... It's possibly one of the most exciting and beautiful experiences for some of us (especially in Oregon). However, it's never fun if you don't dress appropriately. If you're prepared, you're going to have a blast.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions to more experienced surfers (they’re much nicer than they might look). Remember that everyone out there was in your shoes at one point.
ANY ADVICE FOR ASPIRING SURFERS?
Yes! A lot: Don’t be afraid to ask questions to more experienced surfers (they’re much nicer than they might look). Remember that everyone out there was in your shoes at one point. Be a confident swimmer. Respect the ocean and your fellow surfers. Only go out into the water if you’re mentally and physically confident—that is to say, know your limits. It's better to be warmer than colder (wear the right wetsuit!). And go with friends!
IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU’RE STILL IN THE PROCESS OF FIGURING OUT WHAT TO FOCUS ON PROFESSIONALLY, SAME AS A LOT OF OTHER MILLENNIALS OUT THERE. TRUE?
Definitely true. After college, I went straight into working for the family business. My challenge is picking one thing and sticking with it. My hope is that whatever the next job is that I find myself in, that I can give everything to it, that my future will stem from it. My dream would be to work for a company that is small and growing.
WHAT IT’S LIKE TO WORK IN THE FAMILY BUSINESS?
It’s been a comfort, but sometimes I feel like I’m not learning enough. I’m ready for new challenges. I will always be appreciative that I've spent so much time around my dad. He's a great role model and mentor— even though we don't see eye-to-eye on everything.
WHAT ARE THE SPOTS YOU LOOK FORWARD TO HITTING ON YOUR TRIP THIS SUMMER?
I’m thinking about Trestles in San Diego, Black Beach, Big Sur, Santa Cruz. Stop and see a friend in Calistoga for some vino. I’ve heard great things about Victoria Island and Vancouver Island.
I could never choose just one book. A few years ago, I flew through Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. That's up there. More recently I read A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. And I’m almost finished with Dune, which is ever so slightly becoming another one of my top reads.
MUSIC? WHAT’LL YOU BE LISTENING TO ON THE ROAD THIS SUMMER?
For nostalgia, People Under the Stairs and LCD Soundsystem. Up in Flames by Caribou is a good driving/running album. I also like Miracles Club (a Portland group) and Mongo Santamaria's album Our Man in Havana.
WHAT ABOUT WHEN YOU’RE IN OREGON. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE THINGS TO DO THERE?
Drive out to Sauvies Island before sunset, during the summer, in the middle of the week with a couple of friends. You can swim, and have the Columbia River all to yourselves. Doug Fir is my favorite venue for an intimate music experience. Go to Enso, urban winery and make friends with the owner, Ryan and their awesome employees. Have a Kobe beef burger at Yakuza, grab some brunch at Radar on Mississippi. If you're into running, grab a buddy and take a pick of endless trails in Washington/Forest park or the gorgeous waterfront esplanades. Meet your friends via bike at the Slammer Tavern after work on a Friday in the summer. Go hike Table Mountain in the Gorge. And I’d recommend experiencing the Sasquatch Music Festival with your closest friends at least once.
What'd you think of the Wool&Prince shirts?
I tried out three shirts—the Gray Oxford, a navy and red plaid, and the blue gingham button-down. They've become my go-to for work, weekends and weddings. The wool was the first thing I noticed–I surprisingly prefer the Merino wool over traditional cotton. Plus, taking shirts to the cleaners every other time I wear them gets old, and with the W&P shirts, I don't need to do that.The fit is also great. I have a long torso and am rather thin, so it's a challenge to find a dress shirt I can wear right off the rack. But I took the Wool&Prince shirt out of the package, did a light steam to get the fold lines out and threw it on. Everyone needs a button-up for one purpose or another—these wool shirts are a great staple for work and more formal affairs.
Michael is 6'4", 185 lbs, and wears size M, but could also wear size L.
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Tyler Sharp is a photographer, writer, and filmmaker based out of Dallas, Texas. He specializes in environmental portraiture, americana & western lifestyle, travel, and adventure documentary.#008