We have taken a giant leap in cutting our ties. On Friday August 29th, I sold my company, Star Fleet.
My history with Star Fleet has been so long, and this process has been extremely emotional for me. My dad started Star Fleet in 1992, when I was 6 years old. We always played on the boats. There were times that we anchored the Star Gazer out by NASA Rd 1 for an overnight (and advertising!). My brother and I would swim in the waters of Clear Lake, diving to the bottom and scooping up the silt to play with. My dad would take us down to see the cruises off, and I would beg him to let me ride the cruise and wash dishes in the back. Dad would pay me cash, as if I was doing chores!
I started officially working in 2000 as a dishwasher. I was always very aware that I should work hard, so that the staff would never say that I was the boss’ daughter and allowed certain privileges. I worked every weekend on the boats, and had more and more responsibilities in the kitchen. When I went off to college, I came back and worked for 2 summers all around the business. In sales, I worked putting together wedding packages and sourcing vendors. I also work maintenance and on the boats as a server. Eventually when I would come home for holidays I would work as a Cruise Director on the boats, running the event. When I graduated college, I moved down to Houston to work as an engineer and I would still work a few times a year for Dad.
My dad passed away suddenly in November 2009. It was an extremely difficult time with Dad’s death and our upcoming wedding. Faced with liquidating the business or running it, I decided to quit my job and work for Star Fleet. I have learned so much in the time since then. I had no finance experience, or management experience. I spent a lot of time flying by the seat of my pants – and still do sometimes! It’s a fascinating company, and I am so proud of how far I have come in running it.
So what happened? Ever since David started sailing we’ve talked about cruising and circumnavigating. Last summer, my Vistage group helped me realize that I wasn’t very happy with what I was doing, for a variety of reasons. I decided to put the company up for sale, and shortly afterwards, David and I decided this is the opportunity to buy a boat and start cruising. We will have the time and the means while we are still young to do long term trip like a circumnavigation.
I am excited for Star Fleet’s future. The new owners have a lot of big plans that have been dreams ever since my dad owned the business. I am leaving them with a great staff, probably the best I have ever had.
David and I live on site, so we are moving permanently to Starry Horizons when we leave on October 13th. We will be back visiting Houston as often as we can, but we will have officially moved away! It is difficult to be making so many changes in our lives right now, but I know that once we get settled into Starry Horizons, we will know we have made the right choice.