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My Mohinders: Fathers We Admire

by Cameron Archer |

We spent some time in Southern California with three inspiring dads: a Japanese premium grape farmer, an illustrator/designer/muralist, and an outdoor adventure photographer. We had the chance to sit down with them and learn how fatherhood has shaped their respective worlds: their art, their businesses, and their personal styles

DAREN MAGEE — OJAI, CALIFORNIA

Daren is a freelance illustrator, muralist and designer whose inspiration comes from many sources, natural and supernatural. The aim of his work is to speak to the space between imagination and reality. Check out his impressive body of work here!

What has surprised you most about being a dad?

I never thought I could experience such profound love.

How do you balance work and fatherhood?

Balance?! What balance?! I think fatherhood has tipped the scales in its favor and I am totally alright with that.

Has your personal style changed since becoming a dad?
I have become a bit more confident in the choices I make. Now that I am a father, its time to start settling in to what I'll likely be wearing until my old age when my kid thinks I am not nearly as cool as I think I am.
 
Do you have a favorite pair of Mohinders to wear in the studio or while playing with your kiddo?
The Men's Woven Shoe are the most versatile for sitting around and for the relentless chase that is play.
What are you currently listening to?
A lot of grimy hip-hop that I feel conflicted about playing around my kid, so I don't.  Lately, I've been playing Fiona Apple when we're together and that seems to do the trick!
Where do you find inspiration for your designs? 
Inspiration is around me, at all times.  I just have to clear my head enough to notice it. 

SEIJI MORIMOTO — VENTURA, CALIFORNIA

Premium Japanese grape farmer at family business, Magical Grapes. 

What is the best advice you have received about fatherhood?
“Children learn what they live” 
A book by poet, Dorothy Law Norte. What  I learned from this book is, son’t teach kids because kids teach you.
How do you balance work and fatherhood?
I take my kids to vineyard and farmers market, and we enjoy working together!
I show them what we love and how we live. This is pretty much the same way my parent did it with me.
Has your personal style changed since becoming a parent?
Yes and no — I didn’t give up anything that I love, like surfing and camping and I  share both of those with my kids!
Do you have a favorite pair of Mohinders for your daily adventures?
Yes, Woven Slides with stripes. It looks so cool both in the city and the mountains!
How did you begin grape farming?
My family has been farming for more than 800 years in Japan, and my parents run a fruit farm more than 50 years there, so naturally we learned how to do it.
Grapes are one of my most favorite fruits and I also loves drinking wine. We moved to states 9 years ago and started our vineyard from scratch.
Do you have any favorite stops in Ventura that should not be missed?
Full moon IZAKAYA in Ojai —best Japanese cuisine.
Kagami Ramen in Camarillo —best Japanese Ramen noodle.
Gotetsu in Ventura — best Yakitori Skewer and sides.
All of them offer real taste of Japan.

HUNTER LAWRENCE — SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA

Hunter is a photographer with a passion for the great outdoors, experiencing new cultures, and taking the road less traveled. Meet the Lawrence House Brand and peruse his travel guides! 

What is the best advice you have received about fatherhood?
Be present. As a new dad I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard “oh just wait …” Believe me, I know there are so many joys that we’ve yet to experience but the truth is, I can wait. I don’t want to be so focused on what’s to come that I miss out on what’s right in front of me.
What has surprised you most about being a dad?
Honestly, how much I love it. I knew I would enjoy being a father, but I had no idea just how life changing it would be. 
How do you balance work and fatherhood?
I place a large value on being present when Ira is awake. I put my phone down, I close our computers, I don’t schedule any meetings; I want him to see my eyes...not my screens. I doubt he’ll remember much of this when he’s older, but I know it’s hard-wiring something of value in him each time I make a conscious decision to give him my full attention.
I recognize this isn’t possible for everyone, and I whole heartedly respect that. All I’m saying is there is value in making a conscious effort to show up when you can. Right now this works for me. 
Has your personal style changed since becoming a parent?
It’s probably happened a dozen time where I’ve left the home with Ira, looked down at my shirt or pants and realized I’ve got his food or who knows what on me. I’ve learned to just roll with it, and be okay with a little stain here and there. I wear them as a badge of honor for this new found joy in my life. 
Do you have a favorite pair of Mohinders for traveling?
I’ve probably put over 1,000 miles across a dozen different countries in my woven slides. 
What are you currently listening to?
Stan Getz