Your First Five Minutes of Conversation

Find your square below to learn about the adventure behind its design

To help prepare for the compliments you're bound to receive, here's the adventure behind each square to supplement your first five minutes of conversation.

The Darwin

It’s only natural to fear the risks associated with pursuing your dreams.… The Darwin’s inspiration comes from a very well known man: Charles Darwin.

What is not as well known is the adventure that led to his theory of evolution: The second voyage of the HMS Beagle. The Beagle sailed across the Atlantic Ocean and then carried out detailed hydrographic surveys around the coasts of the southern part of South America, returning via Tahiti and Australia after having circumnavigated the Earth. While the expedition was originally planned to last two years, it lasted almost five.

Darwin spent most of this time exploring on land. Early in the voyage he decided he could write a book about geology, and he showed a gift for theorizing. He ably collected and made detailed observations of plants and animals, with results that shook his belief that species were fixed. These observations provided the basis for the ideas that led to his theory of evolution by natural selection.

Prior to his adventure, Darwin was enrolled at Dr. Butler’s Shrewsbury School but he showed very little interest in his studies. After giving up his medical career, his father told him, “You care for nothing but shooting dogs and catching rat and and you will be nothing but a disgrace to yourself and all of your family.” In his autobiography, he stated, “I was considered by all my masters and my father, a very ordinary boy, rather below the common standard of intellect.”

Darwin’s refusal to believe anyone’s else's hurtful words and his commitment to his dream led him to his eventual discovery. According to Julian Huxley, Darwin’s idea “is the most powerful and most comprehensive idea that has ever arisen on earth. It helps us understand our origins.…We are part of a total process, made of the same matter and operating by the same energy as the rest of the cosmos, maintaining and reproducing by the same type of mechanism on the rest of life.”

Dare to pursue your dreams, listen only to your passion and tune out the rest. Adventure awaits.

The Colonel

The Colonel is a tribute to a long-held mystery of the Amazon: the tale of Col. Percy Harrison Fawcett. Fawcett is most famous for his life-long search for "Z": an ancient lost city, which he and others believed to be El Dorado, the mythical city of gold.

Col. Fawcett was a British artillery officer, archaeologist, and South American explorer. Fawcett's first expedition to South America was in 1906 when, at the age of 39, he travelled to Brazil to map a jungle area at the behest of the Royal Geographical Society.

Fawcett made seven expeditions between 1906 and 1924. Based on documentary research, Fawcett had formulated his ideas about "Z" in Brazil by the outbreak of World War I. At that time he returned to Britain for active service, volunteered for the front in Flanders, and led an artillery brigade despite the fact that he was approaching fifty years of age. After the war he returned to Brazil to continue his search.

Along with his eldest son, Fawcett disappeared under unknown circumstances in 1925 during an expedition into the uncharted jungles of Brazil in search for "Z". “Z” remains a lost city, though it is said that Fawcett finally found his way there and chose never to leave. This is the version we like to believe: commit to your dreams and the adventure will reward you.

The Aviator

It takes fierce imagination to question both the laws of physics and high society. The Aviator comes from the story of Pancho Barnes. Born into wealth, she hated the rules and obligations of her social caste and craved adventure. In her early teens she ran away on horseback to Mexico. She caught up with revolutionaries, escaped the attention of authorities, disguised herself as a man, and began to use the nickname "Pancho."

Barnes returned to San Marino, California, with an inheritance bequeathed her on her parents' death. It didn’t take Barnes long to need another adventure, and she turned her attention skyward.  In spring of 1928 she started taking pilot’s lessons.  Her instructor was a World War I pilot, and the airplane had one instrument in it: an oil gauge.  A key chain hung from the control board to determine if they were flying straight, and they looked over the side to judge altitude.  To know how much gas they had, they dipped a string in the tank and estimated how far they could go.  Barnes was immediately hooked, and she bought herself a Travel Air biplane for $5,500.  She was more captivated by the thrill of the early days of flying than deterred by the dangers.  In 1928 on a trip to San Francisco her engine quit, and she had to make eight emergency landings.

Barnes later moved to Hollywood to work as a stunt pilot for movies. In 1931, she started the Associated Motion Picture Pilots, a union of film industry stunt fliers which promoted flying safety and standardized pay for aerial stunt work. She flew in several air-adventure movies of the 1930s, including Howard Hughes' Hell's Angels (1930).

Pancho Barnes is the definition of a true adventurer: someone who is willing to break from conformity and follow her passions no matter where they led her. We hope this square passes her adventurous spirit on to you - spread your wings and don’t look down. 

The Voyeur

The Voyeur is meant to be a window into our own duality. Our lives by day are cautious, where our nights are daring. This can be exemplified most during prohibition, where a corrupt government and increased crime forced individuals to look within themselves to find right and wrong.

Organized crime received a major boost from Prohibition. Mafia groups limited their activities to prostitution, gambling, and theft until 1920, when organized bootlegging emerged in response to Prohibition. A profitable, often violent, black market for alcohol flourished. Powerful criminal organizations corrupted some law enforcement agencies, leading to racketeering. Prohibition provided a financial basis for organized crime to flourish.

We find one story of an adventurer stuck between right and wrong in Bill McCoy, an honest man who fell on hard times and worked his way into rum running. Capt. McCoy, a nondrinker who never touched liquor, considered himself an "honest lawbreaker." McCoy took pride in the fact that he never paid a cent to organized crime, politicians, or law enforcement for protection. Unlike many operations that illegally produced and smuggled alcohol for consumption during Prohibition, McCoy sold his merchandise unadulterated, uncut, and clean. He was an adventurer who broke the law with sound morals and ethics.

McCoy began to smuggle whisky into the U.S., traveling from Nassau and Bimini in the Bahamas to the east coast of the United States, spending most time dealing on "Rum Row" off Long Island. After a few successful trips smuggling liquor off the coast of the United States, Bill McCoy had enough money to buy the schooner Arethusa. Placing the schooner under British registry to avoid being subjected to U.S. law, Bill renamed the vessel Tomoka after the name of the river that runs through his hometown of Holly Hill.

On November 23, 1923, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Seneca had orders to capture Bill McCoy and the Tomoka, even if in international waters. Instead of a long drawn-out trial, Bill McCoy pleaded guilty and spent nine months in a New Jersey jail. He returned to Florida and invested his money in real estate. He and his brother continued the boat building business and frequently traveled up and down the coast.

Adventure puts us on many uncertain roads. The only thing we can do is look within ourselves and trust that deep down, we know which road to walk. 

The Davy Jones

The mystery of the deep is a tale buried twenty thousand leagues under the sea. Giant squids, mermaids, and lost treasure enchant the minds of many. Only the few dare to risk the search. The lore of Davy Jones has disputed origin: Davy may come from Duppy, a West Indian term for a malevolent ghost, or from Saint David, also known as Dewi, the patron saint of Wales, while Jones may have come from the prophet Jonah, whose story is considered bad luck for sailors.

One story states that Davy Jones called out to the sky on a trip from Holland to Batavia: he swore to sail around the Cape “even if it means sailing toward our last judgment." Then the Devil took control of the ship and as a price the ship had to sail the seas forever.

His locker became a synonym for the ocean floor.

For us, he is a reminder that adventure holds many risks. The Davy Jones is a tribute to those sailors and pirates that brave the seas despite the risk of death. Though fear is omnipresent, we must face it if we ultimately want to find our treasure. Whether your treasure is a personal goal, career ambition, or a trip around the world, focus less on the fear of ‘what if’ and more on the treasure ‘what if’ may bring.