Our Faherty Dads Get Real

People 05.23.23

We’re so inspired by all the dads in our community who show up every day for their families with a sense of purpose that flows from their unique identities. From our co-founders Alex and Mike Faherty, who always take the morning shift, to Brooklyn-based writer Joél, whose first book comes out next year, to our Native design partner, Lehi, whose clothing and accessories are inspired by his Navajo homeland, we’re constantly learning how to be present and pivot with compassion from these guys.

Learn more about their journeys and the great moments they find in parenthood below.



On what fatherhood has taught him:

“Hmmm… a lot. But mainly love, along with patience, discernment, compassion, grace, humility and gratitude. My children have offered and taught me so much. They’ve been my greatest mirrors for sure.”

On his “dad style”:

“Certain child psychologists would typically say there are two types of parents: carpenters and gardeners. A carpenter creates a path for their children to follow, right? They expect them to follow this very specific path in order to succeed. A gardener on the other hand creates a space for their children to figure out the path for themselves. I liken myself to a gardener.”

His perfect Father’s Day:

“A peaceful one! But seriously, just one that provides harmony. One where my girls feel safe and loved and provided for. Typically, I take myself to the movies or just spend the day with myself while my partner stays home so I don’t have to worry about wrangling my mini monsters away from clear and present dangers, aka a typical Saturday morning.”

His favorite piece of advice to share with dads and dads-to-be: 

“Love isn’t the answer to all things, but it’s the answer to most things. Let your children be children. Quiet the ego. Let go of preconceived notions and expectations. Take all the pictures and videos—you’ll be glad you did. And stay present. Your children see and hear everything, and they have really good memories. They may not remember all the trips, but they’ll remember the feelings of you being around for them.”



On the urgency and optimism of fatherhood:

“Now that I’m a father, everything feels more pressing—especially when I think of my nieces, nephews and family. Every day when I see my kids smiling, it gets me more motivated and hopeful.”

On making the world better for his children:

“The goal is to create more representation, whether that’s going to a bookstore and seeing books by Native artists and authors, or going to buy clothing you want and finding it’s authentically-designed and not appropriated. How do we bring that to all parts and corners of the country? I grew up in that world where I felt so different and it was hard to express that. I was trying to figure out where my place was. My family gave me that space at home. There, I always knew who I was and they always made sure we had our turquoise and jewelry before leaving the house. Those are the biggest things I could give to my children as a father, while also working to change what's going on outside.”



On what fatherhood has taught him:

“Unconditional love and being accepting and understanding of all types of emotions. Children have a lot of them all the time and knowing when to just hug them or give them a bit of tough love is important.”

On his “dad style”:

“Very loving. I enjoy being the ‘fun dad.’”

His perfect Father’s Day:

“Pork roll egg and cheese sandwiches at Tom Bailey’s market, candy run at Third Avenue Chocolate Shoppe and then all day at the beach with the kids, surfboards, sand toys, Wiffle Ball and Frisbee.”

His favorite piece of advice to share with dads and dads-to-be: 

“Throw all your expectations out the door and just love the sh*t out of them."



On what fatherhood has taught him:

“To be humble. Being a father has made it clear that life’s forces—good and bad—are incredibly strong and there is much outside of our control. As dads, we can learn a lot about life, love and ourselves if we approach it all with humility.”

On his “dad style”:

“Probably too interested in fun and new experiences. I valued being able to figure things out myself and want to allow the same for the kids. I prefer guidance and feedback as opposed to direct instruction.”

His perfect Father’s Day:

“Enjoying the day with my family. Not having anything planned. Surfing with the kids and if there are waves, a paddle or boat ride. Doing a project with everyone and sharing a good meal with the kids telling stories.”

His favorite piece of advice to share with dads and dads-to-be: 

“Make space for moments that you can share together as a family that you all will remember forever. That will give you and your family an amazing amount of fuel to handle whatever comes your way.



On his “dad style”:

“For the first time in my life, I always keep cash on me to give to people asking—on a street corner or a freeway offramp—because I want my kids to see that we respond when someone asks us for help. I want to be in full, complex relationships with my kids, and give as much of myself to those relationships as I can. I want them to change me. I want them to have spacious, messy, gorgeous lives filled with community and justice and flourishing. I want them to always know that they are loved.”

On making language his own:

“I treasure the words ‘dad’ and ‘papa.’ These words feel like me and make me happy every time I hear them. Cocooned within the safety of my family, these words describe who I am. I’m extremely honored to be my children’s papa.”

On growing through parenthood:

“You allow your life to be radically transformed in the service of care for another. You learn the limits of your patience over and over as you clean up, listen to the ‘Ghostbusters’ song for the 18th time in a row, or hold an out of control toddler. It’s all hard. Somewhere in between, if conditions are right and you have enough support, you learn a bigger well of patience, a higher tolerance for intense emotion and a more radical empathy for humans of all sizes. Your world is also made technicolor by seeing it through their eyes—the thrills of hanging from a tree branch, or running down the sidewalk as fast as you can or plunging your fingers into mud.”

I also view raising children as a fundamentally hopeful act of creation. We are bringing the next generation to the world. They will bring joy, healing and change in ways our generation cannot. I wonder what else I will learn as my children grow, go to school, become bigger and more sophisticated people. I am just at the beginning.”



On what fatherhood has taught him:

“To enjoy every minute. I feel extremely grateful and lucky for my family.”

His perfect Father’s Day:

“Just hanging with the fam. Having a great meal and watching a movie with my wife.

His favorite piece of advice to share with dads and dads-to-be:

“The better you feel, the better you are as a person. So eat right and exercise as much as you can.”

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