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In 4th grade, I was a big fan of a popular WWII military aviation television show - Ba Ba Black Sheep. Many of the kids in class wanted to be the Squad Leader, Captain Boyington. We created our Corsair Air Force squadron, made paper insignia to designate our pilot ranks, taped them to our sleeves, and wore them during recess. We immediately ran to the swing sets shouting flight commands at one another as we jumped into our cockpits. We flew high, as high as we could, until bailing out of our planes, flying into the air even higher. The flight wasn't over until we landed safely back on the ground - after all, we were pilots.

After spending time as a kid growing up in group homes and foster care, I settled into a home near an airport at the age of 9. It was then I was given my first watch, and an inspiration. Wearing my watch gave me a feeling of having a co-pilot with me, and an ability to navigate in a new world. Watching airplanes fly overheard every day led to my fascination with aviation and an admiration for pilots. To me, pilots could fly anywhere in the world and anywhere to me meant somewhere other than where I was. The world around me was turbulent, and the road ahead was uncertain, but watching pilots fly overhead showed me the world was bigger than what I knew.


As a kid, I saw patchy runways, but the idea of a being a pilot meant freedom, bravery, independence, and a dream. I dreamt of places I could fly to, other than the swings in the school yard. Pilots made their own flight plan; flew around and through turbulence, and they landed safely back on the ground. It has been my dream to be a pilot and it was this dream that inspired me to be my own person, to be my own pilot, not only in aviation, but in life. This was the inspiration in creating Be Your Own Pilot watches and my motto "Don't be a passenger...Be Your Own Pilot."  

The Flight of BYOP

In 2017, I began research and design for BYOP watches and devoted the next 3 years to my AirForce collection. After many prototypes, an eye for perfection, and partnering with multiple companies, I bring to you the flight of my BYOP Air Force collection. I created the BYOP brand from a dream and a hope of inspiring others. Don't be a passenger and go along for the ride, navigate your world, create a flight plan and Be Your Own Pilot - BYOP.





Me standing next to a Vought F4U Corsair—the same aircraft model as in "Ba Ba Black Sheep."

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