JP Box (class of ’95) and his wife, Sarah, have co-founded a merino wool children’s apparel brand called Chasing Windmills (www.chasingwindmillskids.com).
Sourced from mountainous New Zealand ranches, the merino wool used in their collection is naturally super soft, antimicrobial, breathable, and temperature-regulating -- truly an ideal fabric for little ones all year round. Their collection includes essentials for babies (such as crib sheets, swaddles, and rompers), t-shirts and hoodies for toddlers, and thermal long johns for kiddos up to size 8T.
JP recently shared his story with the St. Anne’s Alumni Board and talked about his motivations for launching Chasing Windmills.
* * *
If you had told me ten years ago that I’d be running a merino wool children’s wear company, I probably wouldn’t have believed it. At that time, I was practicing corporate law and my wife (Sarah) was an actuary. In short, we were both on well-defined corporate tracks and, by outward appearances, successful.
But, to be honest, neither of us felt fully satisfied with our chosen careers. Sarah eventually turned to photography, transforming herself from an actuary into a wedding and family photographer.
On weekdays, I wore a suit and tie to work, but on the weekends I was always wearing merino wool — whether skiing, hiking, or just around the house. I felt at home, at ease, and at peace wearing a super soft natural fiber. I felt a connection to the natural world, and I cherished my merino weekends.
Inspired by Sarah’s leap to photography, I felt emboldened and inspired to dream about my next adventure in life, but I wasn’t quite certain what it would be. My path became clearer on a November night in 2012 when we welcomed newborn twins, Patrick and Anna, into our lives.
I searched for merino wool baby clothes for Patrick and Anna, but I was surprised by how limited the options were. A persistent thought followed me: what if we did it ourselves? What if we created merino wool children’s wear for Patrick, Anna, and other kids?
And so, what started out as an idea in between double midnight feedings, neighborhood strolls, and soul searching, now exists as Chasing Windmills -- our vision for a beautifully simple and timeless collection of merino wool items for children. I am very grateful to be on this new path and to be able to share something that inspires me with my family and friends.
During my time at Bowdoin College, our school president — who went from being a lawyer to a chemist to a college president — noted that a liberal arts education prepares its students, not just for their first job, but for their first ten jobs.
Looking back on my days at St. Anne’s, I can see the seeds of that liberal arts education taking root. I learned how to be a confident problem-solver, to trust my intuition, and to know when to take a leap.
It may have taken me a little bit of time, but I now believe that I’m exactly where I should be with Chasing Windmills.