Lisa Almeida, owner of three Freedom Boat Clubs in Jacksonville and St. Augustine, Fla., has a motto that she likes to live by: Inboard, Outboard, On Board and Never Bored. The self-proclaimed “Boatanista” of the boating world likes the slogan so much that she included it on a new line of T-shirts she is marketing under the Boatanista brand.
Almeida coined the term several years ago and recently gained an apparel trademark for her new clothing brand. The boat-club owner said she never planned to launch a clothing line, but the Boatanista concept seemed to gather steam on its own.
“I’ve been a boater my whole life and wanted to support the sport for everyone,” Almeida told Trade Only Today. “But I’m particularly passionate about giving women the confidence to take the helm. I see how many women out there are afraid to drive a boat, but we want to inspire them to become the captain. That is my definition of a boatanista.”
Almeida has a weekly radio program on local sports channel 10/10 XL and a blog called the Boatanista. A few months ago, at an event in Jacksonville, someone saw the Never Bored slogan on her T-shirt and told her he loves listening to her weekly program.
“At that point, I decided to come up with this clothing line to acknowledge and celebrate women on the water,” says Almeida. “I didn’t know anything about fashion but a friend of mine does and told me to trademark and come up with a few T-shirts to start out.”
Almeida says “Boatanista” comes from the term “fashionista,” referring to someone who is an expert on fashion matters. “I define Boatanista as a very nautical person devoted to the social aspects of boating,” she says. “I consider myself an expert on boats and want to spread the word to other women.”
The Boatanista brand is being promoted across 160 Freedom Boat Club locations around the United States. Ultimately, Almeida would like to see an expanded line of clothing in marine retail chains such as West Marine and Overton’s. “The ultimate goal, of course, is for everyone to understand what it means to be a Boatanista,” she says. “It means to not be afraid to get behind the helm and become captain of your life.”