It was a few days before the start of my sophomore year of college at Ohio University and my 19th birthday. My mom and I were at our local outfitter searching for new hiking boots, but I quickly got sidetracked looking through the store’s selection of ENO hammocks.
ENO hammocks were extremely popular across campus. On any given day, you'd see them sprinkled across college green or in dorm rooms. ENO was the clear favorite brand among my peers.
I remember feeling like everyone I saw in a hammock looked instantly more chill and friendly. Plus, doing your homework in a hammock seemed much more enjoyable.
In that moment, it felt like a hammock was more of a need than a want. I picked out the (now discontinued) Retro Tri DoubleNest Hammock, which had a bright neon yellow hammock body with pink and blue side panels. I wanted a double hammock to have extra room to spread out, or to share with friends.
Little did I know how this birthday gift I picked out for myself would become a key change maker in my life.
A group of my college friends sharing DoubleNests and diving into deep chats.
Back at school, it quickly became my bat signal across campus. My friends could spot me from half a mile away in my BRIGHT yellow hammock. What normally started as a quiet place to do homework, quickly turned into a social gathering. I loved the packability, how comfortable it was, and most of all, the community it created.
So, with my fellow hammock buddy, Evan, we started the Ohio University Hammock Club. We hung out between classes, on weekend, and went for day hikes together. Before I knew it, all my college friends got hammocks too.
We spent our time enjoying the search for the perfect gathering of trees to all hang out together. Now, several years since I graduated, Ohio University created a man-made hammock park called Pawprint Park. This just shows how deeply ingrained hammock culture is to the college experience.
My ENO hammock was my prized possession at Ohio University. It's at the top of my college essentials list for incoming students. Not only will it enhance your college experience, but it will be sitting shotgun as you navigate post-grad life.
Hammocking with my brother, David, is one of our favorite ways to catch up and reminisce.
Some of my favorite memories were made with my ENO hammock. It was my safe place through living in several states, changing jobs, and building new friendships. There has been countless deep chats, outdoor naps, first dates, and quiet moments with my trusty DoubleNest Hammock.
Two years after graduating, I found myself in between jobs and searching for my next opportunity. COVID was weighing all of us down and limiting job opportunities. I checked job sites multiple times a day holding out hope for something that interested me. The search was brutal and I was feeling lost.
One spring day, I saw the Marketing Intern job listing for ENO, and my jaw dropped in pure amazement.
I couldn't have applied faster. I wrote a passionate cover letter about my hammocking obsession and love of the outdoors. I knew my skills working in the photojournalism industry and social media would translate well. Turns out, I applied to it the very first day the job was posted.
Three interviews later and I was ENO’s newest intern. Six months later, ENO offered me a permanent position as their very first Digital Content Producer.
A selfie I took right before moving down to Asheville, NC, to work full time for ENO.
Now, over three years later, I live in Asheville, NC, and my duties at ENO have expanded. I lead our content and social channels, capture our in-house photos and videos, and manage our outside content creators and Ambassadors. We are a small but mighty team at ENO, so we all wear many hats. The variety makes every day different and interesting.
I'm incredibly lucky to have found a job that combines my interests in the outdoors, photography, storytelling, and of course… hammocking. I find value in knowing our gear helps people spend more time outside, and can provide relaxation in a hectic world.
In college, I was always questioning what I could see myself doing and if I was prepared enough. It’s hard to have faith that things will work out when there is so much uncertainty when you leave school.
If I could tell my college self anything, I'd tell her to keep an open mind about what her future job may be. Embrace what feels good, try new things, surround yourself with good people, and work hard. You never know what a small interest or hobby could lead to.
To me, the meaning of life is not having all the answers, but having good company while trying to figure it out. And when it all feels like too much, you have your hammock to retreat to for a moment of peace. You’ve got this.
Author BioSarah has been ENO’s Digital Content Producer for the past 3 years. When she’s not hanging out in her Marine/Gold DoubleNest Hammock, you can find her cuddling her black cat, experimenting with a new artistic craft, or hosting a game night with friends.