Joe Paone and Forrest Kolb
Photo by Barbara Ries
Longtime friends Forrest Kolb (right) and Joe Paone (left) believe they have a solution for green-minded pack rats, shoppers or purgers — or just folks looking for more info on how to be green. Last year they started EcoFlip.org, an online green resource center. What we appreciated most from meeting these two young entrepreneurs is the yin and yang of their personalities.
What are you wearing?
FK: Denim shirt and leather jacket by Sundance, Rock & Republic Jeans (I buy one pair of jeans a year, and beat them up), Converse low-top shoes, LuLu-Lemon boxer briefs (the most comfortable underwear for men on the planet, also great for running, hiking, kung fu, working out etc.), Beaded bracelet from Peru, native-American colored-bracelet from ebay, Turqouise rosary (which I wear around my neck) and bought in a little “Buddha store” in Inverness, NFW water-resistant silver watch from a Mill Valley boutique.
JP: Organic corduroy blazer from Sundance. Organic cotton long sleeve shirt from Sundance. Calvin Kline blue jeans. Armani belt. Mark Mason shoes.
Where would you wear this outfit?
FK: Weekday/weekend breakfast at half-day café in Kentfield before taking a drive followed with a change into walking gear for an early-afternoon hike. I also frequent the Pelican Inn on Thursday nights for live music via local folk singer and friend Steve Sloan. I may also wear this outfit for morning coffee at either Northpoint or Café Trieste in Sausalito.
JP: An evening out on the town.
How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
FK: Let’s see… I open my eyes, say thank you to God for the opportunity to live in the “Garden of Marin”, shower, jump into my clothes, and decide which café I feel like working at for the day. Ten minutes? Unless I make “mush” at home which calls for another ten minutes as I eat on the back patio overlooking Alcatraz, and most recently Tom Perkins’ “Maltese Falcon.”
JP: 15 - 20 minutes.
Describe your personal style.
FK: Timeless clothing and accessories. Denim shirts, Beat-up brown leather shoes, old brown belts, down-to-earth-toned tees. I’ve been wearing a lot of white lately. One of my favorite shirts (a very light white sailor’s button-up) comes from Paul & Shark in Sausalito where I couldn’t resist my friend Alberto’s Italian sales charm. I wear havanas flip-flops when I can and UGGS when I can too! I’m all about clean comfort.
JP: Casual, clean and professional.
Who are your fashion influences?
FK: My big sis has been a fashion freak and designer ever since I can remember. We still ask each other’s opinions regarding style and fashion. Her influence as well as the inspiration of others, including my favorite musicians and California landscapes, led me to co-creating the clothing line Johnnie California in 2004.
Before coming to an end, Johnnie California was sold up and down our beautiful state in high-end boutiques including Red Dot of Mill Valley and SF, Canvas of Larkspur and others. After sending Governor Shwarz… a letter a few years back with samples for him and wife Maria of the current line that season which was entitled “California Proud,” he actually set up our biggest account for me at the California Museum gift store in Sacramento. Our California, gold-rush meets modern Californication tees, tanks, hats and sandals were being sold right next to Maria Shriver’s books!
I’ve recently really got into running, almost daily after meeting and being inspired by Marin local and ultra-marathon man Dean Karnazes. I trust in the gear he endorses when it comes to running.
FK: Kasil Jeans, LuLulemon, North Face, Patagonia.
Where do you love to shop in Marin?
FK Sundance (now that they opened), the little “Buddha store” (don’t know the name) in Inverness…[editor's note: it’s called Spirit Matters]
JP: I actually find shopping painful. However, I do like Sundance and Banana Republic.
What is always in your bag/pockets?
FK: Too much! I’m always carrying stuff too my car/from my car. I think I need a leather “murse” you know, a man-purse? Keyes, ipod shuffle, athletic bag filled with workout gear, bracelets and necklaces, coffee mugs, klean canteen, Ray-Ban sunglasses.
JP: Wallet, gum, chap stick, cell phone, keys.
What is the single most essential piece in your wardrobe?
FK: One of my rosaries from around the world, usually one that I bought in Medjugorge Bosnia, a magical village which permanently altered my life two summers back. I don’t leave home without one. Other than that, probably my North Face.
JP: Comfortable jeans.
What would you never be caught dead in?
FK: Hmmm…. any of the bicyclist get-ups. Hey I’m honest! What is that lycra-spandex?
JP: In bed with my neighbor's wife.
What do you splurge on?
FK: Americanos dessert, Mexican chips at Joe’s Taco Lounge, fresh air from atop the Bootjack trail.
What is your best cheapo secret?
FK: LOL—I never spend money on ultra-expensive sunglasses because I drop them and bang them up all too frequently. I can’t give you any of the juicy ones, otherwise they wouldn’t be a secret now would they?
JP: If I told you it wouldn’t be a secret.
What’s your fashion pet-peeve?
FK: Living in Sausalito, we get a lot of those bicyclist get-ups I mentioned above. I guess if you’re as fit as Lance Armstrong, they’re not so bad, but man I hope they evolve. Lastly, this one I wouldn’t consider a pet-peeve, but I have to admit I do notice what I call the “North Face couples.” You can spot this pair easily with their matching North Face fleece hits on their back shoulders. I’m originally a so-cal native and this was one of the first things I noticed the first time I moved to the Bay Area.
JP: People that are too hip.
What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?
FK: A business in Marin County! And so worth it!
JP: Recently I took my girlfriend out to see a movie in SF. That was pretty expensive.
Did it make you happy?
FK: Everyday of my life... A friend of mine who’s traveling the world writing a book called “The Altrupreneur” defines success as doing only what you love in every 24-hour period. I agree with him, and when you let go of everything else you literally watch every plane of your life change (for the better) before your eyes.
JP: All time spent with my girlfriend makes me happy.
If your life were a movie, what would be your theme song?
FK: Peaceful Easy Feeling (Eagles), Californication (Red hot Chili Peppers), Snake Charmer (Ottmar Liebert)
JP: Sunrise (Devlins).