On a sunny Sunday in May of 1909, Sonora Smart Dodd sat in her usual pew at a little church in Spokane, Washington. It was Mother’s Day, and as the sermon was being given, Sonora’s thoughts drifted. She thought of a mother she never knew, who died giving birth to her and then to her father, William Jackson Smart. A farmer and Civil War veteran, he shouldered the responsibility of running the farm and serving as cook, nursemaid, listener, and bedtime reader to his five children. She thought of his sacrifices, steadfastly working to keeping them clothed and warm and inspiration struck her: why not a day to honor fathers everywhere? That simple gesture would take decades before President Nixon would ratify it as a national holiday in 1972.
When I think of what Father’s Day means to me, like Sonora I don’t have to look far. Gautama and I first met on an online dating app, which is less unusual now than it was then. Born and raised in Michigan, his father was a cardiologist who had moved from India to the United States in pursuit of the American Dream. To Gautama’s lasting sorrow, he would not live to see that see dream, being diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 42. In the decade that followed, Gautama watched as his strong, proud, and brilliant mentor faded away. Paralyzed with even the smallest movement or function a struggle, it was painful for Gautama to endure, and his mother took charge of home and heart. He would learn the meaning of hard work and dedication in equal measures of kindness and empathy from her.
If I, I suppose, am the heart of Perfect Locks, he is very much the brain. Since those early days as we pursued our dream of launching this company, he did it all: building our websites with an authentic passion to help women find solutions for them. To this day he continues to find ways to enhance shopping experiences, introduce new features and make changes in response to feedback.
Working with a spouse requires a mutual belief in a vision, but more importantly I think it takes complementary skill sets that work in harmony. Every day since we began all those years ago has been a joy, as he brought his talent, skills, and ideas to make my dreams and wishes come true. I wouldn’t be half the businesswoman I am today without his support, empowering me to continue to push myself and stay focused on our goals.
We’ve shared a simple vision from day one: fulfill the beauty needs of women and cater to the often-overlooked community of people struggling with medical conditions that lead to total or partial hair loss. That belief was born in me in the struggles I faced with my own reflection when I was younger, but Gautama’s was born from seeing firsthand how medical conditions can strip people of their dignity.
On this Father’s Day, I honor the man of my heart, the father of our children, my partner in life and in business: Gautama Swamy. Thank you for being who you are and for all the ways large and small that you sacrifice and share your love.
Your loving wife, partner, and friend,
A Note from Gautama Swamy
Dad, Father’s Day has always meant something a little different to me. When I look back into my memories of you, they were though eyes too young to remember you as clearly as I would’ve wished. I wish you had not known pain and that I had known you better. I can only wish that you are looking down on me and are proud of who I am and what I have accomplished. Above all, I hope I am the father to your grandchildren that you would’ve loved to have been to me throughout my life. On this day I honor your strength, drive, and loss. I love you, father.
I love you Dad.
Happy Father's Day.