We’ve been crossing paths with this lovely lady named Summer for some time now. Our kids go to the same school and living in a small town, it’s hard not to cross paths with people. We’ve been impressed with her story and her charisma since the get go and thought you’d love to get to know her as well. Read on to learn all about Summer, aka “Paso Robles Mom“, you’ll be glad you did!
Matt: Where are you from originally?
Summer: I was born in SLO and grew up in Avila Beach until I moved south to attend SDSU in 1999.
Matt: What brought you to Paso Robles?
Summer: After bringing my boyfriend (now husband, Christopher) up to the central coast to meet my family he suggested we leave Laguna Beach, move to Paso Robles, buy a home, get married and start a family of our own.
Matt: How long have you now been in Paso?
Summer: We have lived in Paso Robles for almost a decade now.
Matt: What is Paso Robles Mom?
Summer: PasoRoblesMom is my custom trucker hat company. People reach out to me with an idea, business logo, song lyrics, etc. that they’d like to wear on a hat. I am able to turn people’s ideas into meaningful head wear that will be around for a very long time.
Matt: When did you open the business?
Summer: I officially went from hobby enthusiast to hat boss in January 2016.
Matt: What was your original idea around this business?
Summer: I love going to concerts and typically feel let down by the hat merchandise offered so I wanted to make a cute hat to wear to see live music. I primarily envisioned a variety of custom hats people would enjoy wearing while wine tasting, going to the lake, hanging out at the fair, etc.
Matt: How has business been?
Summer: Business is incredible. My hats are very much in demand. What originated as cute apparel has grown into a business full of deep meaning, life long bonds, friendships, community ties and I see these hats being around far after I am not walking this earth.
Matt: I’ve read some of your social media posts about your battles with cancer, would you like to let folks know what exactly you’ve dealt with?
Summer: A few days before Christmas in 2016 I went in for a colonoscopy after battling unexplained stomach aches for months (I had every other test you could imagine and every test came back clear) and finding blood in my stool one morning. The colonoscopy revealed a tumor in my colon that would require surgery to remove. I fought hard to get to USC and see one of the best Colo/Rectal Surgeon’s in the USA. When I woke up from surgery the pathology did confirm I did in fact have stage 1 colon cancer. About 6 months later I opted to do genetic testing to see if my cancer was hereditary. They did find a mutation on my Chek2 gene. They believe that caused my colon cancer and gave me statistics on other cancers I may be susceptible to. Breast cancer was the highest concern for this gene mutation so in August of 2018 I decided to proceed in having a prophylactic double mastectomy. I had reconstruction surgery in December 2018 and hope my bold decision will eliminate my concern of battling breast cancer.
Matt: You have clearly been an inspiration to many, how does that feel?
Summer: I am so happy helping others. My heart is so full of love and warmth and encouraging people to be their own health advocates is what gets me up everyday. I am surrounded by so many strong warrior friends that constantly inspire me. It’s nice to share that with others and connect our hearts.
Matt: What is your current state of affairs with your health?
Summer: I am healthy. I am gaining my strength and mobility back. I go to the gym 5 days a week and strength train. I continue to get my blood work done, colonoscopies every year, I eat very clean and I feel incredibly blessed.
Matt: What would you say are some things that have helped you be able to fight something like cancer?
Summer: My husband has been there for me every step of the way. His love keeps me so strong. My family and friends rallied with me and supported my journey back to health. The Cancer Support Community in Templeton played a huge role in my fight. Shannon got me to start coming to the young survivors group, see a counselor to talk about my cancer struggles and just connected my with a whole bunch of badass fighters. Shannon has been breast cancer free for 13 years, but just this past weekend she got the horrible news that it came back and spread to her brain. She is fighting hard now and I know this is my time to be there for her and help lift her up as she has done for hundreds of survivors.
Matt: Any words of advice to others beginning their battle with cancer?
Summer: Everyone’s journey is so unique. I think being patient with yourself, taking it one day at a time, or even an hour at a time is so important, asking for help from others, getting to know other survivors, join support groups online or in person, learning to tell people “no” and not feel guilty and just remembering that the crappy times get better and nothing is permanent.
Matt: What are some things that people may not know about you?
Summer: I owned a day spa in Laguna Beach for 17 years. I became a massage therapist in 1997 after attending the Santa Barbara School of Massage. I studied abroad in Santander, Spain in 2004 and back packed through Europe for two months. Our son Sebastian is named after my favorite beach in Spain, San Sebastian. We went there the day after running with the bulls in Pamplona. I spent 5 weeks living in the Dominican Republic while my husband built a super club in Punta Cana called Webster Hall. I’ve been skydiving. I love tattoos and I’m terrified of snakes. My hubby and I also make our own wine and it’s turning out better and better every year. It’s a primativo blend.
Matt: When you’re not handling your business, raising a family, and kicking caner’s ass…what do you enjoy doing?
Summer: I absolutely love to travel and live spontaneously. I have a bucket list of places I need to go see! I enjoy relaxing with friends and family. We spend a lot of time cooking and soaking up the sunshine in our beautiful backyard. We always have music playing. I like to go wine tasting, be pampered at a salon or spa, go see live music, head to the lake or the beach, play games and laugh as much as possible!