Fathers: Matt Baldwin

A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both.

– Francois Auguste Rene Chateaubriand

I first discovered this quote while reading Yvon Chouinard’s Let My People Go Surfing. Reading that book changed my life. I began to seek out ways to achieve what Chateaubriand saw as masterful living. And so far, it’s worked. I sometimes marvel at the wicked amounts of fun I get to have every day.

Matt Baldwin, owner of Kansas City’s Standard Style, like Chateaubriand before him, never appears to be working too hard, and if he does appear to be working, he also appears to be having the time of his life. In a business where appearance is everything, I think Matt’s gone beyond appearances, and his hard work as a man, a husband, and a father have paid off in big ways. I admire Matt for attempting to master the art of living.


18866_1357640022248_1268934285_31054733_1772172_nI love my kids honesty and their ability to speak the truth. When I was thinking about writing this I asked Henley what he liked most about me being his dad and he replied, “I like that you will let us work for money so we can buy toys.” Looks like they are showing early signs of being young entrepreneurs.

30322_1496626816831_1268934285_31387915_7857232_nHenley (5) Rogan (3) and Rivington (6 weeks) Baldwin have changed my life forever. Since having kids, I’ve gotten to experience life in a different way, and life gets a little sweeter every day. Light saber battles, fishing at the lake and watching them learn to DJ are a few recent highlights that come to mind. And holding the newest Baldwin addition, a baby girl, is at the top of my list.

RB-BirthdayMy best man in my wedding was my dad. After he went through 6 months of chemo and radiation treatment he stood beside me on my wedding day nine years ago this week. He calls today bonus day 3,594, counting every day a blessing. He now has the role of Pops and I now have the role of dad. I am so grateful to have him apart of my life and the life of my kids. I learned how to be a man from my dad. I have also learned how to be a father from him. I have learned so much from watching how he lives his life by building trust in relationships, and serving people passionately. He taught me that one good decision leads to another, and still to this day nothing good happens after midnight. I will pass along these gems in life to my three.

29456_1452907638721_1114189969_31352046_804241_nMy dad has believed and invested in me. And because he has done that I will also believe and invest in my three kids. I love you Henley, Rogan, and Rivi, thanks for making me a father.

– Matt Baldwin, Standard Style