Jamie Tworkowski was born in Morehead City, North Carolina in 1980. His dad was a surfer and his parents owned a surf shop in nearby Emerald Isle. In 1985 the family moved to Melbourne Beach, Florida, where Jamie's dad took a job as a sales rep for a t-shirt company. Jamie grew up at the beach and fell in love with surfing. He also grew up in and around the surf industry, daydreaming about brands he wanted to start and brands he wanted to work for. Jamie got his foot in the door at age 18, working as a sub rep for Quiksilver. Four years later Hurley surprised a lot of people when they hired him to be their Florida sales rep at the age of 22. People were equally surprised when, four years after that, Jamie quit to start something called To Write Love on Her Arms.
TWLOHA began as Jamie's attempt to help a friend and tell a story in 2006. Jamie's friend Renee Yohe was struggling with depression, addiction, and self-injury. The original TWLOHA story was posted as a blog on MySpace and money was raised by selling t-shirts. The hope was simply to help pay for Renee's treatment but the story went viral and orders for the t-shirts showed up from across America and around the world. A non-profit organization was born. Fast forward to today and TWLOHA has responded to people in 100 countries and invested more than $2.7 million into treatment and recovery. After 15 years, Jamie recently moved on from TWLOHA to focus on writing and speaking independently. He remains committed to mental health and is passionate about sharing both the highlights and lessons learned from this surprising journey.
Jamie founded NEEDS AN OCEAN while living in Nashville in 2020. A lifelong surfer, his time away from the water unexpectedly led to falling back in love with surfing. This is the meaning behind NAO's tagline, "A beach brand born from new appreciation." Jamie reconnecting with the ocean led to a move back to Florida at the end of 2020 but NAO continues to be based in Nashville, with all of the merchandise being printed and shipped from there. Jamie considers NAO a passion project as the brand has allowed him to return to his surfing roots. He loves the creative process of working on new ideas with various designers.