Not so long ago I traveled to central California for the first time. This was the first time I saw the Pacific Ocean from domestic sand, the first time I tasted wine at a vineyard, the first time I experienced the mighty redwoods, explored Yosemite, overlooked the jagged cliffs of the Coastal Highway and felt the cold water of mainland surfing’s birthplace at Santa Cruz.
Throughout California are pods of unique surfers sharing their love for the ocean through art. Surrounding these pods are small boutique surf shops in quaint historic beach towns all along California’s coast. These shops showcase locally shaped surfboards, handmade soy wax, paintings, photographs, board bags and apparel. All the products are handmade and eco-friendly.
These shops and artists inspired me to create Lotus Earth on the East Coast and I would like to share my thoughts on the value of this dream.
I certainly believe there is a place for mass produced goods. These companies were born from a love of the lifestyle in which they were founded. Unfortunately most of the time this same art, creativity and excitement is replaced with the universal love of money.
A corporate monster is born and envisions a vast investment opportunity.
The profit margins are counted and weighed as oversees manufacturers are contracted.
The company is absorbed by a master of brands. The original vision is lost and the consumer is now able to purchase a label with the highest status symbol at the lowest cost.
The value of the brand was built on it’s foundation principles. These principles have a calculated expiration by the master of brands and thus the lifespan of the product begins it’s decline. This is the natural evolution of a successful product.
Billabong, Quicksilver, and Rip Curl all started out as small unique companies with the univeral love of surfing. People really connected with their brand image and do so more than ever today.
I did too for a long time and have nothing against the success of a large company. I simply prefer individuality.
I’m easily bored and always thriving for new music, art, places, insightful inspiring conversation and living life everyday.
We are all so different and it’s hard to feel like an individual when I see two or three guys wearing the same shirt or surfing the same mass produced board as I’m riding.
Lotus Earth is my dream. There is no business plan or expected return on investment. There is only the hope that you will dig the idea and simply enjoy the products as much as I do