What are you responsible for at Ocean Minded? In a nutshell, making sure the brand achieves its revenue targets annually. Going into details I’m responsible for building the brand in major accounts like Pac Sun, Zappos, Tilly’s, West Marine, Zumiez, and overseeing a team who manages all the specialty accounts. I also work directly with the Crocs sales team and we strategize on opening key footwear accounts that Crocs has successful business with to expand Ocean Minded into different distribution channels outside of action sports. I work with the planning team to forecast production and make sure we have enough inventory to sell in order to hit sales goals. I get to travel nationally and internationally on sales trips to present the brand to accounts and distributors.
How long have you worked with Ocean Minded and how did you start get started? I was the first employee when the brand was founded in 1996. I was working retail at Stewart Surfboards and Matt Archbold’s surf shop Archy’s Garage and met the founder of Ocean Minded Gary Ward. He told me he started a footwear company with an environmental purpose and asked me if I was interested in helping him.
What is your favorite part of the job? Working for a company that actually has values to help clean our beaches and Ocean’s is big bonus. I grew up surfing and I want to help educate others to leave the beaches clean. The friends I’ve meet along the way that I get to work with are amazing too. Everywhere I travel I have a friend to stay with and we get to do business together. It’s a great industry.
What advise can you give to someone who is looking to begin a career in the action sports Sales world? Get a job working retail during high school at a core action sports shop. Work your tail! Meet all the reps and sales managers you can and build a relationship with them. The sky’s the limit from there.
How are you “ocean minded” in your daily life? I teach my kids to pick up trash when we go to the beach and throw it away.
Tell us about your craziest, funniest and/or most memorable industry experience. Are children going to read this? I have so many but the most memorable moment that sticks out is our first national sales meeting in March of 1997. We rented Gerry Lopez’ 3 story house (now the Volcom house) on Pipeline on the North Shore of Oahu for a week. We flew all our sales reps out and some team athletes at the time. Pipeline was the biggest and cleanest I have ever seen it. We were trying to get everyone focused on the product presentation one day but out the window was Shawn Briley pulling into 20 foot pipeline tubes. We put the meeting off until that evening then some of us went out for some magical surf.
What are you listening to right now? iPod is on shuffle and sounds like Jimi Hendrix is jamming right now.
Top 5 Favs:
1. Big Sur California. My wife and I were married there and it’s the best place on earth
2. Tavarua Fiji. A beautiful island in paradise with crystal clear water, 2 of the best waves in the world and some of the kindest people you will ever meet.
3. Italy. I’m Italian and it was cool to see where my Moms grandparents lived. Italy has it all from incredible architecture, great food, intense history and waves.
4. Moorea, Tahiti. If you want to unwind and relax go to Tahiti and stay in one of those over water bungalows.
5. Pavones Costa Rica, yeah I’m a goofy foot and I like long lefts.
1. South Africa. Lions and tigers and bears, oh and Jeffreys Bay.
2. New Zealand. I want to drive around and get lost camping in New Zealand
3. Austria. I saw a video from our partner in Austria and it has it all. It looks like outdoor paradise.
What single word of advice can you give to someone who wants to be like you when they grow up and work for an awesome brand like Ocean Minded? I’ll never grow up but the one word is dedication.
Words to live by: Be Ocean Minded.