I’ve never been the one that fancy specific brands because they are popular or fashionable. I love great style, but I love something that is out of the ordinary, something we are not used to see and that is also good quality. The physical aspects are only one thing that I look at when I buy or support brands - there’s way more that matters to me, like who is behind the brand. What do they believe in, and what kind of humans are they? Are they the one that use other people while seeking success or are they only trying to follow their inspiration?
Discovering Saltfish Surf Co. was like finding who I was going to be in a few years. Following your dreams and what stirs your soul up isn’t an easy process, but the hard work is definitely worth it at the end of the day. We’ve asked the founder of these rad bags, Romain Goudinoux, a few questions about his newly founded company & his inspiration behind it.
Launching a company seems like an overwhelming process, are you all by yourself or you have a team to help you with the brand?
I am completely all by myself, which is very challenging. I do everything from the fabrics, the production, the social media, the wholesale, the internet part aka website – everything you see, it’s me! It’s an interesting thing for me and it’s still something new that I am not used to.
That’s definitely a lot of work, you must not sleep much I bet! What made you realize you wanted to work on something that involves surfing and create Saltfish Surf Co?
It all started as a project while I had a full time job. I felt the need to create something within the surf industry, something different from what the market offered with the help of my fashion background and my travel experiences. I started collecting vintage stuff, textiles, doing vintage shopping.
And why surfboards bags?
I carried bags for a long time and they are mainly all made of plastic with big logo; it doesn’t look that great. I wanted something you could be proud to wear, and especially by living in Venice, the fashion sense is very cool so I thought my idea could work! Every day, you carry your board to the beach and you walk in the streets, you need to do it in styles.
Are the bags made in California?
They are made in a factory down in Mexico and honestly, I love my people around there. Finding manufacturers was really tough, especially that I wanted to keep it local at first, but it was way too expensive and complicated in LA. I started to check the production of the board bags, but working with both leather and Mexican blanket is very hard. You need special skills and machines, so at first when I made some samples in L.A, I wasn’t too happy with the result. I started looking online and contacting other people, and a lot of them turned me down. A guy ended up contacting me, told me he loved my company and said that he knew somebody that could accept the challenge but it was down in Mexico. I was okay with it, so we tried and the first samples totally blew my mind! I love Mexico and the people. Their commitment to make amazing products is unbelievable, even if it’s just samples, you can tell how dedicated and passionate they are.
As long as the quality is great as the environment they are working in, I don’t see the issue of doing the production in Mexico, I even think it’s awesome! How are the people there?
I made really good friends, it’s like a big family now. I usually go there on Friday, and we always end up doing big BBQ and taco night during the summer! I am from France, but I am half Spanish, so it’s pretty much like my culture. I go there to work, but I also enjoy drinking a couple of beers with them and just to laugh, have fun. The best part is that they are really supportive, they know I am starting and they believe in me, in my project. This is really inspiring to work with them.
What is going to be next for you now that you are putting your name out there and trying to get your brand known?
The next step is to do a Kickstarter, I don’t have a plan B. I need a bit of financing to keep going as the whole concept behind the brand is to travel and find fabrics to create different collection with. I have a bunch of ideas I want to make and different destinations I want to go to, but I need people support.
We are creative minded people, passionate about the world, the ocean, the waves. We all want to live within an industry that makes us feel happy, but the actual action of quitting your job to do it is the scary part that not many of us are able to do. We are scared. We lack courage. So when I talked to Romain and saw that he actually made the big move, changing his life upside down, not for getting rich, but only to live from his passions, it made me realize how inspiring it was. It made me realize that the aesthetic of the brand was genius, but that the brain and the love behind it was making it even better.
Help him follow his passion, here is the Kickstarter!