Yesterday was super fun! First we got in a surf at Salt Creek. Then we shot some drone photos for M.M. Studios, and then we got to go tour the headquarters of Stokehouse Unlimited – Vissla, D’Blanc, and Amuse Society where we learned about their cool eco initiatives!
Vince de la Pena, their VP of Global Marketing was a seriously awesome tour guide! He introduced us to every single person in the office that day from Chris Evans, the VP of International Business and Sustainability Initiatives, to Rob McCarty, the VP of Design, and lots of other team members. We even got to meet the CEO, Paul Naude, who was really encouraging of our vision of young people making the world a better place. (We did some research and he’s talked about the surf industry being “built on creativity, fearlessness, and the naivete of youth” so maybe that’s why he seemed to like us.)
It was really inspiring to meet so many people who are doing what they love for a company that seems like it is returning surfing to its roots: connecting people who love riding waves, the ocean, and talking story. We also got some good ideas for future careers. Here are five things we love about Vissla:
- They took the time to talk to us, some “kids” who are just starting our dream. We talked about the future of sustainably produced clothing, the true cost of things, and shorts made out of renewable resources such as coconut fiber and recycled items such as soda bottles.
- Their office is sick! It’s super modern and clean and filled with upcoming designs and samples. And right when you walk in there’s a surfboard by Danny Hess, who’s making eco boards.
- They produced Dream Steeple. We are huge fans of creativity and chasing dreams and we really want our parents to get an awesome surf-mobile like the one Jay Nelson made for this Vissla project so this movie was pretty much a dream come true to watch! (Full disclosure: if anyone wants to come pick us up in that van for a little surf trip, we’d be more than happy to oblige. Yes we are begging.)
- They created The Mahoa Project, challenging shapers to “shape miscut blanks into usable surfboards, and donate the finished product to kids who could not afford to buy their own.” Then they donate the boards to kids in Aunti Rell Sun’s annual Menehune Surfing Championship at Makaha Beach in Hawaii.
- They teamed up with Surfrider to launch the Creators and Innovators Upcycle Contest, challenging “the wave conscious, to take something that might be considered waste and create something that can be used in the ocean.”
Before our visit we were fans of Vissla for their styling shirts, shorts, and wetsuits. Now we are also fans because of the people behind this brand. Happy to say Vissla is 100% now one of the #companieswelove.
Thank you to Terry Strumpf for setting up this visit for us!
What companies do you love? Tell us more at www.ecokid.com/companieswelove.