The Blended Model

I love the Saturdays Surf NYC shop. They’ve done an incredible job of transitioning their superior taste and curated community into the destination for surfers in NYC, and more than that, they’ve created a real brand around it. This mixed model of community, retail, brand and tastemaker is very interesting. I suspect Partners & Spade is sort of after this same thing (though with advertising and fashion, not surfing), but I don’t know enough about them…either way, it seems to be an underserved trend. Leveraging the physical location into one-part store, one-part hangout, one-part community and one-part brand advertisement is quite brilliant, and it’s so well executed. I think more small brands should employ this model, starting small and local, and building out from there, using the people and places and events around them to build up both a following and credibility. If your shop sells boards, sell them the best boards, but also sell your own line of surfwear, and then go do a collaboration with a big brand (J.Crew) whose customers like to pretend they surf. If you sell surfing gear, host premiers for surf movies, meetups, and outings. I imagine they do all that, and if they don’t they should. Build a brand around the activities you serve and enhance, and go from there. It doesn’t hurt to have a kickass design aesthetic too.