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Tiffany Montgomery
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Tavik growth surges in past six months

By Tiffany Montgomery
March 25, 2008 6:48 AM

When I talked to Bobby Abdel about what's selling at Jack's, he mentioned some newer brands Jack's is carrying, including Tavik.


I followed up yesterday with Tavik co-founder Erik Paulsen to find out more the brand, which is headquartered in Costa Mesa.


Why and when did you start Tavik?

TAVIK began in 2004 as a vision and a dream: To create a collection that catered to our loud lifestyle. TAVIK began because of a love of the board sports and the communities that surround it (music, fashion, art, etc...). I wanted to build something that would allow me to live and work in an industry I loved. After I finished college, watching/studying certain brands jumping up through the ranks, I realized that there was room and a need for a fresh style in a rapidly growing market.

 

What is the vibe of the line?

TavikTAVIK is defined: "Two or more distinct identities, each with its own pattern of perceiving and interacting with the environment." We create product that bridges the gap between higher end fashion garments and skate shop level products. Garments you can wear to the beach, or out at night. We are a lifestyle brand. Focusing on comfort and functionality that appeal to the active lifestyle individual with a fashion forward sense.


Our style comes from a mix of the subversive electro scene, mashed up with our skate, surf and snow influences.


What categories does Tavik have?

TAVIK has a men's and boy's line currently. We will be opening our women's line at the end of 2009, for a launch in 2010. We are one of the only small brands that create kid sizes in many of our cut-and-sew garments (boardshorts, denim, etc.). For example our boardshorts are offered from sizes 22-26 waist in boys and 28-38 waist in Mens.


Who are some of the key retailers that carry the line?

Jack's, Sun Diego, Hanger94, LSS, Hobie, Esteem, WRV, Hi-Tech, Killer Dana, Antiapparel and others.


You mentioned sales have taken off in the past six months. Why do you think that is?

TavikA mix of things. We have put in a lot of time to prove ourselves and build our brand the right way (grassroots). We have focused on key accounts and to work with strategic people. We have made bigger steps each year to show we are a growing brand. We have been consistent and brought on the right individuals to push our brand. We have backed it up with solid product that many times pushes the envelope.


We have brought on key individuals to assist in taking the brand to the next level. New members include Shane Beschen and Joe Bard (Director of Sales). Other athletes include: "White Dog" (Skate), Tory Barron (Surf), Eric Young (Snow) and others.


I also think many of the bigger brands are starting to look alike in stores and becoming too mainstream. The younger kids are not relating to the same styles. Kids want to be individuals and have the fresh new brand that puts out a new style. I believe stores need to keep their product fresh, core and allow the kids and young adults to become individuals.


What part of the country do you have the most distribution?

Right now it still is Southern California, although the East Coast is creeping up on the West Coast.


What's next for Tavik? Where do you want to go from here?

TavikGo big and get weird! To grow the brand through a strategic growth plan and have a lot of dance parties along the way. We have been focusing a lot on the East Coast right now, opening doors from Florida up to Maine. We are pushing hard internationally (recently opened distribution in Japan, Portugal, Spain, and others...) and look forward to tackling the world.


The common wisdom is that it's tough for a young brand to break in. Are you finding that?

Where do I begin... YES! It has been very tough! There are so many different elements to building a brand. It has taken us four years of building just to get where we are at today.


Even if you have a niche, work extremely hard and have solid product, it will still take many years to find your place in the market and gain market share. You need to put in your time and prove to the accounts and consumers that you are legit and not here today gone tomorrow. Then you have to be able to "sell through" in the stores by branding yourself in the market. It takes time and money to prove yourself.


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