Katin, a California-based surf company and lifestyle brand, is seeing great results in a tough market.
The brand, which focuses on high-quality, durable goods, saw 35% growth over 2016.
“We have grown consistently over the last five years,” Vice President of Sales Dale Rhodes said.
The majority of Katin’s business is in the United States but they are strong in Canada and Australia as well.
They focus on creating relationships with premium retailers and do not sell to online outlets such as Amazon and Zappos.
“We are building our business with the account base we have,” Dale said. “Starting in 2017 our full collection is in all 155 REI doors.”
Along with REI, Katin is carried in surf, fashion and outdoor retailers including Jack’s Surfboards, Hobie Surf Shop, Proof Lab and Urban Outfitters.
“Katin is iconic, authentic and progressive with an amazing leadership, marketing, design and sales team.” Jake Schwaner of Hobie said. “We both started in 1954 so it really makes our partnership truly a great one. Their product resonates perfectly with our customers and their quality stands with our ethos of the Hobie Surf Shops. They try to sew a good part of it right here in the good ol’ US of A.”
Knits, which are all American-made, are a leading style for Katin, followed by jackets and flannels.
Graphic tees are also a strong category.
Each year Katin’s Creative Director Jason Rodriguez picks a story from Katin’s past for inspiration.
“We are building on previous success,” Jason said. “We try to stay consistent with what we do as opposed to following trends.”
The Fall/Holiday 2018 line is based on an old Katin ad with a stormy wave and the phrase “rugged as the sea.”
The line, which incorporates both old and new styles, includes boardshorts with a print from the 1970s and fleece with custom washes and simple embroideries.
The mineral washed hoodie and crew neck fleece got a great response from retailers.
Vintage style remains strong for the brand, with pieces such as a flannel-lined coaches jacket with snap closures that dates back to Katin’s start in the 1950s.
“Our big focus is on jackets, flannels, pants and sweaters,” Owner Mac Beu said. “We dye out a new color palette every season and win on color, fit and fabrication.”
Katin started as a boat cover brand in 1954 in Surfside, California. Nancy and Walter Katin were known for producing strong, durable boat covers. Walter created custom boat shorts for a few friends but continued with the boat cover business.
A couple years later, surfer Corky Carroll came into the shop requesting a surf short with the same indestructible-type material as the boat covers.
Those boardshorts quickly gained popularity, leading Katin to become what it is today.
Katin takes pride in being California’s first boardshort brand and continues to grow the brand with strong craftsmanship, competitive price points and storytelling, Dale said.