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HippyTree's surf and stone strategy

By Shelby Stanger
February 22, 2012 7:50 AM

At Outdoor Retailer, I caught up with Andrew Sarnecki and Josh Sweeney of Hippy Tree. Their booth was tucked back away from the action sports section, near some climbing brands and a few aisles down from Sanuk. We talked to Andrew and Josh to see how things were going.


How’s the show? 

This show is huge for us. This is our third time exhibiting at OR. We are not that active in the snow or skate industry. We focus on our passions, surfing and rock climbing. We call our marketing platform “Surf & Stone.” This is one of our bigger trade shows because of the presence of climbing and outdoor related accounts.


How is business?

We continue to grow every season. We are in over 500 retailers in 16 countries.


That’s a lot for a brand that started in a garage eight years ago.

In our mind that is not that many doors, but they are all top quality, core surf and outdoor shops. We put a lot of emphasis on maintaining a strong core account base.


You guys stand out here.

We are one of the few surf brands that targets and designs products for the outdoor sports enthusiast. How many surf companies make rock climbing chalk bags? We put a lot of time and effort into designing clothes that appeal to both surfers and climbers.


For example, all of our shorts and boardshorts have crotch gusset panels. Gusset panels are really important to climbers. They need to be confident that when they place their foot above their head their shorts aren’t going to rip.


What product categories are you focusing on?

We continue to expand our cut and sew offerings. We now utilize stretch fabrics in some of our boardshort styles and have been doing well with our recycled polyester boardshort made from recycled water bottles. We’re also incorporating spandex and stretch textiles into our pants and wovens. Adding a little bit of stretch enhances garment performance and makes it more comfortable to wear.


As for specific products, there are a few we are really excited about…


The first is the Kodiak Hoody. We took that classic outdoor sherpa style pullover and gave it a twist, by putting it on a traditional hoody template more often seen in the surf market. It’s a great style to put on after a morning surf session and is so comfortable you almost want to sleep in it.


Our stretch cotton twill Trail Pant has been well received. We offered a similar pant last season that flew off the shelves. Both surfers and climbers dig the pant because it’s flexible and durable enough to wear while climbing, but stylish enough to wear out at night.

We have also expanded our accessory and headwear division. My favorite is this new terry cloth trucker hat – simple but awesome.


(See photos of these products above in the slide show.)


How about your eco line?

Every T-shirt style is offered in at least one organic cotton colorway. We continue to use recycled and sustainable fabrics in boardshorts, headwear and accessories where applicable.


See Page 2 for a new HippyTree logo, more


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