Element Founder Johnny Schillereff On The Brand Vision & The Branch

Johnny Schillereff launched the brand Element in the 90s on the East Coast, at a time when the surf and skate industry was mainly identified by West Coast style and companies. A creative entrepreneur, Schillereff has always been dedicated to setting the brand apart from the pack, and decided to focus in on a connection to nature as part of the brand’s ethos—a philosophy that has stuck with Element to present day.

Element Founder Johnny Schilleref The Break

Element Founder Johnny Schilleref

“I felt like there needed to be something more positive in the world, and positive in our industry,” says Schillereff. “If we are going to put ink on a T-shirt, or go out and do a demo, and have a voice of any type, that we should be responsible about that.”

He also gives details around The Branch, a new Costa Mesa headquarters and platform for Element that encompasses the brand’s vision from day one, and includes a farmers market, skate park, and an open, collaborative work environment that encourages creativity. TransWorld Business had  a chance to take the tour recently, and were impressed by the amount of open space and the overall relaxed vibe.

Schillereff says 2014 seems to be the year that everything is coming together for Element, and his excitement around working on the brand has been renewed with the recent additions to the business. Moving into the future, the founder says he plans to lean on a piece of advice he’s gathered from his experience over the years.

“What I’ve learned over the years is just to not compromise on your vision, and not compromise yourself or your brand, and have a lot of balls. Just don’t ever be afraid. Stick your chest out and don’t be scared.”


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