On Thursday, June 1, Electric opened its doors to the community to introduce a new office space. To celebrate, the crew served up cold drinks, In-N-Out and live music.
The office is just under 15,000 square feet, and includes an adjoining warehouse. Located up the hillside of San Clemente, the cubicle-free workspace has a fresh aesthetic, kitchen, gym, music room, and on-site Electric retail store — and a beautiful ocean view. Not to mention the location was once home to Surfing Magazine, legendary surf photographer Larry “Flame” Moore, the Fletcher family’s Astrodeck, and Ryan Sheckler’s first personal skate park.
During our visit, we had the chance to catch up with Electric’s Global Marketing Director Ian Foulke.
Why did you guys make the move?
We made the move because our business went private last year in March and we really wanted to make the next chapter ours. We also wanted to bring warehousing in-house and do everything under one roof.
What about the new location has you the most excited?
The energy. It just feels so fresh. It's a new building. It's a new start. We have a great team and the space is really open. Before, it was a little cubicled-out, which was good for personal space but from a brand communication standpoint, it wasn’t as good. People were emailing each other one cubicle over and now we have this large open space and people are certainly talking more. The creatives that we do for magazine, digital, social media, advertising, is all up so the entire office can see it which most times, gives everyone a good view of where the brand is going. We're really working as one family/team unit as opposed to departmental units.
How many employees are there?
As of now, about 28. But we expect to expand to about 35 once the warehouse is in full operation.
How has business been since going private?
Phenomenal. We saw a huge level of support from the core retailers which are mostly private, single doors. Some of them have multi doors but all of those independent retailers completely backed us for taking that risk. Specifically, [CEO] Eric Crane for taking that risk; buying the business and making it private.
Do you see any potential set backs or barriers since going private?
As for being private, we don’t feel the challenges or set backs a private start up brand, for example, may feel. We think and act with the entrepreneurial spirit but we have 17 years of brand and product history as well as North America’s key retailers backing us as a private brand. That is huge for Electric. Being private means we have the ability to maneuver the brand message and eyewear product to stay ahead of the competitive set and maintain trend relevance with the ever-changing inspired youth culture.
Any notable achievements since then?
Yes. One of our first initiatives after going private was to do what we called, the Legends of the Volt tour where we went coast-to-coast and took our mobile showroom (pictured) to 26 retail shops in 30 days where we sold product out of the trailer. This is typically a retailer's worst nightmare but we did a traditional revenue share with them, so it was actually as if they were selling the product themselves.
It was kind of like, hey we are going to come to your store to support your business, we are going to connect with the community, and we are going to offer them product that the store may or may not have. And Eric [Crane] was with us on every one of those stops. That just is unheard of for brands these days. I mean, when is the last time you saw the CEO of Oakley or Dragon go retailer to retailer, shake hands with the community, and cook hot dogs for the kids? For us, that's living free and that's how we want to operate our business. We want to be an exclusive brand that continues to strive to be the world's greatest eyewear brand.
For more information on Electric visit their website, ElectricCalifornia.com.
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