Moving into its San Clemente location nearly three years ago, Ocean Minded is settling into the South El Camino Real space through a series of phases that include the buildout of a 450-square-foot showroom and a 1,000-square-foot retail space dedicated to its ever expanding men’s and women’s footwear collection.
The retail space, which was the first part of the project, was completed in May and hosted a “soft” grand opening during Memorial Day weekend. With the Rip Curl outlet store as its direct neighbor, the new shop gets a slow stream of steady traffic and visibility, but not enough to be deemed as the brand’s flagship retail space, says Marketing Director Bob Tanner.
“Opening the retail space was the main driving force for us getting the space and why we moved down here three years ago,” explained Tanner. “We knew the building was zoned for partial retail space, and we wanted to take advantage of that.”
The entire workspace, including a second floor which houses the Ocean Minded (OM) corporate headquarters, has been designed with the intention to convey the brand’s philosophy of reusing and recycling old materials, according to Tanner and GM Steve Workman, who pointed out the unfinished cement floors, OSB chipboard walls, and repurposed tile ceilings as just a few of many details they have simplified in order to keep the office in line with Ocean Minded’s DNA.
“That’s what the brand is about, and that’s what we are trying to communicate,” says Workman. “I like to go by the three second rule: if you can understand what the brand is about in three seconds or less, then it works.”
After its acquisition by Crocs in January 2007, OM was positioned to grow out of its small business model, and that process has unfolded organically, presenting the brand with many opportunities to continue evolving its product and expanding its retail distribution model internationally, says Workman, who has been a part of the Boulder, Colorado-based Crocs for three years and became Ocean Minded ‘s GM last year.
“We utilize a lot of Crocs technology, such as their Croslite proprietary material, in a good percentage of our products,” says Workman. “This gives us a one-up because no one has this in the surf industry. At the end of the day, when you are small, you are lucky to have a billion dollar company to back you and help you pursue your goals.”