The SurfMonk Story…
The concept for Surf Monk’s classic pullover changing robes can be traced back to founders Claudia Taylor and Matt Lasky’s roots. Growing up in the heyday of the 60’s on Topanga Beach Road in Malibu, with the family home directly in front of the infamous point break- the young Laskys’ bore witness to many bohemian lifestyles and inspirations. One shared affectionate memory were the surf changing robes. The robes were used by the coolest surfers like Jay Riddle, Davey Hilton, George Trafton, to name a few… basically, a boxy terry robe with a hood that one could change in and out of wetsuits before or after surfing.
Cut to- a few decades later- conversation around the dinner table; Claudia, ready for a career change from her high stress event planning and catering biz of 20 years, and Matt, reminiscing about the days of old; “what if we reproduced the robes and gave our best to market them world wide?”
With Claudia taking the creative reigns, she infused her enthusiasm and belief for all things green and sustainable to the re-design of what she coined the SurfMonk project.
Claudia located an exclusive eco-fiber bamboo/cotton blend of luscious terry velour and made the samples, that would grow to a collection that included Full Length, Mid-Length, Hoodies, Juniors, Children’s and Baby robes, Beach Blankets that roll like boho bed-rolls, with a carrying strap, plus serapes, fanny wraps and mini-dresses
All the items have an intentionally frayed finish, a trademark overstitch hem, and hemp with wooden bead trim to finish.
The reception of the Malibu lifestyle brand was overwhelming. Sales started at Malibu’s own trend setting boutique Planet Blue, surf shops like ZJ Boarding House and Clout, and boutique hotels and yoga studios, as well as independent stores across America, regardless of weather they were a beach town or not. Sales quickly spread to hip stores in Japan, spas in Saudi Arabia, a rabid following in Norway, and a distribution deal in Canada. And that was year one.
Surfmonk closed it’s Malibu jewelbox showroom in 2012, but continues to sell to exclusive spas, hotels and boutiques including Malibu Market & Design, Alchemie Spa in Santa Barbara, and Adrift in Cape Cod. Emphasis is on personal and excellent customer service through the web-store.
SurfMonk continues its commitment to sustainable and local manufacturing. All of the goods are made in Los Angeles sweatshop free.