Crowdfunding leads to customized wetsuit program
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 4 April, 2016 - Wetsuit and surfwear company Sen No Sen was created 17 years ago and was an early blueprint for many of the stripped-down brands that are gaining momentum today.
An early proponent of the DIY ethic, Sen No Sen has slowly built its brand image in France, these days you can see surfers like Charly Martin, Maxime Huscenot, Jorgann Couzinet or Yann Martin wearing the wetsuits.
On the eve of the brand's expansion across the Atlantic and into America, we thought it was a good time to talk to owner Mathieu Desaphie.
First, tell us about about you and your brand Sen No Sen
I created the brand in december 1999 when I was 19 years old, just printing t-shirts to sell during contests I ran with my friends. It was fun to design and make project alive such as videos, contests, parties...
I opened my first store in 2005, then started to go on real cut and sew productions with Sen No Sen and I'm building a select distribution network since 4 years now so you can find the brand in 40 premium surf and lifestyle stores in Europe.
My motto is "quality products for quality life" trying to bring premium stuffs and always working hard without losing important things in life: sharing good moments with friends and family and enjoying waves when it's good.
What makes Sen No Sen different from other companies ?
Since the beginning, I do almost everything by myself with a strong "DIY" attitude. I'm in the industry since so long that I've seen brands come and go. Most of the time cupidity kills brands. If you make choices for the money, you strongly get thrashed in return. All my choices are driven by passion and what I really expect for the brand.
The brand is a mix of quality products, clean process and good energy, keeping it real.I always try to improve products, collections, partnerships with stockists. I just love my job and I'm proud of having made a garage project a real brand today with solid basis.
What are you working on ?
I always try to improve clothing collection with fresh ideas, new products and new concepts to keep interest of our public. Same for the wetsuit line, including a custom program that I'm working on for a while. I raised funds through a crowfunding website last year to launch it properly and we already made few custom wetsuits for surfers like Jared Mell, customers, retailers and brands. It's a very exciting and this part of the project just begin.
What are your futur plans for growth ?
Time has come to export the brand outside France. I already started working with premium stores in Portugal, Spain and Sen No Sen will be distributed in UK next season.
I also talk with people in California that are interested by the brand, just need to find the right way to bring Sen No Sen there. I have several ideas to improve partnerships with stockists and make the brand grow. It's very exciting!