I first saw Rareform at the Surf Expo a couple of years ago and thought their products was really cool. I took a card, fully intending to contact them for review product and then, as with life, got busy. They reached out to us about an article and we were happy to do it! Our industry creates some fairly environmentally destructive products, so it’s nice to talk to one that makes useful items (paddle, surf, and tote bags, along with wallets and some other things) that recycle!
Watch their story below and then read the interview with founder Alec Avedissian.
The Mullet Talks With Rareform
What has been the market response to RareForm? consumer response? What is some feedback from people?
Rareform is now in it’s third year in business and we have been growing. We are in around +200 surf/sup stores throughout the country and consumers and retailers really enjoy the story behind the brand. Most people do not know that billboards are made from vinyl so the concept is new to them – upcyling – once they are educated on how together we are all making a difference though, they really connect.
How important is it to you to be one of the more environmentally conscious businesses in an industry that typically manufacturers goods that are hard on natural resources? Is that a big part of your marketing strategy?
It is in the ethos of Rareform and hits on everything we do – from our packaging, manufacturing, sourcing, hangtags, and finally to displays. For us doing the ‘right thing’ isn’t necessarily a marketing strategy but good business. People want to know where their products are made and the process behind it. We are consumers that want to know the story.
People have a choice when buying gear and they’re picky about things that protect their gear. What are some of the selling points of your bags?
Alec: First and foremost our bags need to look good and be durable – which they are. Vinyl is water proof so our bags are weather-resistant and each item is unique. Everyone can find a bag that speaks to them and their individuality whether it be in the sup bag or a smaller wallet.
When you say you “intercept,” does that mean you have to jump in a car and dash out whenever they are changing out billboards?
Alec: Are they delivered? Kinda, but not really. We now have contracts with large outdoor advertising companies and we work with them to ship in the billboards on pallets to our warehouse. We don’t climb up and do the takedown (I am afraid of heights so that just wouldn’t work.)
Alec: Did you start with surf or start with other bags? We started with surf because we love surfing and grew up surfing. Also, our first bag we made was a surfbag. From there we have expanded into more surf/sup accessories and the lifestyle side of the business as well with backpacks, wallets, totes, duffels.
What are some of the exciting thing and exhausting things about starting a company in this industry?
Alec: The most exciting part of the business is hearing from customers that bought something and love it. Getting a phone call or email from a happy customer that is behind what we are doing and a loyal fan is the best. Also, I really enjoy thinking of new products and the creative aspect that drives our business. As for exhausting – I always thought that when I started a business I would have more free time and surf more which is not the case.
Tell us about your company culture.
Well, we are all about new ideas and creative problem solving and we find that inspiration comes outside the office. Our office is in Santa Monica, CA and so we make sure to get out daily and enjoy where we are based. We really live the “work hard, play hard” mentality and continually ask the question “what can we do to differentiate ourselves?”.
Funny stories to share?
Hmmm, we sometimes get incredibly awkward billboards – strip clubs, marijuana dispensaries, sex products, etc. We always find a good laugh with our team when we see these.
Are you interested to see their stuff? Check them out here.
And if you purchase through this link or the one above (both of which go to their website), the Mullet gets 10%, which helps pay the server bills! Thank you!