Florida, USA, late 1970's. Alan Gelfland invents skateboarding classic, 'the ollie.' Local surfers Matt Kechele and compadre Greg Loehr, inspired, took to designing and shaping boards that could fly on the waves. Their fathers were aerospace engineers - remember the space race took off from Cape Canaveral - so a scientific approach was in their blood. Their twin-fin Kech Air followed the skateboard's silhouette and allowed for max speed and tail release. Mission accomplished. Did you know probably the most famous surfer of them all, Kelly Slater, surfed the Florida beaches? It's all making sense now, isn't it? *
It's a fun and historical story. One where looking back, you can see the river of innovation flow. Who knows what you can accomplish or invent with an open mind and surrounded by an eclectic mix of influences and knowledge.
We took it upon ourselves a long while ago when interviewing to ask potential colleagues what they did, and enjoyed, outside of work. We knew they were accomplished at the position applying for, but what made them tick, and what could they bring to the room to invigorate those around them and the business at large? It's a nice question to ask because it engages the person opposite you to talk about a passion they have. So who do we have in our midst – a BMX tricktser, two mini-fashion moguls - one a vintage menswear sourcer and seller, the other a counter-culture inspired designer; a photographer with a penchant for shadows and light; a house music DJ; a fishing champion; a long-standing experienced allotmenteer; a yoga studio owner; a sports science graduate; and a do-it-yourself car builder.
This all helps make The Graphical Tree a vibrant, interesting place to be and hang out. Hopefully, this radiates out like a set of rideable waves to you too, and the experience our customers feel is one of interested satisfaction, and enjoyment.
(* Inspired by The Surfers Journal, 32.1)