Behind The Brand: Mollusk Surf Shop

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posted by Brianne Worth

Mollusk is more than just a surf shop. Over the years, Mollusk has become an eclectic fusion of surfing, music, film and visual media, arts and crafts. Their stores double as concert venues, galleries, or a home-base for selling products hand made by their friends and neighbours. With storefronts in Venice Beach, Silverlake and San Francisco, Mollusk has become a go-to hangout spot for locals, surfers and artists alike.

To learn more, we sat down with the brands head honcho, John McCambridge to talk about the unique melting pot that is Mollusk Surf Shop.

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Tell us who you are and what you are about.
I’m the head chimp, designer and janitor here at Mollusk.

Describe your morning routine and a general day at Mollusk HQ.
Typical morning is checking in with everyone….to do list, pushing the various projects along, looking at surf cams, bullshitting, coffee, some designing and usually going down some musical wormhole.

Give us a quick summary of your workplace?
We have our office in a second floor residential flat…..very homey. Lots of art on the walls, photo studio in the kitchen, 2 bathrooms……one for yellow and one for brown. We have a small staff; a couple kids in the art department, a web developer, two ladies in clothing production and me to harass everyone.

How did Mollusk develop into the cultural institution it is today?
We have been lucky with all the people who have drifted through over the years. It seemed like right off the bat we had a solid crew of surfer/designer/film-maker/musicians. Thomas Campbell, Alex Kopps, Jay Nelson, Chad Marshall, Kyle Field, Tyler Manson were all there from the beginning……it seems like talent attracts talent. Also we always had the sweet surfboards; which is sort of the campfire of stoke.

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How important to the brand is the sense of community that Mollusk seems to model itself around?
I think it’s in the DNA….self perpetuating. Without the community we don’t really have anything.

Mollusk storefronts also function as concert venues and galleries, can you tell us a little more about that and the cultures that surround it all?
Each of the shops have their own crew of musicians and artists that hang around. The LA shops have more of a music scene and the San Francisco shop has more of an art scene. We have had some pretty epic shows over the years…..Will Oldham, Farmer Dave Scher, Ron Stoner, Billy Gibbons, Nat Russell, Geoff McFetridge, Paul McNeill…….

Run us through a typical day in a Mollusk store – where can people visit?
A good day would involve a construction project, a surf break, some friends from out of town and a party to top it off. If we could keep that going everyday…..that would be epic.

What’s one motto the Mollusk crew live by?
No hard and fast rules, but I always tell new hires that the most important thing is to be nice to everyone that comes through the door….no cool guy bullshit.

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