thisismeerika

The surf board bag designer and RVCA advocate from Zarautz, Spain on their exclusive designs, not wanting to be super-big and easing stress with music and surf

Interview by Sam Haddad, photos by Benjamin Jeanjean/RVCA

A year ago my boyfriend asked me to make him a board bag. He has so many different board shapes but he couldn’t find the right bags for them, so I told my friend Eli, as we’re very into surf and fashion, and we started making board bags for him and then ourselves. People liked them so much so we kept making more and it started like that.

We weren’t really good at sewing. We did a little bit with our own clothes, fixing things here and there, but not too much. It was really easy just making the shapes, and then we started sewing. My friend Eli’s Auntie makes clothes so we visited her and she showed us how to do it in a good way, as the first ones weren’t so good haha. They didn’t have holes or anything but they weren’t too straight. And they didn’t have a lining, which we decided to put inside to protect the fabric from the wax and fins. Eli’s Auntie has sewn all her life, she’s proud of what we’re doing.

Sometimes we get a bit stressed, but we cope with music and surf. Eli and I run sew ‘n sing by ourselves, so it’s a lot of work really, we have to do the sewing, buy the fabrics and do the communications. When the surf is good we go for a surf, and when it’s not good we work.

Every day is an inspiration.

We don’t want to get super-big. We’d like people to recognise the job that we’re doing but enjoying what we do is the most important thing. We always do what we like so if someone orders something that we don’t like we try to suggest other designs to them. If we could have people to work for us in the future that would be cool though.

We love surfing our local beach break at Zarautz, the people are cool and there’s a good atmosphere. There are some good point breaks too but I’ll keep them secret, as it gets very busy here in summer.

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Eli and I have been close friends since we both studied communications together at university. It’s always good working with your friends, as you have someone to chat to when you’re working. We have discussions sometimes of course but that has to happen, you can’t agree everything. If I feel like doing something and Eli doesn’t agree she explains why and then I understand it and we reach an agreement.

All our board bags are exclusive and we never repeat the same design. It’s very important for us to be in stores where they appreciate handmade, unique products. We try to find the right people with the right stores. We’re stocked in Core's Air in St. Jean de Luz, Mr Woody in Pau, Muskaria in Zarautz and Surfindian in California. We’ve just started making wetsuit bags, with a lining so you can put your wet wetsuit inside. We have some plans to make some clothes too.

If we can use recycled material we do, but there aren’t a lot of second hand stores where we live. So we go to fabric stores and ask if they have old fabrics, which they aren’t selling anymore and pick whichever ones we like best.

It’s very clean where we live and pollution isn’t a big problem as it would be in the city. Perhaps because we are by the sea so everyone is very conscious of keeping it clean.

Everyday is an inspiration, especially when we travel and meet people who surf or play music or have a cool blog or magazine, that inspires the us the most.

Erika is a RVCA advocate. For more info on the awesomeness that is Sew n’ Sing go to sewnsing.com