We had the good fortune of connecting with Galeazzo and Sante Bentivoglio and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Galeazzo and Sante, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Our main objective starting our shop was to try to bring back the special feeling of a REAL small, local, core surf and skate shop. Santa Monica has a long history in both surf and skate – and there was a time when it considered a mecca, with small shops flourishing all over town. Unfortunately over the last few decades, corporations took over both industries and slowly but surely all the small shops and companies shut down. We realized that there was suddenly a big hole in our beloved surf and skate scene and we decided that the city still needed a small shop that valued the community and partnered with local shapers, clothing brands, artists, etc instead of big corporations.
What should our readers know about your business?
It’s definitely not easy to be a small shop that relies on other small, local brands to compete against billion dollar corporations. We were set on not carrying any big corporate companies, and oftentimes that means that you are losing sales because people are attracted to big name brands. There were times where we felt we wouldn’t make it to the end of the month and we thought maybe people just don’t care enough about where the product comes from. However, with a bit of resilience and time, we learned that this community DOES care about supporting local brands and the support we have received is truly amazing. We are proud to be a part of a movement that’s about sustainable, high quality product as opposed to the new industry standard of cheap, mass produced brands.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We’d definitely start the morning with an early surf at Bay Street! Nothing starts the day better than getting a few waves at the local surf spot, and you get the added bonus of seeing the pier, the boardwalk and all the crazy locals! After that we’d go for a skate at Stoner Park to meet all the homies and get a little session in! If we aren’t too tired we can spend the afternoon hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains until the sun sets!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Our biggest shoutout would be to all of the small, local companies and brands that trusted us enough to let us carry their products. We never had much money to buy any product up front, so we literally were built on the trust that people had in us to put their product on consignment. All the local shapers and glassers who make amazing surfboards and kept our racks looking beautiful – Shred the Gnar, Chano Alvarez, Ape Shapes, Oscar Guru, Jon LaLanne, Roland, Sonny Bentz, Sea of Green, Bailey Pittard, Ryan Harris, Kerf, Tim Phares, , Koz McRae, and so many more amazing board builders. All the small designers and artists who blessed us with some clothing to keep the rest of the shop full – Cosmic Demise, Devin James Art, Good Fishing, GhettoFresh, Hecho in Venice, Ocean Park 26! And all the surf and skate companies that are the backbone of the industry – Nelson and the Blocksurf fam, Destructo Trucks, Slappy, ShackedMag, Dogtown! And obviously last but definitely not least all the people who trusted us to put their surfboards on consignment, we would never have had a shop if it wasn’t for the wonderful community that trusted us with so many beautiful surfboards!
Skate picture is Sante Bentivoglio, photo by Shacked Mag Surf picture is Galeazzo Bentivoglio, photo by Carlos Soriano