Matt Bear: Founder and Shaper of BearBones Surfco
Bersama Kita Series ep.2
A series focused on interviewing a range of creatives, from designers to multi talents and fun personalities all working hard for something they love. We have titled this series 'Bersama Kita' ~ together we are... together we are powerful.. together we can make an impact.
I have the honour of interviewing our talented friend Matt Bear today on our Bersama Kita ~ together we are, series. We've been lucky enough to team up with Matt during our launch of Saltysea, featuring his boards throughout our photoshoots and social content. Our friendship then formed into something greater and we teamed up for New Zealand Fashion Week 2018 this past month, featuring his works of art alongside our models down the catwalk. We've come to know Matt, and he is the kindest, most talented guy we've had the opportunity to work with! His eye for detail, and his care for his environmental impact really makes him something special.
Stephanie: Can you tell us what inspired you to create BearBones Surfco?
Stephanie: You definitely inspire a lot of people with your work, can you elaborate on the transformation you've seen from your first ever board to your most recent board?
Stephanie: What is it about your particular style that makes such an impact on the way you design and shape surf boards?
Stephanie: You've recently collaborated with us for New Zealand Fashion Week 2018 - sending your custom boards down the runway, what did this feel like for you?
Matt: Oh Man, what a rush, what an experience... you know we were there to support Saltysea - that felt really good. The feelings of camaraderie, to be surrounded by everyone in a similar mindset and a common goal, to all be on the same team, that was the best feeling!
Stephanie: We see you've been working with some eco materials such as flax fibres, what's your inspiration behind this? Are you introducing more sustainability into the surf industry? Has this changed the way you approach your designs at all?
Matt: Im always on the hunt for different materials to incorporate into the boards. I strictly use bio content epoxy resins and often prefer to incorporate basalt tapes and plant based materials. Flax fibre is nothing new and Im definitely not the first to use it, but I have found through experimenting with different laminating techniques, it is possible to achieve pretty interesting flex and strength characteristics. I also think it looks unique and naturally beautiful. I'm in the opinion that sustainability and an ecological approach to board building is becoming more common place which is great! If I can have a hand in growing the demand for eco builds that yield a lower carbon footprint than that of the big brands that has to be a step in the right direction.
Stephanie: Being creative takes a lot of energy, how do you stay balanced with work, family, business and time for yourself? Do you have any rituals or routines you practice?
Matt: I would love to be able to say I have a really balanced life, but truth be told I am constantly 'working.' It comes in waves and everyone always wants their boards done as fast as possible. I am super lucky as I very rarely feel like my work is actual work. Being a one man band the jobs I do are always changing - shaping, glassing, sanding, PR, sales, social media, customer service. You name it and I'll put that hat on! I love it all though, I am never board (pun intended *bored).
I will say if it wasn't for my friends coming over and sharing a beer and my beautiful fiance keeping me well fed, caffeinated and supported, I may have turned into a recluse haha.
Stephanie: What's it like being the face behind BearBones SurfCo? Any advice for those looking to branch out on their own?
Matt: That's an interesting one, The reason behind creating a brand name rather than using my personal name, e.g. Matt Bear Surf Craft or something, was to take the emphasis off me and onto the boards, I have since learned that when it comes to doing business it is as much about the person as it is the product (at least in the beginning). It's a scary feeling putting your all into creating something then having it on show for the world to make judgements on. Be it positive or negative, its a trip not taking things personally. However having that personal touch is probably what makes the difference between a good business and a great one. My advice to anyone looking to go out on their own would be. to go all in, live and breathe it, as you will be so invested in it, it's important you love it.
Stephanie: Ok! We have to ask, which of your boards is your favourite? and why?
Matt: Hmmm, every time I finish a new board I want to keep it. I always have a lot of ideas pouring out of my head, so typically the latest board is my favourite. I am particularly proud of the two boards that went down the runway at New Zealand Fashion Week. I had a moment last swell where I couldn't resist and waxed up the flax pintwin. It was a lot of fun!
To learn more about Matt and BearBones SurfCo visit him on:
His website: www.bearbonessurf.co.nz
Follow along on our blog series 'Bersama Kita' together we are, each week to learn about their inspiration, history, process, struggles and advice.
If you are interested in being featured on our blog, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org