Who are you?

Nautilus Surf designs and manufactures quality, sustainable luggage for the travel enthusiasts, specializing in surfboard protection. The brand applies its main focus on developing the most structurally sound surfboard cases available on the market today.

Why Did you start your business?

At the end of his third surf trip of the 2012 season, our founder unzipped his board bag to find both of his bran new surfboards cracked in half. Why did the boards break? A: Surfboard BAGS. Who wants to put their surfboard in a bag? Our founder simply didn't think it was right for the surf industry not to have a legitimate solution for better protecting surfboards while traveling on airplanes. As a result, the Adventurer surfboard travel case quickly came to life. Finally, the first practical solution for keeping your boards safe.

What makes your business unique?

Our brand is focused on filling a need in the surf industry, unlike the average, recognized brands. No one needs a better t-shirt or a more innovative shoe to surf better, but everyone needs a functional surfboard. You can surf naked, but you can't surf with a broken board.

What's the biggest mistake you've made with your business and what did you learn from it??

Our biggest mistake was spending lots and lots of money on what was marketed as the best trade show for the surf industry. Passed statistics proved that we would generate tons of exposure and rake in a sufficient profit, although none of which actually happened. We bought a gigantic booth, hired two models, and printed more brochures than necessary, all of which cost more money. We quickly learned that our target market does not exist in trade shows, and since then we have applied our focus on building the brand in areas where our niche spends their time.

what big goal do you have for your company and how do you plan to achieve it?

Our biggest goal is to become globally recognized as the logistics specialists in the surf industry. Yes, we are currently the only company in the world with a plastic surfboard case, but we are also focused on bettering the entire surf travel experience for everyone who chooses to take their surfboards with them wherever they go; car, boat or plane. We have been collaborating with major airline companies to create products designed around the parameters of the world wide travel regulations. We have acquired months of research, applied that knowledge, and we are now working on the development of our third and fourth models.

what advice or tips do you have for people wanting to start their own business or follow their dreams?

Prior to starting a company, take a step back and figure out if it is actually something you want to do. Sure, the idea of owning your own business and then becoming rich is very attractive, but perhaps you aren't fit to own and operate that company. Maybe you would fit better as just a piece to the puzzle in order for that business to become successful. Proper company structure is key to the success of any idea, brand or company, regardless of what industry you are in. Whatever path you choose to follow, don't give up. Don't EVER give up. The harder you work, the easier it is to look back and appreciate what you have done.

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You can read interviews from the other sponsors throughout the book by browsing through the fancy drop down list to the right.