For this latest installment of our 'UK Brand Profile' series we spoke with Northcore founder Matt Strathern to find out all there is to know about the company...
TVSC: Hi Matt, great to meet you, were stoked to find out all about Northcore! Can you give us a little bit of background about the company?
Matt Strathern: Northcore emerged in 2006, so 2016 is our tenth anniversary. Northore was founded by myself and it all started when I invented the worlds first surfers key safe and called it Keypod. I gave up my career and focused solely on the business, so thankfully Keypod was an instant worldwide success and new product designs and growth of the Northcore brand quickly followed.
TVSC: Who is on the management team and what are their backgrounds?
Matt Strathern: I’m the Northcore founder and CEO, a lifelong surfer with a background in the corporate travel industry. The company General Manager is Rob King whos expertise is sports management, including 6 years as county development manager for the English FA and the Operations Manager Lea Weir who comes from a city banking IT background.
TVSC: What is the company ethos?
Matt Strathern: Brand integrity, exemplary customer service, design, development and supply the worlds very best surfing, outdoors and adventures sports gear. Most of all have fun doing what we do.
TVSC: What sets you apart from your competitors?
Matt Strathern: Northcore remains true to it’s roots, surfing is our life and everything the brand does reflects that. Our customers are also surfers and outdoors sports enthusiasts so they recognise Northcore as being one of Europe’s most credible brands and enjoy being part of what we do. We like doing our own thing...we’d much rather lead than follow!
TVSC: Could you tell us about in your environmental credentials?
Matt Strathern: Greenwashing is prevalent these days with some companies shouting about their environmental credentials as a marketing exercise more than a genuine desire to make a difference. However our approach is to be mindful of everything we do and react in a positive way whenever possible. For example: avoiding waste, recycle where we can, using recycled materials in packaging wherever possible, donating to environmental charities who are dedicated to making a difference etc. We see this as being a moral obligation of any business rather than a credential.
TVSC: What do you most enjoy about surfing in the UK ? And most dislike?
Matt Strathern: UK and North Sea surfing is often cold, rarely perfect and takes dedication, but it’s home and I love it!
TVSC: How do you support UK athletes and the wider surf community?
Matt Strathern: We try to do our bit as we have a number of sponsored team riders, plus we offer products to some keen grom surfers and donate to surfing organisations running events, initiatives and charity fund raising.
TVSC: Which athletes do you currently have on your pro team?
Matt Strathern: Peter Conroy, Sandy Kerr, Stan Norman, Jo Morris, Corinne Evans, Lucie Donlan, Nuno Viegas and Michael Conlan. They’re all dedicated to surfing, be it big waves, the industry, free surfing or competitions and it’s their passion which we connect with.
TVSC: Where are you manufacturing your products?
Matt Strathern: UK and worldwide
TVSC team pick: Beach Basha Changing Robe - £30
TVSC: What do you see for the future of your company?
Matt Stathern: Our plan is to see continued worldwide growth of the brand, entering into new regions and seeing expansion of our surf and adventure division. Our aim is to be the best....and have as much fun and catch as many waves as possible along the way!
TVSC: What do you see for the future of the industry in the UK?
Matt Strathern: The future of the industry is incredibly dynamic and exciting. The face of retail has changed beyond recognition from 10 years ago and those who have adapted are thriving. Man made waves are going to be a massive part of our sport in the coming years and with the possibility of surfing in the Olympics the sport is set to become more mainstream. I can’t ever see surfing losing it’s cool factor, but some of the soul may be lost in certain sectors. Traditionalists may not like the changes but it’s inevitable and Northcore are stoked to be a part of it.
TVSC: Whats next in the pipeline for Northcore
Matt Strathern: We’ve loads of very cool new products arriving early spring 2016 so follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates! Cheers
TVSC: Thanks Matt, we'll look forward to it!
You can check out the newly added Northcore product lines here.