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Tommy Lundgard is an Entrepreneur, Big Wave Surfer and runs Tommy Tsunami Surfing School and VNTR Surf Clothing in Half Moon Bay California

Tommy Lundgard is an Entrepreneur, Big Wave Surfer and runs Tommy Tsunami Surfing School and VNTR Surf Clothing in Half Moon Bay California | Ep.45 – Special Edition Half Moon Bay Business Podcast

Tommy Lundgard is an Entrepreneur, Big Wave Surfer and runs Tommy Tsunami Surfing School and VNTR Surf Clothing in Half Moon Bay California | Ep.45 – Special Edition Half Moon Bay Business Podcast

Tommy Lundgard is an Entrepreneur, Big Wave Surfer and runs Tommy Tsunami Surfing School and VNTR Surf Clothing in Half Moon Bay California
Tommy Lundgard is an Entrepreneur, Big Wave Surfer and runs Tommy Tsunami Surfing School and VNTR Surf Clothing in Half Moon Bay California

Summary

Tommy entered a business plan competition in college, won it and used his business plan and $5,000 in prize money to launch VNTR surfing clothing company and later Tommy Tsunami Surfing School with his brother Peter.

Tommy shares how he came up with the idea for his companies, how he learned to make and design clothing, a bunch of mistakes he made launching his company and how he has adjusted and fixed those mistakes to grow his business. 

We also talk a little bit about big wave surfing which led him to follow his passion and build his two companies.

You’ll be stoked after listening to this episode 🤙

Find Tommy a Tommy at:

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Hello, 

Brandon: 

friends. Welcome to another episode of Build a Business Success Secrets. I am your host, Brandon. See, White. And today we’ve got a big wave surfer, an entrepreneur in the house, Tommy Lundgaard from Tommy, Tsunami Surf School and Venture Surf Clothing. 

Brandon: 

This is a really cool conversation that you’re going to enjoy. 

Brandon: 

Tommy is a young entrepreneur who, for a guy who rides really big waves around the world, is really humble and really has some cool insights into what it takes to build a venture and how hard it is. 

Brandon: 

Which I think coming from a guy who paddles out into the Big wave says a lot. 

Brandon: 

You’re gonna really enjoy this episode, especially if you are a surfer or someone who is building a clothing brand or even a service company. Tommy and his brother have both. Let’s not waste another second. Let’s get it on with Tommy from Tommy Tsunami Surf school and venture surfing clothing right here in our hometown of Half Moon Bay, Calif. 

Brandon: 

Hey, Thomas, welcome. 

Brandon: 

It’s been you and I’ve been missing each other, haven’t we? We haven’t. And now I’m catching you in your car. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, making it happen. 

Tommy: 

Yeah, they couldn’t happen. Well, thanks for joining. I know. I’ve been excited. I actually didn’t know that we had a surf school here in town until with you. Probably until a year or so ago when you were on the local news talking about They were doing a syriza on surfing in Half Moon Bay out of Mavericks. 

Brandon: 

The forget. What? The name was it. But I think NBC did a little Siri’s little, very serious about Mavericks having band through our school in there, which was cool. 

Tommy: 

Yeah, it was awesome. And then yeah, and then Sophia recommended that I talked to you on the Siri’s where we are covering all the local businesses here in Half Moon Bay. 

Brandon: 

And I gotta be honest with you telling us this guy who’s been in business while I’m taking my own advice. I always say you got to start in your local market and I launched a podcast to the whole world and didn’t cover Half Moon Day. So taking my advice, but I’m excited to talk with you. Can you tell our listeners a little bit about how you and your brother got started in the surf school? Or maybe you should go back to 2017 when you were in school and started your clothing company. I I don’t know how it actually all came about for sure. 

Brandon: 

Yes. So I waas I graduated high school half of a high in 2016. Always had a passion for entrepreneurship, you know, kind of just like to learn about business and all that stuff, but didn’t specifically no what I want to do or whatever. 

Tommy: 

So I went to Santa Barbara City College and join the entrepreneurship program, and they see that program is a class where by the end of the semester, you need to have, like, a product ready for market. 

Tommy: 

So then I kind of went through that class and went through all the steps and I decided to start a clothing brand fast forward, Think of Shark Tank, but college level. 

Tommy: 

That’s what they had. 

Tommy: 

And we did a basic a pitch contest after going through that program ended up winning, and I got I believe it was $5500 and seed money. 

Tommy: 

Okay, now I have, like, a little money to work with, and that kind of started me down the road of working on the clothing brand. 

Tommy: 

So why Why did you pick a clothing brand? 

Brandon: 

I know you’re into surfing, but there’s a ton of surfing clothing. So what really made you think about that? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, for sure. So I’ve always like I mean, thinking back to 2017. 

Tommy: 

I really It’s not like I had some kind of like a genius idea. 

Tommy: 

Like Like you said, there’s a ton of clothing brands out there For me, it was more. I was just passionate and interested about branding and pairing that, which is my lifestyle and just business in general. 

Tommy: 

So then that’s why I started it. And it kind of led me. 

Tommy: 

It actually kind of led me down the road to start in the surf school as well, which we begin to. But yeah, I would say it was more just passion based I was into and just kind of wanted to like I was I wouldn’t really say it was an entrepreneur. Then I was kind of wanted to be, you know, I hadn’t really starting businesses, and I was like, the first thing I could get get my hands hands wet with Yeah, well, that’s cool. 

Tommy: 

So one of the things I was reading about you that I found Waas Can you talk a little bit about how hard it waas to find a manufacturer in that process you got, you went through school. You write a business plan, you do the many sharp pain pitch competition, you win 5500 bucks. 

Brandon: 

But now you gotta build a product for sure. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, that was a big learning curve. 

Tommy: 

And almost my even though I was technically in school that time, you know, I had other classes math, science, whatever. 

Tommy: 

All the basics. I wasn’t really doing Niles spending all my time learning about how to manufacture products overseas and all the steps that go into that. So I basically just dove right in head first and did just either read articles online, YouTube, podcasts of other successful brands that manufacture overseas. 

Tommy: 

And as far as the process, I started to search through Alibaba contacted about maybe 60 manufacturers and then got samples from about 10 and then from them. 

Tommy: 

Those samples landed on the one manufacturer that, you know, had the best price, the best quality, and, more importantly, the best I had the best relationship with them as faras, you know, because you know, I’m just some kid in Santa Barbara trying to start a brand, and they’re all the way in China, so they could have easily taken advantage. 

Tommy: 

I mean, so luckily for the first order, what? 

Tommy: 

It went pretty well. 

Tommy: 

So how did you get down? Because I know a lot of listeners air wondering how would you build a clothing brand? But you contacted 60. Did part of them just not call you back? Some of them you didn’t get feel like they fell out. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, I always say it was kind of a numbers game, and that was my approach. Some just didn’t answer back some and the most important part and the biggest thing I learned and didn’t know going into it is if you manufacture overseas, they have really high minimums. 

Tommy: 

So to even get started in the realm, you know, they’re like, Oh, we want 5000 units and starting out with different skews and colors and sizes. That just wasn’t an option. So I found I was actually lucky enough to find a manufacturer that was kind of the best fit for me and my business. So basically just a small brand starting out and their minimum was 1000 units across the board, so I could have and that was four colors. 

Tommy: 

So 250 units her product and then broken in that 2 50 I had, you know, small, medium, large over sizing. 

Tommy: 

So that was Ah, big big factor in Is was just finding a factory that wanted to work with me because you know they want would rather work with someone a little bigger. 

Tommy: 

So here’s a question. Something we skipped over, but I think is important. So you get 60 of these manufacturers, you get to 10. You finally pick one with the low minimum and probably a decent price. And, as importantly, like you said, a decent relationship that you trusted them to send stop when you send the money. 

Brandon: 

But how did you actually design the clothing? 

Brandon: 

Because that’s not simple, either. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, for sure. So I even though now venture is a like a full clothing brand, we have hats, hoodies, T search, joggers, jackets, windbreakers. When I first started in 2017, I was focusing just on men’s underwear. That was kind of my little niche. So I basically studied the market I taught myself about. 

Tommy: 

It’s called the Tech Pack. 

Tommy: 

They say it’s what you give the manufacturer on get’s called like B M B O M or building materials. It’s all the things as’s faras the materials. 

Tommy: 

So, like, what’s the waistband made out of versus the actual fabric? 

Tommy: 

What an old all the little measurements. So I worked. I taught myself enough to where I could do it myself and made a couple rough prototypes. And then I also worked with a freelancer. I think I found him on up work, that kind of help me find tune it and kind of got me a little bit to eventually, like, come up with the necessary things to successfully manufacturer ah product. 

Tommy: 

And then they, you know, you want to really high quality product and in this case, under something, I was super comfortable. 

Tommy: 

So So that’s kind of a little back story on that. 

Tommy: 

Yeah, that’s and I think it’s a great story and great lesson for people that you weren’t Well, one is. 

Brandon: 

You didn’t go to school necessarily to be an entrepreneur. 

Brandon: 

You want you know, you want to be one. You’ve got no background in clothing other than you worn clothing, surfing clothing and then involved with surfing brands buying them forever. 

Brandon: 

You had no design experience, but you figured that out and basically drew it and then got an expert on up work. By the way, how many people did it take? Just out of curiosity? Because I think it’s important everybody. Ah, lot of people that come to me They’re like, Oh, Britain and I can’t find someone I’m like You got it. You got to reach out to, like, 50 people, right? E mean, So how many people on up work, ton? A lot of people what I would do and I’m They might have changed the platform where No, I think in still invite them. 

Brandon: 

But so I would basically search what I would look for. 

Tommy: 

So, for example, tech pack designer. 

Tommy: 

Just type that in the search bar, and I would actually instead of having where you put a job and the people reach out to you, I would go and save look at all the profiles and look at the best ones reviews and then invite them to my job. also another little hat because sometimes you get if you put out a job post, you might get a lot of people that apply for it, but that are a qualified or be they just apply to everything. So what I would do is in the little paragraph where you write a job description power that put a little sentence in the middle of it. Swear. And I would say, if you read this far right, for example, I always say Surf’s up in the beginning of your post, so that would give me opportunity to look through the people that applied and be like They didn’t say Surf’s up there just automatically because I know they didn’t actually read the post, and I really don’t haven’t put my that much thought into the job itself. 

Tommy: 

So that was a little a little quick tip that helped me a lot. 

Tommy: 

That’s really smart. Did you just come up with that? 

Brandon: 

I heard it from another podcast. 

Tommy: 

No, that’s Mars It. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, it was. It’s ah, it’s definitely super helpful. 

Tommy: 

Yeah, because you get inundated with ease. 

Brandon: 

They must have bots or auto responders. And you get all this crap Total wasted time, right? 

Brandon: 

Exactly. But you did find the person. Now, another question I have is how many times did you have to go back and forth from the time you actually sent the tech pack, which is very specific and has drawings and everything and and actually the template toe actually getting to the final was that 1235 I would say I would say it was 3 to 4 times and in that time frame was probably about six months. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, I’d say about 33 to 4 times and around six months where we contacted the factory. 

Brandon: 

And then we’re like, all right, you know, everything’s good. 

Tommy: 

Final samples, good colors, air. 

Tommy: 

Good sizing is good. 

Tommy: 

The great thing is all good. Like you guys can go ahead and, you know, pull the trigger and make this happen. 

Tommy: 

And did you think it was going to take this long or what was your expectation? 

Brandon: 

No, I was super naive Super night. And that’s almost kind of. I mean, I still and I’m still learning, but I just didn’t know anything. 

Tommy: 

Which almost kind of helped me, because maybe if I knew Mawr like how hard this would be I might have not done it. 

Tommy: 

So I was so naive and I was like, Oh, no, like, you know, it’s easy to start closing breath and then basically dove head first. 

Tommy: 

And then as I kind of start to learn of the oil, you know, it’s super difficult. There’s a lot to it. But then, since I already kind of started, it was almost more work to, like stop and start something new. So I kind of just kept kept going at it. 

Tommy: 

Now you started with a different name, I think, and you’ve changed your name. How did you Can you talk about how you pick the name? I always ask this question because people spend months and my sometimes too long, in my estimation, to just get going. But how did the name come? And then how did you change the name? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, So I went through three kind of names. The first it was called Tahiti where so they think Tahiti and then wear like clothing. 

Tommy: 

The second was Marik. 

Tommy: 

I surf and orders America and then the third and final name, which is now is venture and then logo action. 

Tommy: 

Wearing a Hoody at the acronym is VNT are so that’s what the logo is now. 

Tommy: 

So the first two names, they were just bad names. 

Tommy: 

Honestly, why were they bad names like What made you think? What? What makes you say that? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, so Tahiti, where it didn’t fit the brand message and voice I wanted to create for the brand. 

Tommy: 

So to anywhere, it’s almost like sounds a little tropical, it sounds like Don’t know. 

Tommy: 

I just didn’t and too it also just didn’t feel right As far as my gut America surf, that one is just like one. 

Tommy: 

It’s kind of like a mouthful to when I did so part of the program, we would go out and interview people when I was at school, and one of the things that, you know, talk about the name and like the brand, the story and everything, and a lot of people would kind of be confused about America is serving, you know, look at me funny, So that kind of gave me indicate, like maybe that’s not the best name. 

Tommy: 

And then, lastly, I guess the reason I chose Venture and stuck with that It’s a word that has a meetings. 

Tommy: 

Adventure, you know, like adventure and that kind of ties into the brand as well as the I was able to trademark the name and the domain names were available, so that was another Winning was like, Okay, I have the domains, It’s the social handles and I’m still, like the trademark still available. 

Tommy: 

And I like a Sfar as our logo. 

Tommy: 

I could make it kind of simple, clean and minimalistic and modern. 

Tommy: 

That was kinda the vibe I was going for us. 

Tommy: 

Faras the branding and positioning. 

Tommy: 

So those were like the main factors why I stuck with that. 

Tommy: 

Well, that’s great. 

Tommy: 

And you have a dot com name, right? 

Tommy: 

Was that was I don’t know. 

Brandon: 

What do you think about a lot of people? 

Tommy: 

I used to trade domain names, but I still think I still I think a lot of people Google things, but I think the dot com names still even today, just carries a lot of weight. 

Tommy: 

What do you think? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, I’ve I would agree, and I’ve heard that as well. I’m not for I don’t even know if it has, like, gives you better ranking as faras. 

Tommy: 

S e o goes on like that side of it. But I know that I mean the majority of dough names or dot com. So I think subconsciously, we think that’s, like, normal or right, or like, safer versus, like, a dot co or like a dot whatever. It may be dot biz or whatever. So, yeah, I think that if you can find something with the dot com a definitely recommend that for sure. 

Tommy: 

Yeah, I think that’s a good suggestion. I still think if you’re a tech company like dot io seems tohave some juice. But I agree some of these other ones, they’re just out there. 

Brandon: 

Yeah. So let’s, uh that’s an awesome story. And congratulations because that’s really cool that you actually got it off the ground. 

Brandon: 

Now I want to talk about one thing that I want to talk about surfing in Half Moon Bay. But the how about distribution? So, Ugo, you get all this done that seems to take probably a year or so six months ago. Get this on. And then then you gotta actually sell the stuff. 

Brandon: 

Uh, that was so that was actually a rude awakening, because what I did wrong was I built the business too big. 

Tommy: 

So I basically build it like I was a six figure brand. 

Tommy: 

I had a fulfillment center. I had an agency for the marketing. I had the like. 

Tommy: 

I just had everything set up where, like, e was like, ready to go. And then when it came time to, like, sell everything and, you know, start ads and push the product and get the message out there. I didn’t have product market fit. And as you probably know, it’s like the most important part. So then I almost kind of what I’m kind of now is I’m pulled back a little bit like I have all the inventory at my house right now. 

Tommy: 

I’ll ship it out myself. I’ll do hand written notes, really try and make it special. So because these days, like you know, there’s so many cooling brand. 

Tommy: 

So how am I gonna stick out? And that’s one little way where making it a little more personalized can help. 

Tommy: 

Well, look, I’m going to tell you not to feel bad because my brother and I started a clothing company much like your story, although I had a ton of experience and fishing, but not in clothing design, necessarily. 

Tommy: 

I was on some pro staffs, but that certainly doesn’t qualify you to design included. 

Brandon: 

It certainly qualifies you to get feedback on it when you fish 200 days a year. 

Brandon: 

But we my wife and I just cleaned out leftover inventory from all the wrong stuff that we had, and we just cleaned it out, like, two years ago, and it was sitting in there for, like, five years. 

Brandon: 

So the way you make the mistake is you make the mistake and I think clothing brands especially I learned the hard way, much like you did. 

Brandon: 

But it is. 

Brandon: 

You got to start from the back of your car. 

Brandon: 

You can’t hire all your The sales won’t happen Rarely, right? 

Brandon: 

Do they do they happen that way? So it sounds like you’re on your feet now, and obviously you live the life. So let’s talk about surfing in half. Moon Bay is sort of I mean, people around the world know about surfing and happening. They mainly because of Mavericks. 

Brandon: 

Right? For sure you started, you started serving their at 15. Is that right? 

Brandon: 

Yeah. Started serving under 15. 

Tommy: 

Went s O I grew up Group born raised Half Moon Bay. I started surfing when I was about eight. I do the surf camp at Surfer’s Beach with Dave Alexander. I’m not sure if he teaches anymore, but back in the day he was kind of the guy. 

Tommy: 

89 10, Boogie Board a little bit didn’t really serve around 10. Start to pick it up, and then just growing up right by the beach is just easy access. 

Tommy: 

So served a bunch and then I remember. 

Tommy: 

So I think it was myself. 

Tommy: 

My brother and a local guy named Tim West, who took us out for the first time at Mavericks. 

Brandon: 

Didn’t even catch away, which I was super scared, but it was cool to go out there, and Thio wanting to know is growing up. 

Tommy: 

I kind of was surrounded what my older people and surfers who were better than me, so that really pushed me to surf with them. It wasn’t average, but other spots that were just bigger and out of my comfort zone. So I think that kind of propelled me and help me get out there at a younger age because just growing up I was always put in like situations where I wasn’t comfortable in the ocean. And I was, since I kind of want to keep up with the older guys. I was, like, forced thio, like, deal with that. 

Tommy: 

And so I think that was a big one. That kind of helped me, like, get out there early and start serving Mavs. 

Tommy: 

So your first time out there is a big day, medium day. I mean, say like, uh, 15 ft, Just kind of like a normal day. 

Brandon: 

Wasn’t wasn’t small. Wasn’t giant either, just But you paddled out their foot, Correct, Yeah. 

Tommy: 

Paddled out and then kind of checked it out watching from the channel, I think. 

Brandon: 

And then after that, I was like, Oh, that was kind of cool. 

Tommy: 

Then over the past, I mean, 15, 16, start like 15. 

Tommy: 

I’m 23 now. 

Tommy: 

So that’s what eight years over the past 78 years because I took a couple of years off the student injuries and, uh, just slowly getting a little deeper and a little more comfortable and starting to learn the wave more. 

Tommy: 

And now, now the shoots, I just I just love surfing maps. 

Tommy: 

I love surfing Big waves. So definitely one of my passions, for sure. 

Tommy: 

Well, it’s definitely a big wave, but we we have other surfing here in Half Moon Bay. I I will readily admit that I actually just started surfing earlier this year. I’m a big biker and fishermen, and I was I always wanted to serve. I’m originally from the East Coast, but lived here a while. I was like, How can I not search right? Like, how can you live here? 

Brandon: 

Even I figured Santa Cruz has some smaller waves. Now, I wish I I’m not that old, but I’m not in my early twenties. So my my attitude, the type of guy I’m would want to surf Mavericks, really? 

Brandon: 

And I sort of just decided I don’t know that it’s been a final decision, but I was like, I’m probably I’m in my forties. I should probably just agree with myself that I’m gonna be a long border and just serve Cem casual some casual stuff which we’ll see how that goes. We don’t really have other than Santa Cruz too much casual surfing around here in Half Moon Bay, right? 

Brandon: 

Yeah. I mean, I guess there’s Linda Martin Pacifica which is kind of casual, but it’s super crowded and there’s Jedi have from their surfers beach. That’s actually where we have our school. Those like the two most like, I guess, beginner spot in the area. 

Tommy: 

So let’s talk about your school. That’s a great segue. How did you go from clothing? How do you decide Thio start a surf school in Half Moon Bay for sure. 

Brandon: 

So I waas working for another surf school in the summers, kind of just working there, surfing personally and working on the clothing brand venture. And then they got to the point where I was basically running the business and doing everything for the other school that’s still getting paid, you know, the same as an employee. 

Tommy: 

So that was one factor to we. 

Tommy: 

My brother and I were kind of just looking at the market, and we’re like we could do things different and better. 

Tommy: 

We want to do like, a little different way and then three having just having your own business. 

Tommy: 

You’re more flexible. 

Tommy: 

So, for example, like my brothers in tne right now and then I’m working. And then I went in September and then he worked and then I’m actually heading out to Mexico tomorrow to go toe Puerto Escondido first. Well, so that kind of lifestyle was very like attracted to me to like, Oh, if I could accept the school and work a bunch of summer when the waves were flat And then in the winter time, when the waves get good Aiken surf more and then and work on the clothing brand. 

Tommy: 

So those are the three main things that kind of like got us to start the business. 

Tommy: 

So you and you have your school right at the jetty, for the most part, is that really your central location? 

Brandon: 

For sure, we don’t have a Sfar as a physical location like the storefront. That’s where we teach. Like the city allows four schools at that beach. And we were one of those schools, along with actually Tim West, who took us out at Maverick Sea out of schools while and several other guys And you Do you you really cater towards beginners and people just get into it? 

Tommy: 

Yeah, that’s kind of our bread and butter like we do. 

Brandon: 

We get a lot of tourists just in the summer coming through half a bag we get who just want to try it once and you know that’s it. 

Tommy: 

We get a lot of people who maybe maybe live in the Bay Area their whole life. 

Tommy: 

And I like how come I haven’t served? I want to start serving kind of Yeah, similar to your situation. Then every now and then we get some people who want to get a little like they know how toe, you know, stand up and do the basics, but they want some more technique instruction. So a little bit about that but for the most part, is all beginners. 

Tommy: 

Well, you seem really stinking busy because you’re really hard. You’re around and working. I see all the pictures on instagram all the time. Is that really is instagram your main like, Is that how the that’s I mean, I see there all the time. 

Brandon: 

Is that really how you advertise? So to speak as’s faras, the search schools for the club, the surf school, the surf school? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, yeah, I would say I mean now that so we’ve been in business since September 2018. 

Tommy: 

So low over two years when we first started Yes, 100% because we just no one knew about us. 

Brandon: 

Now we had we get a lot from word of mouth and referral just because we’ve kind of been around. 

Tommy: 

And then the cool thing about surfing and why, Honestly, it’s a lot easier business than the clothing brand is. 

Tommy: 

It’s such a memorable talk, a ble experience. 

Tommy: 

So you know, as long as we make sure that the customer gets an awesome experience and has a great time in the ocean and learns a little bit, you know, there are gonna push on social media or tell their friends, which is kind of gives us low, like viral effective. 

Tommy: 

One person takes a lesson and tells two people and then so on so forth. So that’s we’ve noticed, like this year’s specifically lot more word of mouth has our our the way people are finding us. 

Tommy: 

Well, that’s cool. 

Tommy: 

And I imagine it feeds your clothing brand because they become a little bit mawr less than you think. 

Brandon: 

I’d say, I kind of know, I kind of what? They’re almost two different things to different brands. Two different the customers in a different mindset when they’re taking a lesson to I don’t want to, like, you know, be super sales and just push a bunch of product. 

Tommy: 

But I’d say, if anything, I meet a lot of cool people through Teaching, for example, met some dude who works at an advertising agency and run ads for, like, you know, some of the big brands like Kylie Cosmetics and, um, and some other huge brands director consumer brands. 

Tommy: 

So I almost get MAWR. 

Tommy: 

Not as far as sales, but information about you know how to grant grow clothing brand through the school, through the surf school. 

Tommy: 

Oh, that’s really cool. 

Tommy: 

So you and your brother basically or teamed up and you hit it hard during the summer. You can still swap off and on because one of you could be on. I still imagine it’s a lot. Do you have other people? Other surfer? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, sometimes in the summer, for sure. 

Brandon: 

So we do. We have ah kids camp, and it was even more popular this year just with Corona, because all the parents were kind of tired of their kids, so they want to give them to us. 

Tommy: 

So, yeah, we have some some of the college students that help out some of the lifeguards that also served as well. 

Tommy: 

And then we have a few other instructors that kind of periodically help on the weekends because we do big group classes. But for the most part, like me and my brother are the main guys teaching. 

Tommy: 

Yeah. So I ride my bike by look like you. 

Brandon: 

Quite a lot of kids. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, in the summer it was Ah, it was a little different with Corona assed faras. Like, I think Cemetery, County rule waas groups of 12. So we did two groups of 12. So 24 kids per week and we did 10 weeks of that this summer And then because it was fun in the beginning summer, like, Oh, we’re just gonna do lessons. We’ll probably four weeks a cab. 

Tommy: 

And then we did lessons to and 10 weeks of camp with, like, you know, 20 to 30 kids per week. 

Tommy: 

Aren’t they worn out? 

Tommy: 

Can’t you wear those kids out surfing all day by the Thursday Friday? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, well, who’s worn out? 

Tommy: 

You and your brother, then? That’s the real question. 

Brandon: 

Probably were probably more went out because Well, yeah, we work a lot. We’ll teach from like, for example, this this Sunday I work from 9 to 5. 

Tommy: 

30 to send the ocean all dead. 

Tommy: 

I used, like in the summer. We do that seven days a week, this time it like, you know, Mondays Air kind of my my weekend, so to speak. 

Tommy: 

And that’s you know why I’m here right now? Because I got a little window. 

Tommy: 

Our our schedules are a little backward just with because people want to surf on the weekends. 

Tommy: 

And then during the week, they got work. So that’s when we’re a little little more free. 

Tommy: 

I got you and you. So now that winter’s kicking up, you and your brother do lessons, but you’re still looking at swells around for sure. 

Brandon: 

Sure, Yeah. 

Brandon: 

We kind of pump the brakes a little bit. One. I mean, it just gets big and you can’t teach, you know, like you can’t take a beginner out where it’s like 6 ft. I mean, you can, but they might not have the best experience, so yeah, and it gets kind of cold. 

Tommy: 

And the weather is a little shifty and to sometimes the like. All the sand gets pulled away at surface beach. There’s not much beach left because one of the big swells kind of eats up all the beach just with erosion. So but specific this year ones. It’s a la Nina, which is the kind of make a prediction of how the waves will be in it. Supposed supposed to be a little smaller as well as I mean, you know, the weather has been so nice lately. It’s been a killer. Fall been super sunny, and the waves have been relatively pretty small. So that’s kind of kept us going this long the season. 

Tommy: 

So can you imagine living anywhere else but happened in bay? I mean, it’s happening bay, the best place in the world. 

Brandon: 

Really? 

Brandon: 

Yeah. I mean shoots. I’m definitely I don’t have to pinch myself for growing up right by the beach. Sometimes I don’t so I don’t travel for a while. 

Tommy: 

I’ll just kind of get, you know, in my right working. 

Tommy: 

You don’t really realize until you travel elsewhere and really see like, Wow, I’m super blessed and grateful to be able to live here and have this as my like my work and being involved with surf community here. 

Tommy: 

Definitely, definitely super thankful for that. 

Tommy: 

So what is the best way Thomas for people to find you? Is it on your website? Or how would someone who wanted Thio check out your surf school and or your clothing brand? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, for sure. So for the surf school Tommy Tsunami Surf School dot com, that’s the best place to find for lessons for the clothing brand. It’s the ntr underwear dot com. And then, I guess, personally, you could just find on Instagram Thomas Underscore Lundgaard That’s spelled L u N d g a r d was the best three spots. 

Tommy: 

Cool. Now real quick. Where did Tommy Tsunami come from? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, so, I mean, my name is Thomas. Ah. Lot of people call me Tommy and then or Tom or whatever, but we’re thinking of business names, and this is actually kind of, Ah, a cool little siding on just branding and business. 

Tommy: 

So we were. 

Tommy: 

When we first started the business. We were coming up with a name trying to think of a name, and we had two options. 

Tommy: 

We could either choose hmb surf lessons dot com, which I think in the short term would have been a little better as faras S c o or we could have. 

Tommy: 

And then we’re like, Oh, we could do Tommy Tsunami Surf School And I guess the where the name comes from was my name is Thomas or some people call me Tommy and my brother and I we serve big waves. 

Tommy: 

And then, even though it’s named after myself, you know, me and my brother were both business partners, and it’s kind of a catchy name. 

Brandon: 

So we decided to go with, like, the more branded catchy name, and we’re super stoked. 

Tommy: 

We did, because it’s just it’s got a good ring to it. 

Tommy: 

It’s very memorable. 

Tommy: 

And, you know, some of the people laugh at they. They sometimes reminds them of Johnny Tsunami, the movie. So that was that was we were stoked. We ended up doing that. So, like half a day, sir, questions I gotta admit, I think it’s cool, and I saw you put out some I think you had towels. 

Tommy: 

I think I missed out on something. But, you know, you saw that. I think people would just buy that as a tort, like, just because cool for sure. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, that’s actually we’re almost at the stage right now. 

Tommy: 

We’re I mean, we’re we’ve grown the business from, so I guess, to give it some context. In 2018, we started with and my brother gave me eight grand cause I didn’t have any money because I was putting an adventure with the clothing brand. So he loaned me eight grand, so he kind of had the money side of it. And I had some of the knowledge from the clothing brand, You know, how to build a site in March, everything. 

Tommy: 

So we start with that. We’ve kind of grown the business toe where we’re at a point. 

Tommy: 

So we’re like, Oh, like, you know, should we keep it as it is and just have it, like, kind of a machine and just have it? Is that or do we want toe like, you know, do we kind of we want to go to franchise route or do we wanna have, like, a physical storefront and we’re kind of point? The ideas, um, one thing that we keep coming back to is like, Look, this the name is super good. 

Tommy: 

It’s catchy. And there’s a cool little brand around it, so I think we’re going to start putting out some more clothing and, like beach gear items. I know a lot of a customer some hats, tiles, umbrellas, things like that. So actually, this offseason, we’re gonna kinda sit down and figure that all out and really see where we could take it, because, I mean, shoot to be cool toe. 

Tommy: 

Even though we’re surf school build like the Tommy Tsunami brand. Even bigger, just kind of, You know, it’s a killer name. It’s got cool branding and a lot. 

Tommy: 

Well, that’s cool. Congratulations. Sounds like you’ve come a long way and actually turned it into a business that can support you and your brother and your lifestyle, Which is pretty cool for sure. 

Brandon: 

Yeah. I mean, I didn’t day like, you know, business has to make money, and that was kind of Ah, true test to see, like, Okay, can I actually create a business that can support me? 

Tommy: 

So So, Yeah, so far, it’s going well, so I wanna end with what? 

Tommy: 

E mean. You have a great story. What? And you started from nothing. And now you’ve got a business supporting you and your brother and you, You’re really living the life right, Like that’s the dream. And a lot of surfers just go surfing and then just try to figure out how to dio, like, make some odd odd money. You’re building a real business, which maybe I don’t know, it goes against the grain, this whole cult surf culture, like, what do they call the early like, What do they call new people? 

Brandon: 

Kooks. Kooks? Yeah, I’m like I’m like So where? How does this How does this work, Thomas? Like I’m a cook as soon as I hit the water with the surfboard, but then instantly there a cook in my world, in business when they get off this thing, So shouldn’t we all just be humans? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, it’s I would say there’s a fine line. So it’s not if you in my opinion, because I teach a lot of beginners. So I’m like, you know, I can’t be calling people kooks like, obviously, that’s not good for business. I would say it’s more of the attitude and demeanor that you come with when you first come to the water. 

Tommy: 

So, for example, if you come with a very humble, respectful add two and 2 m when your first coming in the lineup like you’re still technically Argus, a cook in quotes for like like you said, everyone’s got to start somewhere. And if they come under your space like they’re the cook, another hand. If you have someone that’s, you know, just a huge ego and not disrespectful and not aware of like the culture, then then like you’re a kook and, you know, like, Are there e mean? 

Tommy: 

That’s just the way it is. 

Tommy: 

I was paddling in the lineup out there in Santa Cruz. I got this kid I don’t even know. 

Brandon: 

I’ll be honest, Thomas, if that kid was 10 years old. Are you surprised that kid could serve circles around me literally like, How can you not be humble, right? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, yeah. I mean, I don’t know. It’s just it just depends on the person. Like, you know, everyone’s different. Some people are notion those, but at that a day like you want toe the ocean is for for people to have fun and like surfing fun, people are going to go surf. 

Tommy: 

So I think it’s a little backwards to where these surfers that you are super, super localized and you don’t get me wrong. 

Tommy: 

You do want localism and, you know, respect checks and balances. But that being said, like that person who is, like, you know, super aggro and angry like you started to eventually when you were young, like, you know, you just like, didn’t pop on a surfboard. And you’re like Super Grid. 

Tommy: 

So yeah, I would say it’s less about skill level more about college, just etiquette. 

Tommy: 

Basically, I think that’s fair. I think that’s true in all walks of life. And I’ll be honest. Everybody has been really nice in my experience out there. 

Brandon: 

Um, you know, a few people have been Well, I just warn them. 

Brandon: 

I’m like, Hey, man, I’m new like I got You know, you can’t if you’re just honest like, Hey, I’m new, I could wreck you probably just wanna watch out, right? Like, yeah, that’s the way to do it. 

Brandon: 

That’s like that Zahau. That’s how you’re going to get respect in the lineup for sure. 

Tommy: 

Yeah, well, you won’t see me in the lineup at Mavericks this year. What? Hopefully I’ll be looking in the camp at you and some other guys out there. Can you leave fellow entrepreneur surfer No surfer with three h p. T s high percentage chips that you would give them when they are setting out Thio. Start and build a business for sure. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, I would say based off my experience is number one. 

Tommy: 

What are you good at? 

Tommy: 

And I know it’s very broad thing to say, but more specifically what, like comes naturally So for example, when I was first kind of figuring it out and I still am But in the very early days, I just kind of like, didn’t exactly know what I want to do. 

Tommy: 

But I knew what I liked. 

Tommy: 

Slash was good at and kind of start to go down that path. So I was interested in branding and how brands came about. I was interested in marketing and business, so I started to go down that number two and this kind of ties in a number. Well, one is match a business with a passion, so it’s not like you’re It’s an uphill battle the whole way. 

Tommy: 

I mean, starting in business is kind of can be like an uphill battle. 

Tommy: 

But when things do suck, if you’re passionate about it, it will help and make it a little easier to keep pushing. 

Tommy: 

And the third and final and most important for me, is lifestyle. And that’s kind of where I’m at right now. 

Tommy: 

What business and this is honestly, why I started business in the first place is to have a certain lifestyle and that last, you know, flexible, not having a 9 to 5, not having a routine, being able to work on my own time. 

Tommy: 

So I would say that was the top three things. 

Tommy: 

Thio help other entrepreneurs out there. 

Tommy: 

I think there’s a great tips. Thanks so much, Thomas. Yeah. I need to take a lesson with you out there and figure figure out what I’m doing. Well, where you headed tomorrow off to, Ah, Puerto Escondido in Mexico. 

Brandon: 

And there’s some big waves. 

Tommy: 

Yeah, it looks like a fun swell. 

Brandon: 

It’s not huge, but I mean, it’s gonna be big here in half from big, but it just looks kind of shitty. 

Tommy: 

It’s like Wendy and big, and so I can’t teach because it’s too big and like the surface not gonna do that. Good. So I think I’m gonna good on Mexico, get some warm water and that there’ll be some good ways there for sure. 

Tommy: 

Right on. 

Tommy: 

Well, travel safe. Thanks again. Congratulations on your success. And we’ll be looking from great things from Tommy Tsunami Surf School. 

Brandon: 

Right on, man. Thank you so much. Appreciate it. 

Tommy: 

Yeah, You’re welcome. Take care, man. 

Brandon: 

That was fun, right? And thank you, friends, for tuning into the show. If you enjoyed this episode, please rate review. 

Brandon: 

We want to hear from you and subscribe. 

Brandon: 

So you don’t miss any of the upcoming episodes until the next show. 

Brandon: 

Remember, you are just one business plan away. 

Brandon: 

I’m rooting for your success. We’ll see you soon

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