Ahakoa he iti taku whare, i ahu mai i te kōpua kānapanapa – ‘Although my house is small, I emanate from a deep pool.’
SOHEI started from a simple idea: To build something that allowed us to be creative and make excellent gear, while being transparent about who we are to our customers along the way. Really our story is one of people who had a shared vision of a lifestyle that was under their own terms, while hopefully inspiring people to achieve their own. We do this tangibly through the products and apparel we produce, and intangibly through the athletes and people we support as well as our role with various charitable organisations.
The company wasn’t founded just to make things for the sake of making them. It more like ‘Can we make this better? And if so, can we do it in a way where we enjoy the work, contribute positively socially, form good relationships with people, put the customer first all the time every time? And most of all can we do it while building a company that’s straightforward and earnest?’ Because wow were we all sick of brands that promised us one thing, while delivering another.
When we started out, right? Everyone told us to be transparent because of the power of technology. That was really them saying ‘Hey you have to because with the instantaneous nature of social media and communication if you get it wrong everyone will know, and it’s your ass.’ Granted that’s all true but for us it’s not a driving force behind our desire to be candid. Fear of mistakes makes a shitty motivator.
Transparency is how your hear our voice and know it’s our own, original, and real. It’s how you know we value your support, how you know where we are headed, what we’re about, how we’re accountable, how we empower people and continue to make gear that will surpass other brands. We see humanity and the human condition as a shared experience and moreover, we see those who support us as deserving of straightforward candor. It’s how you know we actually believe in what we’re doing.