At Surf Expo and at Slate, we spoke with the Ergo team about on how they have survived the rocky economy, their quest to break in on the West Coast, their new hires and their new look, and more.
Ergo has hired some industry veterans including Andy Crane as National Sales Manager, Joe McElroy as Creative Director and Dean Bradley as Art Director. Dean and Joe have helped Ergo update its logo packaging and push its existing Owl icon, which Ergo calls Owlstein.
Ergo Founder and President Rob Sickel and Art Director Dean Bradley
Stever Rapp of add-black has also helped with cut-and-sew design. Add-black is designing all of ERGO's sportswear beginning in Spring 2013 and will continue to do so going forward, Vice President of Marketing Pete DiSpirito said.
While Ergo started on the East Coast, it has put down stakes on the West Coast as well with a design, production, sales and marketing office in Costa Mesa, where an in-house team also handles product development.
Its distribution center, company offices and backend functions are in Lakewood, New Jersey. At the New Jersey location, Ergo has its own print shop, which allows it to print its own POP.
McElroy, formerly global VP of Global Branding for Hurley, got to know the Ergo guys because his Ghetto Juice magazine has offices in the same building as Ergo in Costa Mesa.
Team skater Andrew Cannon and Skate Team Manager Joe Hammeke
While Ergo is a lot smaller than the brands he formerly worked with, Joe said he enjoys the creative freedom.
Both Andy and Joe said they are helping the brand, which has some great athletes on board, to focus on product, product, product.
“Quality, consistency, integrity,” Andy said.
Ergo had had good success in getting into important East Coast accounts, including BC Surf & Sport, Brave New World, Aqua East, K-Coast, 7-Ply and Skatepark of Tampa. It is also starting to break in on the West Coast at stores such as Emerald City, Rusty, Mitch’s, Central Coast Surf Shop, and Hi-Tech and Shapers in Hawaii.
Co-Founder Rob Sickel said some West Coast brands, which have a hard time breaking on the East Coast, have joked with them that Ergo has done the hard part already with the progress it has made in the East.
On Page 2, Pete DiSpirito, co-founder and vice president of marketing, answers some detailed questions about Ergo’s business.