Jesse Goodwick | TEAM PHUN® | www.teamphun.com
Tell me a bit about yourself & how and when everything started.
My name is Jesse Goodwick, former resident of Newtown, CT and Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Hartford and I am in the apparel business. The name of our company is TEAM PHUN® and was founded in the winter of 2010 in Breckenridge, CO. Now we are based out of San Diego and the company is ran by myself, my brother Jamie, and director of Phun, Nicholas Moyal. My sister Linz also works remotely from her home in Portland, Oregon as our PR point person; we keep it all in the phamily.
TEAM PHUN was started as a hobby project where I used to make ski face-masks for my fellow ski school instructors in Breckenridge. The name came from all the universal fun everyone was having in ski school. It was a really awesome place to work because there were people from all over the world, and everyone was there for the same reason, to have fun in the snow! Working in a tight knit community on the mountain, everyone knew everyone and we were really a team. The “ph” in phun came from everyone’s own unique way of having fun and no matter everyone’s differences we were all there for the same reason.
When did you first know that you wanted to be a business owner?
When the season ended in Breckenridge in 2010, I moved to San Diego for an engineering job and still actively was creating face masks for friends, printing t-shirts, and making pillow cases all under the TEAM PHUN name. I ended up meeting Nick at an open mic in early 2011 and we shared the same passion for music and everything fun, and he helped in the beginning by showcasing at local craft fairs and the Ocean Beach farmers market.
I was laid off from my job summer of 2011, and when that door closed, I saw the opportunity to take TEAM PHUN from a garage hobby project to the next level. There was a lot of acceptance in the local and social community, so I felt very confident moving forward. I have always had the motivation to be an entrepreneur, whether it was selling stuff on ebay at an early age, hustling painted skateboards through college, or even admiring my father for owning a very successful marketing agency for 25 years; it just ran in my blood.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Inspiration comes from everywhere. For me, TEAM PHUN has been about giving the people what they want, and 99.99% of people can agree that without the element of ‘phun’, life would be dull and boring. I think I speak pretty well for myself and my team in that our inspirations come from universally defining acceptance in all communities. We have even designed an entire collection for women, which includes our universal LOVE racer back and universal music note, which takes a variety of languages and puts them all on one universal design. We are even expanding this collection for next season too because we’ve done very well with it.
PHUN employees are heavily active in surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding, running, and other activities that give us inspiration in daily life. In addition, myself, Jamie and Nick play in a local San Diego band: Harriet and the Tubmans. So really to answer your question, TEAM PHUN is inspired by community, love, music, art, sports, and just the pursuit of fun!
What advice would you give someone considering a similar path?
Success doesn’t happen overnight. I have been doing this for 3+ years and just within the last year have we seen a lot of growth. It can be a very cut throat industry and for us, our market is owned by big name surf/lifestyle brands like Volcom and Hurley and it’s really hard to compete especially in retail that has loyal vendors and lifelong relationships which we are still developing.
However, we have created such a niche market because our products are so universally appealing to so many age demographics and retailers. It really comes down to taking chances, don’t be afraid to think out of the box and don’t let others influence your decisions, unless they REALLY do know what’s better for you, and even at that, sometimes its hard to listen (Sorry Dad)!
Anyone can print their own t-shirt or make their own “clothing line” but the beauty of the brand and success comes from the message you are pushing. Ours is real simple, Together Everyone Achieves More PHUN!
What makes your business unique?
Like I mentioned before, we have created a niche market. TEAM PHUN puts its own take on the word fun, because people have different ways of having fun. Our community is a very diverse range of athletes, musicians and more. For example, Conner Churchill, a young gun Sprint Car Racer from Beloit, WI wins races every week. He is currently living with legg calve perthes disease which constricts blood flow in his legs, so his mom took him off his skateboard and put him in a go kart! His pursuit of PHUN is ever lasting no matter what he does!
We also support surfers, an extreme stand up paddle boarder, a nationally recognized flow boarder from San Diego, and other local artists. Just recently, we developed a relationship with Bo Mitchell from Eastbound and Down and are designing a Hawaiian shirt collection with him for summer 2014. We’ve been very fortunate along the way to meet some many awesome people all in their pursuit of phun in their own unique way, and was our business grows, so will our community.
How would you describe your personal style?
Comfortable. Sometimes I go into work wearing sweatpants, and we’ll be lucky to see Nick wearing jeans, of course with board shorts as an undergarment. I like to think of myself as CEO in board shorts, although usually they are basketball shorts! Coming from an engineering background though, I have always been a designer and a do-it-yourselfer, which is why I think TEAM PHUN has grown into a successful brand. The “styles” that we have designed come from the creativity in all of our minds (Jamie, Nick, and myself).
What’s next for your company?
In the past year we have opened international distribution channels in Uruguay, UK, Switzerland, Japan, and we have many more prospective international relationships in the near future. Our local community has been great at giving us support with some of our main accounts at Surf Diva in La Jolla, Old Town Surf, Island Surf in Coronado, and about a dozen more retailers in the San Diego area.
Our vision is to grow TEAM PHUN into a well known brand by sharing our name and mission through retail/internet channels, hosting/promoting events, domestic/international trade shows, social media, and let everyone know that we are “the original California fun brand.”