Around 2017, there was a popular motto for startups that went “move fast and break things,” which implied there was a direct correlation between speed and success. But I always wondered, what happens to the inevitable broken pieces and who picks them up?
I’ve noticed that many of us start companies because we like to solve problems and create solutions, not destroy things in our wake. And we started 7TILL8 to pick up some of those broken pieces we saw in the surf industry. Personally, I’ve always loved the alchemy that can only occur when you slow down and become totally immersed in what you’re building.
We just turned five years old and despite all the days that have felt endless, the time we spent building 7TILL8 has been a complete blur. It’s hard to believe that it’s been two and a half years since we worked at a dusty warehouse on Compton Blvd and Maple Ave. My favorite memories include the all night conversations when we would get lost imagining the possibilities of a wetsuit and inclusive surf world. Even the name, 7TILL8, is an ode to one brief magical hour in the water, a reminder of how transformative it can be to pause and reflect on this fast-paced, oft broken world.
It’s only now that we’re beginning to truly value slowing down. Yes, going fast is a thrilling adrenaline rush, especially when paired with an initial taste of accomplishment. It can even feel inconvenient to decelerate your pace when making key moves, but we’ve learned how important it is to step back when opportunity arises. Running 7TILL8 often feels like a series of near-death experiences and it’s when we’ve taken time to assess the whole picture that we actually feel most alive.
It’s an exciting time to be in the surf industry and it feels like 7TILL8 is just getting started. As our own momentum grows and we continue to build, “The Slow Down” is our attempt to share our experience as founders through much needed pause and self-examination. We’re looking to move slow and break much needed paradigms. We hope you’ll join us on this journey. Until the next one, we wish you many fruitful sessions in the water and a happy holiday season.
Grace & Andrew