It took over a week of non-stop brainstorming to decide to name the company 7TILL8. It feels nostalgic remembering those late late nights, ideating at the kitchen table in our one-bedroom apartment. We knew the name was important. It was a statement, a declaration of how we wanted to be known. Looking back at some of those almost-names, it’s cringey and hilarious to reflect on our past selves at the start of all this.
The year was 2017 and all we knew is that we were obsessed with wetsuit craftsmanship. We seriously considered calling it BILT Wetsuits, after learning that an original word was best for trademarking issues. After sitting on that, it reminded us of wetsuits on steroids and that did not feel right. We had more intention than that.
Our core competency was making custom wetsuits and going custom also felt symbolic of our sense of purpose. We saw how proper wetsuit fit could impact one’s sense of belonging, confidence, and surf progression. At the time, we felt like outsiders and custom fit communicated our values of inclusivity in a very tangible way - on the product level. We chewed on the idea of being YELLO Wetsuits, a nod to our cultural backgrounds, and quickly passed on that. It felt gimmicky and we wanted to be taken seriously for good product quality.
After passing on hundreds of horrible ideas with increasing frustration, we wondered why we cared so much about the name. We were two people throwing our whole selves into this new thing that hadn’t taken shape yet. It was personal, but it was not about ego. We decided the name needed to represent our aspirations for this newborn brand, sensing it should come from a place of clarity and bliss. That’s how we came to name it after our favorite time to be in the ocean.
Sunsets in Southern California are breathtaking all year, but an evening glassoff session is especially magical during the summer. The sun stays out later and you can surf into the night. We loved being able to leave work, jump into the water right before 7p, and wash off the day for an hour or two. No matter how crazy that day had gone, paddling out in glassy conditions under a sky of pastel pinks, yellows, and blues felt like a beautiful reward. We’d find ourselves always ending those days in gratitude.
After telling this story for almost six years, the name still doesn’t get old. We’re glad we took the time to be thoughtful on this. A glassy evening session from 7-8pm during this season is still our favorite time to surf.