Meet Dave Kamena | Brand Architect
STORIES & INSIGHTS2 DAYS AGO
We recently connected with Dave Kamena and have shared our conversation below.
Dave , appreciate you joining us today. What’s the backstory behind how you came up with the idea for your business?
Our story started in 1998, just about the time the old-school-short volleyball shorts were beginning to look silly (they are back). My friends and I didn’t like the fit of the surf shorts that were available; they were made to fit surfer kids, not competitive athletes. So a few of us got together, searched for some cool fabric and got to work in a garage in South Mission Beach, California. I had worked a few days cutting fabric for my neighbors’ jacket company and learned how to make patterns. I worked after dark in the garage with my favorite shorts, taking the best attributes from each style to piece together what I thought would be a good looking, great fitting pair of beach volleyball shorts. A guy named Stanley stitched them up for us in his garage. Stanley had just sold his clothing manufacturing business and still had some machines. The shorts he put together from the pattern looked great but didn’t fit quite right. We changed the pattern, and changed it again, and again. When we got it right, we moved on to other products and created KAMENA OUTDOOR! There was room in the industry to make things better, so we did it…
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
I’m a guy from Michigan that loves the beach. Having worked for myself since my first paper route I guess I automatically look at situations around me and think about how to define them and make them better. In the case of KAMENA it was creating a better short, then a better tee shirt, then a better cap and backpack. That philosophy made me move my family to Baja, Mexico some years ago. Better house, more adventure, better standard of living (in our case). Always looking to improve and adjust is not just a brand promise, its a way of life. My customers know this about our brand as we continue to adjust over 20+ years of design.
Can you share a story from your journey that illustrates your resilience?
When i was getting my Masters degree the hardest part was choosing a topic for my thesis. That study was going to define my time in graduate school and it was awfully difficult to narrow anything down that I felt was important enough. After a while I started questioning my I was spending time sitting in a class after so many years of sitting in a class. A little confusion and frustration set in and I just forced the issue and moved forward. Step by step until I was finishing my oral presentation to the board to graduate with honors. Past confusion. Past frustration. Success is more of a concept and than a goal.
Alright – let’s talk about marketing or sales – do you have any fun stories about a risk you’ve taken or something else exciting on the sales and marketing side?
My favorite marketing moment was one of my first. I was playing beach volleyball at a high level in those years, and would bring my product from court to court while I played. In a duffel bag. After a game at one of the largest events in the country, the organizer kicked me off the beach because there were legitimate sponsors that paid to be there. I made a deal on the spot to pay one of those sponsors and had him sell my gear for me. The rest is history.
- Website: www.kamenaoutdoor.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kamenaoutdoor/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dave.kamena
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davekamena/
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3Yjm55LmdVVm7i0m7LmKWg