Forged in the cold Scottish waters by a surfer short on time, c-monsta’s unique, ventilated designed hangers enable riders to hang all their gear in one place, allowing wetsuits and boots to dry faster, so sessions are not ruined by smelly, damp and rotten gear. We caught up with founder Mark Yeadon to talk about his drive to create the product and how the hangers help extend the life of neoprene which can only be a good thing for the planet!
Please could we have a brief recap of the brands history?
Our daughter had arrived, and it was a nightmare getting out the house to do what I love – to surf. Some of my limited time would be spent trying to find a boot or glove or a fishing stinking neoprene out of a builder’s tub in the back of my van.
I tried to design a solution. Initially I made my designs out of plywood and gave them to friends for Christmas presents and it all took off from there.
And tell us about the brands founder.
I have always loved boardsports, from skating through my younger years, to snowboarding when that kicked off then surfing. I was late to the game with surfing, but I have spent the last 20 years dedicating myself to waves.
I want to make products that contribute to a simpler life with minimal impact on the environment. I like simple solutions, which often take the most time and creativity to discover.
Please take us through your key product, the c-monsta Wetsuit Hanger V2?
Really simple product. It hangs your wetsuit, boots and gloves together in a position that allows them to dry efficiently.
When you want to go for a surf, all your kit is dry and together. It saves time, it saves money and I like to think it has a net environmental benefit.
It is quite a logical product.
Do you have any other products in the pipeline?
We have a bag and mat that are just being released. The three products work together in harmony like a little transporting, changing, drying, storing eco-system. I have been testing the products for over a year now and they are fully legit. New essentials. The bag is split into a wet half and dry half so you can carry everything together and the mat is padded so it is a total luxury to use.
What sets c-monsta apart from its competitors? What are its key brand values?
I try not to look too hard at what other people are doing because I just want to make products which make sense for me and my customers.
I want to make people feel good with fun branding and simple but innovative products. Which are the key sports markets for c-monsta and why?
I love surfing. The brand will always be anchored in surf but without sailing, SUP, open water swimming, triathlon, diving etc. the brand would not exist so it is important to take all those niches into account when making strategic decisions. For this reason, I have partnered up with a diving distributor in Europe but absolutely hope to build the brand’s presence in European surf shops and become a part of that community.
Does c-monsta do anything to benefit the environment?
We manufacture goods from recycled materials wherever possible, but our green credibility comes from helping to look after things and make them last. Historically I would only get 1 season out of my wetsuit, probably because it spent a good portion of that time lying in a bucket stinking of pee and rotting. I now get 2 or 3 seasons out of a suit and enjoy the process of looking after it. Imagine doubling the lifespan of all neoprene. How is the brand performing in the UK its launch market?
The first year during Covid was crackers. We were boxing up hangers in the living room and I was filling shopping trolleys and overloading the post office which was in a local store. It was really fun and exciting!
Post Covid was tricky but we have stabilized the supply chain, improved warehousing, launched two new products, established a relationship with a European distributor and set up warehousing in the US.
How is the brand distributed across Europe?
I tried taking care of customers in Europe from the UK but, because of Brexit, it was a nightmare. I really want people to have a positive experience with c-monsta and I felt like I was failing to do that for the shops. I went to ISPO last year and met a really nice guy called Frans and we are working together now. As I have said, he is into diving, but he puts customer service before anything else, which is what I am and c-monsta is all about.