Somewhat appropriately, on Friday the 13th, Sims Snowboards opened its new offices in Santa Monica to friends, pros, and local retailers. Located in a non-discript building just blocks away from the Promenade, the three-story facility has plenty of room for the twenty people currently working in it. With new blow-up pictures of the current ad campaign on the walls, mixed in with some totally classic shots of Tom Sims and the old team riders, the workspace has a good blend of modern SoCal, new Sims attitude, and classic winter snowboarding.
After arriving, Sims President Steve Dewar showed me around the office that had people hanging out just about everywhere. Definitely a good crowd for an open-house party. The main room was spacious, with desks for marketing, sales, and some product development people on each side. Several of the top managers have their own offices, including VP of Sales Todd Liotine and VP of Marketing Travis Wood. The highlight is the art department in the back with a big fish tank that holds piranhas. Artist Jason Bump says they play the Jaws theme music over the intercom every day when they feed goldfish to the piranhas.
With the move back to Southern California, Sims has almost entirely replaced its entire staff. One of the holdouts, Dewar, told me how important it was to get the company back to California. “We’re a Southern California brand,” says Dewar. “We were never supposed to be in the Northwest. That’s Mervin’s, K2’s, and Ride’s home.”
There were a number of notables in the crowd. Tom Sims was enjoying the party, while also sitting down with some of the staff like Director of Production Stephanie Sensenbach and going over product plans. Majority Owner John Textor was also hanging out, showing off the office to his own guests. Board Product Manager John Moore was down from Seattle getting some face-to-face time with the rest of the staff, while pros such as Kurt Wastell, Tina Basich, Tara Dakidas, and Brian Thien were also settling in, watching skate and snowboard movies. In a nice addition, Marc Frank Montoya even spent some time DJing for the crowd.