The people of ACK Surf live as though “every day is a Saturday,” and they proudly encourage everyone to do the same. The Nantucket Island surf school has been promoting their presence in the hang 10, super-laid-back surfer lifestyle since its inception, when they only offered logoed tees. But as business on the island continued to grow, they knew they had to expand their offerings to capitalize on the development.
How did they do it? It started with a Twitter message from Mike Welker, senior account manager at Touchstone (asi/345631), to the owner of ACK Surf. “I’ve worked with them for over a year, and I’ve never even met them in person!” he says. “When we first started discussing their needs, they were looking for ideas for a men’s clothing line. They wanted to further monetize the island visitors, and were looking to offer what they call a ‘radical’ line of merchandise. They saw a unique niche for preppy clothes that were also inspired by the surfer lifestyle.”
Touchstone and ACK Surf got to work, and developed three lines of custom boardshorts made overseas. “We really studied the market,” says Welker. “They wanted unique items that were low-cost and high-quality, at low quantities, from a reliable supplier.” The line of boardshorts took off, and Touchstone was tapped to develop more items for the ACK Surf e-commerce store, including polos, croakies, koozies, stickers, hats, beanies, crewneck sweatshirts and custom pocket tees and tanks. Thanks to Touchstone, ACK Surf is now able to use its e-commerce store to promulgate the surfer lifestyle beyond the shores of Nantucket Island.
“Our goal is to have all the ACK Surf products made in the USA by the end of summer 2014,” says Welker. “We’d also like to offer more custom pocket items and give clients even more options to customize their apparel. With DTG, that’s a real possibility.”