Episode 136

Line Extension and Licensing to Fuel Growth

Chris Lynch - Everyday California
September 30, 2020
SUBSCRIBE: iTunesStitcher

In a word, Chris Lynch is cool.  So is his brand Everyday California.  It’s not a surprise then, that what started as an adventure tour company also became a super popular apparel line.  But Chris and the Everyday Cali team didn’t stop there… The brand has now grown to include flip flops, beer, CBD and even a line of sunscreen.  So what separates a solid business move into new products vs. an unhealthy distraction?  When should you partner, license, go on your own, or scrap an idea?  Here’s what we dive into on this episode: 

  • When to lawyer up and why it’s sooo worth it
  • Be patient - speed in some instances almost guarantees that you land on your face.
  • One of the best questions to ask about adding a new product is “does it feel right?”  
  • How Chris and team partnered with a brewery on a California IPA and a CBD company to make a CBD product all while strengthening their core brand offering.
  • Lessons learned from a few license deals
  • How and why Everyday Cali is launching a brand new sunscreen - if you’re considering a line extension, you’ll love Chris’ advice.

Mentioned in this episode:

Jim Collins

Cherokee (Apex) Global Brands

GreenWave Charity

Sunday Scaries


Chris Lynch -  Co-Founder and CEO at Everyday California

Via LinkedIn

Via Instagram


Everyday California - Adventures & Apparel

Via LinkedIn

Via Facebook

Via Twitter

Via Instagram

Via YouTube

Episode Transcript

Brett:

And welcome to another edition of the eCommerce Evolution podcast. I'm your host, Brett Curry, CEO of OMG Commerce. And today we have a return guest. He's one of the few. We have had a couple of return guest on the show, but this is definitely part of an elite club. This is elite status when you get asked back to the eCommerce Evolution podcast. We did also realize that it's been three years, three years, since we've had this guest on.

Brett:

I am excited to welcome to the show again, Mr. Chris Lynch, of Everyday California. Chris, what's up, man? How's it going?

Chris:

What's up, buddy? Good to hear you. Good to see you.

Brett:

Yeah, you as well.

Chris:

Stoked to be back. I didn't realize it'd been three years. It's pretty wild.

Brett:

I know. Time flies. But we've known each other a long time. Your client and a bro, so we run your Google Ads and stuff. And we hang out in San Diego on occasion, because I like to get out there as much as I can, even maybe once during COIVD. But anyway, excited to talk about a few things. I want to first get everybody caught up. I want people to hear the story of Everyday California. And quick shout-out, I am wearing... if you're-

Chris:

There it is.

Brett:

... watching the video, I am wearing an Everyday Cali shirt today in honor of this-

Chris:

Thanks.

Brett:

... interview. So I want everybody-

Chris:

I'm wearing a hat, thankfully. I probably should rep my own brand.

Brett:

You probably should, but that ..

Chris:

Well, it is. Yeah, it is. Yeah, ..

Brett:

It is Everyday California.

Chris:

Everyday Cal... Yeah, these are the new... We're doing all these new beach hats for up and down the coast, so different beaches and cities.

Brett:

So just the different beaches in San Diego, you're-

Chris:

Yeah.

Brett:

... creating a hat for?

Chris:

Pacific Beach. Ocean Beach. Mission Beach. All that good stuff. Just for fun. A little capsule collection.

Brett:

There's got to be a La Jolla Shores hat, I would assume.

Chris:

Yeah.

Brett:

Of the shores.

Chris:

Yep, yep, yep.

Brett:

Awesome. I want to get everybody caught up. I want people to hear the backstory of Everyday California. And then, what we're going to talk about is how you've successfully taken one business, which is your core business of adventure that we'll talk about in a minute, and you've used that to successfully launch other spin-offs, other related product offerings, even some license deals that are really interesting and I think informative. And so, if you would, just tell everybody how you got your start, what is Everyday California? Tell us the story.

Chris:

Yeah, for sure. So Everyday California, we're an ocean, adventure and lifestyle brand. So we do kayaking, paddleboarding, surfing, snorkeling. We do tours, lessons and rentals, and that's the genesis of our business. And then, we also do men's, women's and kids apparel and accessories, so pretty much everything from hats and tee shirts, which is how we started, to flip flops and water bottles and towels and we have a beer and we're working on a sunscreen. We have all different types of product offering, which is why we truly believe we are a lifestyle brand, because we do everything in the ocean and then we make products for all different types of lifestyle activities.

Brett:

Yeah. It's just a super fun brand. I will give a quick shout-out. San Diego's of my favorite spots. We try to go at least a few times a year. Even though we live in Missouri, we make it out there. La Jolla is next level, which is where you guys are located. La Jolla's the best. And so, I will say if you're out there, you have to do the kayak tours that Everyday California puts on. It's just a unique experience. There's no place like La Jolla. Also, if you want to pick up surfing, which I've really worked hard to try to learn surfing over last couple years. I surf I could label myself a really... I'm a good surfer for my area of the country.

Chris:

You've tried a couple lessons with us, right?

Brett:

Yeah, I did. .

Chris:

.. water surfing ..

Brett:

You guys did the... Then I'll quick plug, if you want to take surf lessons, the group at Everyday Cali, awesome. Really help you out. Patient, but good instructors as well. So you got to check that out. And what's also interesting is you hang out in the Everyday Cali shop, whether you're waiting for your surfboard or waiting for your kayak tour. People are actively shopping your apparel. This is not just a, "Hey, we called up a screen printer, and they threw our logo on some tee shirts. And now we're hocking them in the shop". You guys have really developed some fantastic products. It's a brand you can tell a lot of thought, a lot of care, when into that. And so-

Chris:

Yeah, we've got we got product developers working with us all the time. Yeah, you're right. That's the one thing, and I'm glad that you mentioned that, because a lot of people do think, "Oh, well, you're just the tourist spot and you're printing logos on blanks." But we're manufacturing in, not only U.S., but Mexico, China, Brazil, Vietnam and really creating products and not just printing on blanks.

Brett:

Yeah. Was that the goal from the beginning, when you started doing.... Because you started with kayak tours, right? That was the very first thing you did-

Chris:

Yeah.

Brett:

Did you always think there's going to be a lifestyle brand, apparel was going to be next, or did that come later?

Chris:

It was in the initial concept. That was really what we wanted to do was use the platform that we had to build a bigger brand and build that lifestyle around the ocean and around all the activities that we do. You and I talked, and to tell the story quickly, but when we started, it was myself and a business partner. We had some pickup trucks... or we had a pickup truck, some kayaks, a cell phone and an iPad, and we basically kept it in a storage unit, and we would wake up early in the morning and drive down to the beach and drop everything off. And while we're in the truck, I'd make calls and return calls to Groupon customers to get them to come out on the ocean with us. So what started-

Brett:

So you and your business partner, you guys were tour guides and everything. You were doing the whole thing?

Chris:

We were tour guides. We were washing wetsuits. We were moving boats. We were still going to the storage unit. We were up at 6:00 AM, moving those things and putting a rope around them and driving them down to the beach. And it was everything. No one was answering the phones when we were in the water. So you would do a two hour kayak tour, run out of the water, check the phones, all that. We quickly learned that we needed a couple employees, so we did we hire out a couple buddies right away. And it just evolved from there. We opened our first store, about 500 square foot shoe box. I wouldn't even call it a store. Our first little area to operate out of. Eight months, we were able to get a new spot.

Brett:

Is that where... Was the original shop, is that where that awesome taco place is now ?

Chris:

Yeah, that's where the taco place is now. Yeah, yeah.

Brett:

Okay. That place is tiny.

Chris:

Yeah, it was a shoebox for real. And that's where the genesis of the branch comes from, that's where that started. Once we had the little store, it was, "Okay. Now let's make those... Let's print on those blanks and sell something." Si we had a tee shirt and a hat. And once we sold out our first 24 hats, we were at 48 hats. And once we sold out of those 48, we made 100. And we started from there. And it was one product at a time... one hat, one tee shirt, one tank top, all that stuff. And then, that's when the brand really started to grow, and the company itself started to grow. As we continued to get more customers, as we continued to get busier and have more kayak tours, more paddleboard rentals, whatever it may be, we had to hire on more and more people. And now, sitting at today, we have about 80 employees, and we see about 75,000 customers a year that go out on the ocean with us.

Brett:

That's crazy, man. That's crazy.

Chris:

Yeah. Yeah.

Brett:

Yeah. And it's a well-oiled machine, man. The tours are fun. I've done four now, and I'm still not tired of it. But the check-in process is smooth. The way the employees treat you as you're out there... It's just awesome. So I want to talk a little bit about the apparel, and I love how you got started with just one tee shirt, one hat and did well there. Did you start with the... I'm wearing the El Classico. Is this what you started with?

Chris:

That is the original?. Yeah, that's the original print. We had it in the one color. We had it in a charcoal, like a heather charcoal tri-blend. That was my favorite, basically, my favorite blank. And that was the original design, the original flag design that everybody loves. It's still one of our top sellers today. I think... It's a legacy project I will always keep around. We're definitely... That went on everything at the beginning. We're definitely evolving the brand now. We have a lot more product offerings, a lot more designs. We're trying to get more technical with our gear. We actually just brought in one of the original founders of Blenders Eyewear the original designer-

Brett:

That's awesome.

Chris:

... and founder. Yeah, he sold his part of the company a couple years back and has been doing some outside design work and consulting and having a good time. And we were friends when he started Blenders, and I start Everyday California. So I don't know if everybody on this podcast knows who Blenders is, but they're a major eyewear brand now.

Brett:

Huge eyewear brand. What a great story. It's similar beginnings, right? Just real, real humble, a couple dudes...

Chris:

Very similar. Yeah.

Brett:

Invented an eyeglass company, and this thing exploded.

Chris:

Exploded. So him and I were roommates, and he actually was working for us, when they had started Blenders just prior to that, and helping out. And now, things have come full circle, and we've got him Now as our brand manager and our design lead. So we're really pushing and hoping to push the envelope of our designs and our capabilities now the team is growing a lot.

Brett:

That's awesome. I love that. And what's really interesting, hearing you tell the story reminds me of this principle that Jim Collins teaches... Jim Collins, the author of Good to Great and Built to Last and other amazing books. He talks about successful companies fire bullets first, and then cannon balls, to use a ship metaphor. Companies that tend to make big mistakes, maybe crippling mistakes, fire cannon balls first, and then, maybe they realize they're out of money or out of whatever. But it seems like you guys have done that, because this is where, "Hey, we believe we can make apparel work, so here's one shirt or here's one hat." And then, it sells out. It's successful. So now you begin to expand. So talk about, what does that process look like, as you had those initial successes with shirts, how do you decide where to go next? Is it just you guys are really creative and you're trying to design for stuff that you like, or are you asking people, doing research? What are you doing?

Chris:

No. I think you hit the nail on the head there. We continue to fire bullets. We really don't throw a lot of big crazy ideas out there. We can't afford to invest in crazy ideas, just because (A) we are seasonal business, so we really learned how to manage cash flow early on. When you start to grow as a kayak company and a surf company, and your whole business is adventure and tourism in the water, those customers go away in the winter time.

Brett:

Even though winter is still nice in San Diego, it slows down big time.

Chris:

Winter is still beautiful, but it definitely, you got 60% less, 70% less, people around and coming out of the water. So as we developed products over time, it was really a bullet here and a bullet there. And they were natural progressions. You make a tee shirt first. And then, after you make a tee shirt, you make a tank top. And then, once you figure that out, you make a sweatshirt, because you're heading into the winter, and you hope that some people will buy those sweatshirts. And this was also at the beginning of the eCommerce, I would say, revolution. Our first website was on WordPress. You couldn't even really sell a product on there. I don't think we dove into Shopify until maybe... I'd have to look, but maybe 2015, 2014, 2015, something like that. And that's when we started selling online a little bit. We were so focused on our own retail in store and our customers in store that we didn't really get that up and running. And again, it was a natural progression of, "Hey, let's master... Let's figure out what our best videos and our best material and our best ideas around that, before we you make a Lycra UPF shirt for the water," which is much more custom and much harder to make. So definitely one thing at a time.

Chris:

And when it comes to product development, again, we try and base it on what we're doing around the water. We don't try and expand outside of our capabilities too much. We know where we are. We know what we're good at. We're not trying to compete with O'Neill to make the best wetsuits. That's not our business. But we do have a really cool floating waterproof hat that we made that works really well for our guides and works awesome for our surf instructors, and it just fits the brand, fits the vibe. And to develop a floating waterproof hat is a hell of a lot easier than to develop a wetsuit for men and women in 10 different sizes in different thicknesses and all of that. We develop products that we know that we can hopefully hit home runs with without breaking the bank and without hiring on the 10 technical designers.

Brett:

Yeah. Yeah. And so, do you have a detailed process that you go through to evaluate what's it going to cost to actually do R&D for this product and then, manufacture it? And then, what does the demand that should look like for this product? Because you mentioned wetsuits, and it's always just people that live there that are probably going to buy wetsuits. Everybody else is going to rent them and what's not.

Chris:

Yep. Yeah.

Brett:

So what's your process there when you're looking at a new product? And if it's more just organic, kind of feeling it out, that's cool, too.

Chris:

Yeah, so it has been just organic, and it has been like, "Hey, we like that. Let's try and make that." And then, it goes over to Brody, who is our logistics manager and product developer. He works with all the manufacturers. If we have an idea, he can take that idea and shop it around and see how much it costs. And we can make a decision on how much time needs to be invested, how much money needs to be invested. We are, and this is part of the reason why we have hired Blake as our brand manager now, is to tighten that process up. I don't think we're going to be able to get... We're not gonna be able to get to the next step without more standard operating procedures in place. We've been able to... We've been lucky enough to be successful in the ways that we're doing things, but it's not the way we should be doing things. We develop products as we go along and as we think something's cool, we make it. We drop it.

Chris:

And we've had a lot of issues in the past with, it's February or it's March, and we want to make this cool new board short. And then, we get the designs and then we get the samples from China and those take six weeks. And then, they come back and say, "Okay, you got to order a thousand of these." And then, they need another three months to manufacture them. And then, they sit and go to customs, and then they're sitting in customs for a month. And the next thing you know, you got a thousand board shorts, and it's the end of August, and the summer's basically over. You're like, "Aw, man."

Chris:

So we're trying to get a lot better at that and change those processes. We still like throwing things at the wall. I can't tell you I don't throw things at the wall all the time that are just sitting in the back ..

Brett:

I think that's part of the creative process. That's part of the being an entrepreneur. You have to have that. I think most entrepreneurs just have that inside them. They have to be kicking out new ideas, and it's..

Chris:

You have to do it. Exactly. We're having this conversation in August now, and I know it sounds early, but we were looking at developing a flannel shirt that has a bottle opener in it, and it's a little bit thicker and potentially has a little bit of water wicking to it. And that product, we would like to drop in November... October, November. We're already behind the ball on that, and we've worked with the manufacturer, and we realize that, for the quantity that we want to do... because we have no idea how it's going to do, how well it's going to sell... it'd be a small capsule collection... that the cost per shirt would be something like $38, which if-

Brett:

That's a pretty expensive cost.

Chris:

... you're in the world of apparel, is very expensive on the cost side. But it might be something that we might try and make a hundred of them and see what happens. And hopefully, they come in, in November. But, again, this is why we're bringing... This is why I'm hiring more people and bringing in more people, because these processes and procedures need to be tightened up a lot more. I've learned, as being a CEO, that my time is so scattered and so all over the place that, as much as I would love to sit and develop every single new product and create that timeline and design and go back to when we first started I was on Photoshop and learning Photoshop on how to make things. Now, my time is spent between meeting with the accountant, and then meeting with the lawyers, and then meeting with the city officials and then meeting with our managers and our directors. And so in dialing all of that in and just becoming more of a thought leader and not being as hands-on.

Brett:

And you've done.... And just being able to observe you now for several years, you've done a great job that.

Chris:

I appreciate it.

Brett:

And it's interesting. And then, I'm the same way, just in a different world, the agency world, where it's very easy for me to just want to get into some of the details and craft campaigns and do some stuff that I've done for years and I'm good at, but really the highest and best use of your time as a CEO is often to get the best out of your people and to inspire them and equip them and train them and give them everything they need to do what they need to do, because you could very quickly become your own bottleneck and the thing that slows down your business and keeps that next great product from being introduced. And so, you've done a really good job of that.

Chris:

I appreciate it.

Brett:

So that's that's awesome. Now, I do have just a quick question, because this is fascinating to me. So flannel shirt with a bottle opener in it.

Chris:

Yeah. Yes. Yeah. ..

Brett:

You have a few other.... Do you know the guys at William Painter? William Painter Sunglasses?

Chris:

Yeah. Yeah, I know those guys. Yeah, they're right here in Pacific Beach, right with me.

Brett:

They are. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Chris:

I'm wearing my Pacific Beach hat right here.

Brett:

Yes. So they're buddies of mine. They've got the hook on their sunglasses to pop open the bottles, which is cool. I bought a pair of flip flops a few years ago, not Everyday California brand, which was a mistake.

Chris:

It's Reef. Reef has that trademark.

Brett:

With the bottle opener on the-

Chris:

With the bottle opener, yeah. They originally did that with Mick Fanning 15 years ago or something like that. I don't know if the patent on it has expired, because it's a potential that other companies are doing it now. But it was Reef who originally-

Brett:

I think they are Reef flip flops. Although, after you wear flip flops and especially in a COVID world, that's the last place I want to put my beverage is right where, the underneath part of my foot. Anyway...

Chris:

I never used it. I never used it either.

Brett:

I've never used it either.

Chris:

That was my whole thing. I don't want to put my foot on the top of my beer, the bottom of my shoe.

Brett:

It also depends where I've been walking.

Chris:

But they've probably sold a hundred million of those things,

Brett:

Isn't that-

Chris:

You can't hate on it.

Brett:

It feels like a good idea before you start wearing them maybe. Where did that idea come from? So bottle opener on a flannel shirt. Was that just a crazy idea or was there an interesting story ?

Chris:

It came from the staff. It came from the staff. I believe it was Brody and Robin, who is our... Sorry, we have company. I'm working from home, because it's COVID.

Brett:

Hey, what's up?

Chris:

So I think this is getting pretty normal for everybody, right?

Brett:

Oh, absolutely. Yeah.

Chris:

You guys are on the eCommerce Influence podcast right now.

Brett:

That was like, "I can't believe I'm actually on this podcast, because heard of it."

Chris:

I believe that's what they say, "Yeah. Oh my, God, I can't believe I'm on this podcast."

Brett:

That's completely normal. I've had my kids interrupt doing crazy things and stuff. Yeah.

Chris:

Yeah. Yeah.

Brett:

Totally normal.

Chris:

Sorry. I lost my train of thought. What were we... We were talking about... Oh, the bottle opener.

Brett:

bottle opener ..

Chris:

So I believe it was Brody and Robin and Jana. They're on our brand team. So graphic designer, basically social media manager and photographer and then logistics and product development. So those guys have really stepped up. Again, it's a matter of me trying to get out of the way, and let everybody do their thing. Let them come up with ideas-

Brett:

Let those ideas come out of the team, man.

Chris:

... to develop products.

Brett:

They've got them.

Chris:

Yeah. Yeah. For sure. For sure.

Brett:

Awesome. Fantastic. And I would be much more likely to use the bottle opener that was attached to my shirt than I would the bottom of my shoe.

Chris:

Absolutely. Now let me ask you, would you want it on the pocket of the flannel or on the bottom of the flannel?

Brett:

Dude, I think... I would have to see it. I'd have to see it. I think I'm going to go bottom of the flannel though.

Chris:

Got you. All right.

Brett:

I think that's a little inconspicuous.

Chris:

A little more hidden.

Brett:

I think it's cool you open it down there versus up here. A little awkward to open-

Chris:

Yeah. Yeah. It's true. It's true.

Brett:

I've got long arms. And so yeah... Anyways, .

Chris:

These are things we talk about around the office... at home now.

Brett:

Fun stuff. Well, yeah, virtually now, I guess. Awesome. So let's talk a little bit about some of the partnerships, and so partnerships, licensing deals. I know there's some awesome things that can come from that. There are real horror stories and/or just meh stuff that can come out of that. Talk about your journey there, because I think that's an area that not a lot of people... that's the path that not a lot of people go down. And I think it all starts with the fact that you put so much time and attention and energy into creating this brand. This brand that's really cool. And this brand that other people want to be a part of. So if you just had a real cheesy brand, no one would want to do this with you. But talk about some of the licensing and partnership deals, the good, the bad and otherwise.

Chris:

Yeah, so we first got introduced to licensing back in 2015. We were approached by a company called Cherokee Global Brands. Now Cherokee Global Brands is a major licensee. They own the Cherokee brand, which was in Target for forever and has been around, I believe, since the '80s.

Chris:

They also own Tony Hawk. They own Liz Lange. They now own Hi-Tec. They own Magnum Boots. They own a lot of companies and a lot of licenses. So we first partnered with them in 2015, and that licensing deal was essentially for them to do our mass-market retail, so your Targets, your Kohl's, your potentially Walmart's or Ross or all of the big... JCPenney, a lot of companies, major retailers. And then, they were going to do that, as well as our international licensing. So when we first started, our first stores we were in were... Actually, Sears Canada was the first-

Chris:

.... licensing deal. Yeah. And currently, we only have one licensing deal through Cherokee... they're actually now known as Apex Brands... and that is in Mexico. I believe about 400 stores in Mexico. So it was an interesting learning experience. There are a lot of ups and downs with licensing. I might have done things differently. I was a little bit younger, and now, having a partner is great.

Brett:

One of the issues is you lose control, right, for that ..

Chris:

You do. You do lose some control. So they typically own a portion of our intellectual property that is licensed out to other companies around the globe, essentially. Now, they don't own all of our intellectual property. For example, right now, we are working on our sunscreen. Our sunscreen has been in development for about 18 months. Now we own that intellectual property for Everyday California, for bear, for our trade, our name, our word mark, and we can do with it what we please, without having to really ask anybody. However, creating a sunscreen is very difficult. We're not white labeling this stuff. We're not just going down and slapping our name on a random bottle of sunscreen and selling it out. We brought in a different licensing partner who basically is licensing out our name and helping us develop the product. It's a different type of contract where it's a shorter term it's not a forever in perpetuity deal. It's more of like a three-year deal, five-year deal with some revenue goals and kickers there. But we did that, because we have no experience with this. I've never developed a skincare product before, and we were very-

Brett:

Right. When you're going from apparel to something like skincare... more regulations, more complexity, just all kinds of stuff you wouldn't know.

Chris:

Yeah. Tons of things you wouldn't know. And also, we want it to be reef safe. We want it to be environmentally friendly. We wanted it to be every little sticker you see on a bottle... the non-GMO and vegan and cruelty free. We wanted all of that, because we're an ocean adventure company. Our brand stems from the ocean. Our employees are in the ocean every day. We wanted to make sure that this stuff was not hurting the environment. So we developed a formula with our licensing partner, with different labs, so actual scientist, which is crazy, to put sea kelp and algae into the-

Brett:

Super cool.

Chris:

Yeah. It's really, really cool, because we're part of 1% for the Planet, so we donate 1% of our revenue to charity. And the one that we work really closely with is called GreenWave, and they basically are kelp farmers, which is a whole other conversation we can talk about. But that's why we wanted kelp in there. And they brought in employees from Estee Lauder to help develop it. We used our internal design team to design packaging, alongside of another company that only designs packaging for CPG, so consumer product goods. I believe, yeah.

Brett:

Yeah, yeah. That's right. Consumer packaged goods, right?

Chris:

Sorry. Consumer packaged. I knew I was saying it wrong. Consumer packaged goods. So we brought in a designer to do that. And that's a totally different licensing deal than the other licensing deal with apparel. However, both of those, we have the ability to sell... We have the contracts, in all those contracts, that we are the sole online retailer. And it's great, because we made these deals, the original Cherokee deal so long ago, that online wasn't as big as it is now. And I said, "There's no way we're giving up anything online." So we didn't. And we have the same deal with our sunscreen or anything that we do, we control everything that's online. And basically, all the messaging for Everyday California comes out of my office and our team, which is really cool.

Chris:

Yeah. There's ups and downs about licensing. Those are just literally two examples of licensing. Another really cool license we've done is the Everyday California IPA, which is a beer. And we do that through Resident Brewing here in San Diego. Just another really fun thing to do. You license it out-

Brett:

Do you do that mainly for the fun factor or was it a little bit of business?

Chris:

100% for the fun factor. It's a little bit of business, but it's a marketing play. And it's a loosely... I would even say it's hard to say it's a license. It's like a loosely-based collaboration where there is a small licensing agreement in it, and it's cool marketing for us. It's fun for them.

Brett:

It's fun to put that beer-

Chris:

We changed our logo.

Brett:

... on your tee shirts. You got guys drinking the Everyday California... People drinking the Everyday California beer locally. It's super cool.

Chris:

Yeah. We're in 20-plus bars around here in San Diego and La Jolla. Sot it's just cool. You see our tap, and it's got the Everyday California bear, but instead of holding a surfboard, he's a holding basically a pint glass. So that's cool. So there's licensing opportunities that way. We are launching a... I'm very excited about this. Another one, just fun. I like to do this. We're doing a CBD license with-

Chris:

.... Sunday Scaries.

Brett:

Yep. Yep. Sunday Scaries-

Chris:

So Sunday-

Brett:

.... a fantastic brand. I've tried the product. It's really good.

Chris:

Amazing. Mike Sill and Beau over there, the team over there, we're friends. We're in the same entrepreneur organization together. And it just made sense. "Hey, we're Everyday California. They're Sunday Scaries." They have a gummy bear. We have a bear holding a surfboard. California and CBD and the marijuana industry and all that is just.... all goes hand in hand. So we said, "Let's do this collaboration." So September 1, we are dropping the Everyday Scaries Collection. So we got their custom gummies for us, custom packaging, all kinds of cool stuff. And then, we switched Brutus out, our bear, for a gummy bear. So now we've got a gummy bear holding a surfboard. And we created all these really cool graphics, and we're doing cool tee shirts and hats and it's just... Again that's another "licensing deal," but it's more of a collaboration.

Brett:

It's kind of a co-branding opportunity.

Chris:

It's a co-brand collaboration. We get introduced to their customer base. They get introduced to our customer base. And we just have fun with it. I ordered a hired a big inflatable gummy bear that we're going to have one of our guys go out and surf. And both of our brand teams are going to take photos and do real photo shoot.

Brett:

He's going to surf the bear or he's going to surf with the bear?

Chris:

He's going to surf the gummy bear. He's going to surf on the gummy bear. Yeah. Yeah.

Brett:

Okay. That's awesome. I think there's a lot of good things can come out of a licensing deal. Sure, they can fall through or maybe not live up the expectations or whatever, but you get to leverage expertise that you don't have and distribution networks that you don't have and just talent that you don't have. But then, also, you get to expand your line, and then you do something fun, like the gummies where your customers are probably, or a good percentage of them, would want to give a try to a CBD product and same with their customers wanting to buy something of yours as well. When do you... How do you evaluate a deal to understand, this is good for my brand or this is potentially just a distraction. Because, as entrepreneurs, we love ideas. We love deal making and things like that. How do you determine if something is good long term versus a distraction. And, obviously, you can't know everything before you start.

Chris:

I think at the beginning, when we first started the company, you say yes to everything. You're just excited that people accept you or like you. If somebody comes to you and they have a deal and they have an idea, you're like, "Yes. Yes."

Brett:

Let's do it.

Chris:

Yes. You say yes to everything. Now we've been through so many and we have just much more opportunities, if it doesn't.... I feel like you can just feel when it's right. We know when it's right. You know when it fits the brand. You know that Everyday California, IPA and beer just feels right. California was big into IPAs.

Brett:

IPAs are hot right now, especially with the younger generations and stuff.

Chris:

Yeah. And as soon as you start thinking about it, you're like, "Oh, imagine that what the apparel ideas we could do," or "Think about what the tap at the bar would look like." You just start to... You can just feel it, and you know when something's right. I think the most important thing is to make sure that, if you're going to do a licensing deal or collaboration, that you have the contracts down in an extremely favorable way. I think as long as you're comfortable with the contracts and with what the agreement is ahead of time, it's going to be whether it's successful to your wildest imagination and everyone's making money and that contract is solid or whether it's a huge flop and you can get out and forget about it, and no one really saw it. You need to have that in place so that you're just taken care of. You're just protected. It's not ..

Brett:

Yeah. Without that, you're asking for a complete nightmare and likely legal battles. I think sometimes entrepreneurs want to avoid some of the legal hassles, because we don't like to do that. It slows us down. We like to get deals done, but if you don't do the legal stuff up front, the legal stuff will come back to get you in the end, and it's not worth it.

Chris:

Yeah.

Brett:

Do you recommend then finding an attorney that specializes in IP issues and licensing deals and stuff like that or is that ?

Chris:

100%. 100%. Yeah, we have an amazing licensing attorney based out of New York, who has represented some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment, and amazing, firm, amazing guy. And that's just the work that he did five years ago, you don't understand it or realize it at the time. The contract are so big and you're negotiating 50 different deal points. And then, you look back five years now, and you're like, "Oh, that's why that's in there."

Brett:

Yeah. Yeah. So glad. So glad .

Chris:

That's why this clause is in there. That's what that is... You're so glad you do it right. These collaboration deals, you don't... Sunday Scaries, I'm good friends with the guys. It's a licensing deal, but it's a collaboration. We don't really have... It's not-

Brett:

And that's not like a big company.

Chris:

It's not a formal thing.

Brett:

It's a fun thing. It's like the beer.

Chris:

Exactly. Exactly. It's not a long-term thing. They're not going to be selling Everyday Scaries Gummy Bears forever. It's a one month thing. They're doing it. We're doing it. We're dropping it. It's going to be fun, and then it's over. They make their money on CBD. We make our money on apparel. Boom. We're done. That's not a bigger deal when you're talking about a sunscreen license or a licensing deal with Cherokee Global Brands or if you're working with major retailers that.

Brett:

Cool. So I love the way you described it there. That it just it feels right, and then, a lot about a brand is about perception and does this lineup and will somebody look at this and say, "Oh, yeah, of course, the Everyday California IPA?" And I really think people will do that with sunscreen. And I want to talk more about the sunscreen products just a little bit here. It's kind of our last topic. But I think people will look at sunscreen and say, "Of course. They're out on the water, and they're out there." And you have to have sunscreen, and most sunscreen is terrible. I remember that realization when I started learning that maybe... So obviously, we have been trained that skin cancer is bad, and it is. Then when you realize that if you use the wrong sunscreen, it may be doing as much damage or more than just without it. And so, it's like, "Okay. This is terrible." So why did you choose sunscreen? And let's talk through that, because that is a... you hinted about it and you talked about it a little bit before... That's a big departure from adventure and apparel and things like that.

Chris:

Mm. So you hit the nail on the head with yes, it just makes sense for us. It's another one of those when you have the aha moment, and you're like, "We're selling a ton of Sun Bum in store. They have a great brand. Why can't we do that?" There's no reason why we can't create our own sunscreen and figure this thing out. So that was one thing that it just made sense. Number two, looking at-

Brett:

It tied into your mission, too. So it ties into the brand. It ties into the mission, which is a nice little bonus.

Chris:

Exactly. It ties into all of it. And our thing is, make fun happen and create cool products and use business to improve the environment. So we'll improve the environment with this product, because it's not going to be terrible for the environment like every other sunscreen. We're trying to be as natural as possible and make this as environmentally friendly as possible. Create cool products. It's a dope product. We think it's a cool product. I think it smells great. You should have-

Brett:

It goes on easy.

Chris:

Yeah.

Brett:

You spray it on. It goes on easy.

Chris:

Yeah. You should have seen me at all the different perfume stores like smelling different sense as we're making this. And we finally decided on a scent that we're calling Malibu Beach.

Brett:

Malibu Beach. I like that.

Chris:

So it's a cool product. And then, make fun happen. So this is part of making fun happen. When you're out on the ocean with us, when you're in the water, when you're kayaking, you're paddleboarding, surfing, whatever it is, you're having fun, but you still need this product. So it fits in completely with our brand message. And then, also in order to scale, as I Look to grow into the future, as we grow the brand online, as we make more apparel, and as we see what's going on with e-commerce, in general, consumer packaged goods is one area that is just absolutely on fire. Consumer packaged goods seems like it's literally built for e-commerce.

Brett:

It is.

Chris:

And I had been looking around, thinking, "Okay. What can we do? What product can we do to scale this business to take us to the next level? How can we hit everybody in the U.S.?" Some people aren't going to wear an Everyday California tee shirt, because you know what? They are hardcore Texas or whatever it is, which is totally fine. They're not our customer base. I'm not worried about it. California's big enough for us. But in order to expand to grow to get that national reach, a consumer packaged good like sunscreen can be sold anywhere in the country. Hawaiian Tropic, does anybody not wear Hawaiian Tropic, because it says Hawaii on it?

Brett:

No, I live on the East Coast, I can't wear a Hawaiian Tropic.

Chris:

You can't wear Hawaiian Tropic. Yeah. So that works for us. And then, it's really about that scalability. We can create a product that you're going to use it once and if you like it, you're going to buy it. And you're going to continue to buy that product into future. You're going to use it as much as possible, and we're going to have you as a customer for life. We're going to have a higher lifetime value. We're going to potentially have options for subscription-based. We're going to be able to expand that product line, so not just a 30 SPF and 50 SPF spray, but that 30 lotion, a 50 lotion, and you get into 70. And then, you have a face sunscreen, and then you have a stick. And then, that's where we get into after sun care, which I'm hoping to call A California Tan in Your Hand.

Brett:

Nice.

Chris:

So if you can create an environmentally-friendly even, spray-on tan, whatever that may be, the product options are endless. The lifetime values are higher. The subscription opportunities are massive. That's going to be, I believe, our big winner when it comes to e-commerce. We've learned so much by selling apparel online, which is the hardest thing. You could probably speak to that.

Brett:

Yeah, we were talking about that. The apparel's so hard, because you got to always be reinventing things and you don't really... You guys are really good designers, and you guys have an eye for what school, but you don't really know, right? You may design some board shorts that you think are cool, but then people don't buy them. Apparel is so challenging, where you could have that same formula sunscreen and sell it forever. Maybe it just needs a packaging change, a few little things here and there, but sell it forever.

Chris:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative). And not only that. It's one size fits all. So even that shirt that you're working right there, the El Classico, which is our legacy design, I've got that tee shirt in six different colors for men, and through that, we have small, medium, large, extra large, double extra large. So I've got five sizes for each six colors. So think about how many SKUs that is for one-

Brett:

Inventory management challenge.

Chris:

Inventory management, dealing with manufacturing, everything. Logistically, the retail apparel and online apparel game is just... It's just hard. It's just hard.

Brett:

It is. It is so hard.

Chris:

And I couldn't be more excited to get into... Obviously, the brand is always going to be here, and that's why we're bringing in a bigger team and a better team to make us better. But I couldn't be more excited to create a really good consumer packaged product that seems to be.

Brett:

I love it, man. I love it. I'm really excited for it, excited to test it, excited to see it. I've seen some of the early materials and the video and stuff. It's an awesome story. I think it's going to do really, really well. So when can we expect... and I obviously won't hold you to it... When can we expect the sunscreen?

Chris:

Well, unfortunately, it was going to be this year. I don't know if everybody heard, but there's a global pandemic that-

Brett:

A what? A what?

Chris:

Yeah. So that has pushed our timeline. We'll be launching in Spring of 2021, which is okay. It's given us more time to nail everything down and just get better, get our marketing better, get our messaging better, get our products better, everything. We're stoked. Spring 2021 with the Everyday California sunscreen will be all over the place.

Brett:

Awesome. I love it. Let's wrap up with just some words of wisdom, pitfalls to avoid, things like that. And I guess the way we can frame this, so it would be, when do you think people go wrong when it comes to licensing deals or line extension? And any words of advice that you would give to the entrepreneur that's saying, "Man, I really want to extend my brand. I either want to get into a parallel or I want to get into this or that." What would you say to them?

Chris:

I would hold off as long as possible, to be honest with you. I would take the time. Look, I'll be 10... Everyday California will have its 10-year anniversary on November 1st, which is wild. I dove into a lot of things really quickly and made a lot of mistakes early on and fell flat on my face. It's taken me a long time to gain patience, I'd say that. Patience has been something I've needed to learn. And I think, if you're going to jump into something else, I would evaluate it more times than you can imagine and wait and let it sit. And then, if you are going to do something, like I said before, lawyer up. Get the best lawyers you can and make sure you're making the right deal for yourself. And if there is a deal on the table, know that they're always going to be... there'll be another deal.

Brett:

Yeah. Yeah.

Chris:

If it's... There will be another deal.

Brett:

I think that's huge. Be willing to walk away. Be willing to make that tough decision. Be willing to walk away. Be willing to delay something if that's going to be what's best. I think sometimes we get emotionally wrapped up into our decisions, and you have to check that at the door, be willing to walk away, be willing to postpone things. Be willing to make those tough decisions for sure.

Chris:

Yeah. It's funny, because you think that in... Just a quick side note, in business that I had to learn that patience as well, not just with licensing deals or collaborations or opportunities. But when we first started, I always thought that things could be done quicker. You have an idea. You need something done. You make a phone call. You send an email. We need this done now. Why is this taking a week to get done. Or it should take a week, it should take twice as long as you expect it to take. So that patience is really across the board, just learning that patience. Yes, you want to push everybody, but some things, speed just... There's not a lot of speed.

Brett:

Yeah. Yeah. And sometimes going a little bit slower up front is going to allow you to really accelerate on the backend. It's having the wisdom to discern that as well. So that's awesome. This has been a ton of fun. Love talking about your brand and your business. So if people want to just follow what you're doing, which I highly recommend. One of the best things you can do as entrepreneurs is watch other successful entrepreneurs. So where can people learn more about Everyday Cali, and can we get on a wait list or notification list about the sunscreen? How can we?

Chris:

Yeah, for sure. We're going to be dropping a lot of that stuff this fall. We'll be talking about the sunscreen. We'll be building up for it. So you can follow us @Everyday California on Instagram or Everyday California on Facebook and check us out at EverydayCalifornia.com. And if anybody ever has any questions or wants to reach out, I'm always available and my email's just Chris@EverydayCalifornia.com, so it's pretty easy to find me.

Brett:

Awesome. Chris Lynch, ladies and gentlemen, bringing it. Chris, really appreciate it, brother. Thanks for coming on-

Chris:

Thanks, Brett.

Chris:

Appreciate it, and we'll talk soon. Bye.

Brett:

Appreciate it. So, as always, we appreciate you tuning in. We'd love to hear from you, our listeners. What would you like to hear more of? Give us some show ideas. Give us some feedback. Also, if you feel so inclined, would love that five star review on iTunes. That helps other people discover the show. And with that, until next time, thank you for listening.

Have questions or requests? Contact us today!

Thank you for reaching out! We'll be in touch soon.
Oops! Something went wrong! 

 More Episodes

Episode 137
Kevin Urrutia - Chester Travel

SEO, Content & Influencer Marketing

Kevin Urrutia and team at Chester Travel are getting creative and hustling to drive sales and set themselves up for success in the future.

Episode 135
Peter Awad - Mission Meats

Balancing Growth on Amazon & Your Own Store

Peter Awad is a long time eCommerce pro. Now he and his co-founder Nick have built a meat snack store with a mission.