What is a Surfing Cowboy you ask? It is a term that Wayne & Donna Gunther coined to capture the lifestyle of freedom, transformation, and reinvention they found in California. It's the reason why people come to California from all over the world. It's the essence of the The West, whether you find it on the range, in the ocean or living in your heart.
When Surfing Cowboys opened its doors a special name was required. After all, nothing about the store fit into traditional categories.
Think of surfers riding the waves, scooters riding the streets, cowboys riding the range. All these things evoke a sense of freedom and spirit for living. Surfing Cowboys evolved out of a similar spirit.
Having worked as commercial fashion photographers, Wayne & Donna lived as adventurers and travelers. Always on the search for experiences and items that caught their eye and imagination. they greet everyday as a treasure hunt for beauty, adventure and exploration.
California. It's the place where the desert meets the sea; where people come from all points on the globe let their hair down and live the way they want to live. Being who they want to be. The perfect home-base for Surfing Cowboys.
The Surfing Cowboys collection has always been eclectic and soulful. In the early days it ranged from authentic Navajo rugs and Catalina pottery to Hawaiian collectibles, vintage vespas and original vintage long boards. Over the years the range has ebbed and flowed with all kinds of amazing pieces passing through the door.
Surfing Cowboys was established on Venice Beach's Abbot Kinney Blvd in 1995 and in 1998, Wayne and Donna flung open the doors to the public, officially turning the front of their photo studio into a store.
"Not a traditional antique shop, not a surf shop, not a museum, Surfing Cowboys seemed the appropriate name. "It broke loose of all these categories and gave us the freedom to evolve the business organically. People used to walk in and think they were walking into a living room." Wayne & Donna actually lived in the back of the AK store for several years.
Today, Surfing Cowboys is a brand unique unto itself with Home Base located on LA's "Great Street" section of Venice Blvd in Mar Vista. Full of honesty, beauty, surprises and inspiration. The range of merchandise has expanded dramatically over the years. In addition to the carefully curated vintage design items Surfing Cowboys is striving to offer customers quality manufactured goods of their own design and Donna provides consultations to assist customers in achieving the laid back cool Surfing Cowboys vibe.
After nearly twenty years the Gunthers maintain that their formula is that there is no formula and replace what they sell with whatever happens to inspire them at a given moment; keeping their eye sharp, their verve active and the customers always guessing.
Imagine yourself at home. Walk in door, kick off your flip flops and smile. Everywhere around you are pieces that inspire.... and they're all for sale. Think of Surfing Cowboys as the source. Wayne and Donna are still out there collecting and creating, but today it's on your behalf.
Note from Wayne & Donna
Surfing Cowboys evolved out of our desire to capture, share and embody the brilliant vitality of life. Creative expression, the way we decorate our space, what and who we bring into our lives and the way we live our day to day are the cornerstones of our practice.
The items we sell have a vitality of their own - as do the customers that purchase them. Our gift is in the cultivation, the curation, the appreciation, the letting go and the moving on.
We make our home in California - where the desert meets the sea - and there's an unwritten code of freedom that offers permission to become who you want to be - live how you want to live - to honor and respect.
It's the wild west for the mind - as is the Surfing Cowboys brand-
always shifting yet remarkably staying the same.
There have been many firsts attributed to Surfing Cowboys----
First design shop to incorporate surfboards into the decor.
First highly decorated retail environment where all the props and decorations were for sale... in addition to the clothes.
First to mix mid-century design with mid-century surf.
First to incorporate 1960s-70's over-sized Redwood furniture (what we "sold" as mid-century California) into the highly styled design environment introducing it to the local architects and decorators.
First to create what is now referred to as 'The Surfing Cowboys' Style' - a manner of blending distinctly different items, seamlessly.
And - with every day there are more firsts...
more discoveries, more ideas, more creations, more collaborations, more to share.
We deeply appreciate all you friends and supporters. It's one big wide open range out there... and it's so great traveling across it together - each with our unique point of view and manner of creativity.
"Surfing Cowboys" is a phrase we coined over 25 years ago. It has grown to mean a lot of things to a lot of people. We've been calling it "a state of mind" since before we opened our doors in 1995.
We're glad that you've come along for the ride.
Wayne & Donna
GOT QUESTIONS? Call Us: 310-915-6611
Visit Us: 12553 Venice Blvd, Mar Vista CA 90066
E-mail us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hours: Mon-Sun 11-7, and by appointment.
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