Morgan Gore

If You Bild It.

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THE AFTER ELEVEN BRAND

I'm the founder of the After Eleven brand. I'm doing this project because I'm in the early stages of a re brand initiative and I thought this would be a great opportunity to work out some kinks.

I. DNA

I started After Eleven in 2005 as a surf brand and, since, it's evolved into a complete lifestyle brand.

THE STORY

This is somewhat uncomfortable for me to type out a story about myself here, but it has much to do with the background of the brand so bear with me.

The foundations of the After Eleven brand started when I was around 14 years old. I grew up as a competitive surfer and athlete on the East Coast and had always had a passion for art - be it drawing, painting, pastels, mixed-media, etc.. At the time, the surf industry was dominated by a hand ful of major companies. There wasn't really what we now identify as "graphic tees" and most everything was just stamed with a logo - very cut and dry. So, I saw an opportunity to create a different style of design that was more art-driven. I actually started designing surfboards and then moved into clothing. I began hand drawing and painting on tee shirts, using a variety of methods, and used iron on transfers, etc.. Later on, at 15 I was taking a graphic design class in high school which became the catalyst for the creation of After Eleven. There was a project that I did where instead of printing out my design and turning it in on paper, I chose to actually have the shirt made and I handed in the physical shirt as my project. Without going on about this for too long - friends at school wanted to rock the shirts so I eventually got more and more produced. The brand was officially created in 2005 where it caught on in my local surf community and I was picked up by my first retailer, a local surf shop that I was sponsored by. Since then, the brand has grown far from what I imagined but we are constantly learning and progressing.

Origins: Long Beach Island, New Jersey

Location: San Francisco, California

Founded: 2005

II. THE COMMANDMENTS

The commandment that I identify with After Eleven is to Say What You Mean & Mean What You Say.

Simple Enough. However, there a plenty of brands out there whose mission statements or brand indentity is completely out of touch with how they portray themselves and what they're actual motives are. I'm not trying to knock anyone - but I really appreciate when a brand has a good message or story that shows through in the way that they present themselves and the products that they put out. Similarly, I value authenticity. For intstance (hypothetically), somone who has never gone bowling decides once day to start a bowling ball company. Apply this to whatever mass or niche market you'd like.

The other "commandment" that has been with us from the start is from a song called, Move On, by No Doubt;

Water the music, plant the seeds in the pot
Music's the life flowing through... is it not?
Don't forget your roots, but also don't rot
Move on, move on, move on
Plant the seeds ond move on

DON'T FORGET YOUR ROOTS, BUT ALSO DON'T ROT

From where (and when) we started, our brand has grown and changed in a lot of ways, but I've tirelessly and conciously have worked to remain current and open to inspiration from different place while maintaining a connection to the roots of the company. It is so easy to get swept away with a trend, an idea - whatever it may be - and it takes a constant, concious effort to stay true to your roots. On the other end, it's extremely important that you don't purposely keep yourself in a cave to preserve the nature of your brand. You have to welcome change - personal, social, etc.. and learn how to use it to help you progress.

Here are some brand videos we've done;

"Sleepless in SF" Video
http://youtu.be/DbjXFbwYgNs

"View from the Office" Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swupgMY7t5s&feature=share&list=UUpaY42IX_CeKBk0KEgllO3w

MAGIC / s.l.a.t.e. Trade Show Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2SNv8eRQts&feature=share&list=UUpaY42IX_CeKBk0KEgllO3w

Trailer for our full-length surf film, You Look Swell, selected by the New York Surf Film Festival
http://youtu.be/eP43NZTpKkg

RECAP:  "COMMANDMENTS"

I. DON'T FORGET YOUR ROOTS, BUT ALSO DON'T ROT

II. SAY WHAT YOU MEAN & MEAN WHAT YOU SAY

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