SWELL: Looks like Stance HQ is under major construction. Big plans, big Growth?
Hennings: 2013 was a huge growth year in revenue and headcount. We added 15 people, and probably another 15-20 next year so we need the space. The new office will be beautiful and really supports our culture and company values. Currently we are building out a 22,000 square foot global headquarters in San Clemente. 1/3 third of the area is dedicated to office and work and 2/3 is dedicated to fun; Basketball court, skate ramp, game center with ping pong, trampoline and air hockey, a bounce house for the kids, family room lounge. It will be incredible.
SWELL: Everyone’s loving your mismatched and odd #’d socks, where’d that inspo originate?
Hennings: The Mix Match and Three of a Kind concepts came to life the first week we created Stance, as soon as we started thinking differently about socks. The Uncommon Thread was the filter and served as words to work by. Those two design concepts open the door to a new realm of creativity and have become hallmark looks for Stance.
(We should probably mention that we visited Stance on Halloween and Aaron was Glen Danzig, he’s not a full-time psychobilly)
SWELL: Give a little background of your design background that landed you at Stance.
Hennings: My background is a blend of art, graphic design, apparel merchandising and design. Plus a passion for the business side of the industry and getting those two worlds to work together. I was at Billabong for 10 years prior to Stance which let me see how the big house functioned. When the stars aligned and opportunity arose, Stance was born.
SWELL:Where can the stance crew be spotted at lunchtime?
Hennings: Riders Club, Board and Brew, Hapa J’s, Pedros.
SWELL: Who in San Clemente is driving the art inspired Stance socks?
Hennings: The Punks & Poets provide a ton of inspiration and art for the new lines. Greyson Fletcher, Tyler Warren, Brian Bent, Tanner Rozunko, Bryce Crane, the Shorecliffs Surf Team all contribute.
SWELL: How would you describe the inspo in the Surf Ghetto, and who’s your shaper of choice down there?
Hennings: The Surf Ghetto represents world class craftsmanship and a passion for surfing and the lifestyle. The inspiration is in the characters down there calling it home. Shapers are Mayhem and T.Patterson if I had to choose, they let me paint some of their boards when I was really young so I love seeing their labels running strong all these years later. Same logos on the boards, hopefully they will never change.
SWELL: Any surf trips on the horizon, and do you draw on your travels to influence design?
Hennings: I will be in Tavarua in two weeks for Christmas with my family. Looking forward to good waves and warm water and seeing if my boys can handle Cloudbreak. Travel loosens up the mind and lets me think clearly about future projects and how design layers into the plan. Ideas can come from anywhere and most often happen when one is out of the daily routine.
SWELL: Your top 3 socks that SC groms are frothing over
Hennings: 1. Anything with San Clemente Tritons colors: red, black, white. 2. The Burnout tie dye 3. Misfits socks
SWELL: Advice to aspiring designers?
Hennings: Your best work will surface when you strive to make history not money.