InflatableBoarder.com recently interviewed ANONYM SUP founder, Matthieu Guyonnaud. Headquartered in France, ANONYM SUP markets their high-quality line of paddle boards via a direct to consumer business model…
How were you initially introduced to the sport of stand up paddleboarding?
I started SUP in 2007 with a friend who distributed Boardworks in France. It was always a second water activity, just to have fun in flat water with friends / family and my wife. Then in 2009 in Bali, I took my first wave in Sanur. It was so flat on the Bukit to surf. So I'm looking for some waves and it was perfect in Sanur reef the east side of the island. There was around 1M with a perfect left. It was amazing and very easy. My wife and I got 10 waves each. I rent a big boy 12'6″ Starboard longboard style. It was the beginning of my SUP life.
What ignited the spark in you to get involved in the industry?
I've been working a long time for the second surf technical European distributor in Biarritz (Surf System). So I know very well the surf market, price, production, factory etc… I'm always thinking stand up paddle was too expensive with too many distributor layers. Sometimes some brands have 6 layers from factory to final customers. Everybody took some money and prices are to high then. A French guy wins around 1200 euros by month, so how I can buy a carbon race sup around 2800 euros in shops? It's too crazy.
So I decided to create Anonym in 2014. My goal is to make only quality products at the right price. All the Anonym product is sold online with my partners, we are SUP addicts. When we create a product we are following all the time this philosophy:
It's very important for us to make only quality products. Unfortunately there are too many brands who make bad things to get the best, lowest price. (Examples: fake US fin boxes, poor quality EVA)
How important have good employees been to your success?
For me, it's very important not to be alone. I'm always thinking: you're always better to work with a team because when someone is too low and in a bad mood, the others can help him.
If you had a chance to start your company over again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. Anonym is a friend success story, so I don't want to change anything.
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
Failures can be good if you analyse what and why there are problems. We are only humans and not machines (not yet, lol…) so.
How many hours a day do you work on average, and what does your typical day look like?
Ahaha, good question. Around 100H a week. My typical day starts very early — around 6am, sometimes before (2 young kids: 2 years old, and 6 months):
-Social networks (Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
-Lunch and surf if it's good.
-Phone phone phone phone all the day.
-Go back home.
-And restart work at home 2h more or less.
-Go to bed. Around 5hours, I m a small sleeper. 🙂
What motivates you, and who has been your greatest inspiration?
MY WIFE MARIE
How do you define success?
SUCCESS for me is when you can have a real mix between passion and job. I think it's the best key of success.
What do you enjoy most about being involved in the SUP industry?
It's a very young sport. There are so many things I can create. I have many ideas to improve.
Where do you see the paddleboarding industry in 10 years? 20 years?
10 years: I think there will be 2 ways:
- The low cost way who make a bad and very cheap product without quality.
- The second way who makes innovative and quality premium products. Help the sport to grow, sponsor, and make a difference. This is of course the right and good way that I choose for Anonym.
20 years: Olympic games? In river and race? It will be so fun and good.