In this edition of SUP Company Spotlight, InflatableBoarder.com had the opportunity to interview Trendout founder, Romeu Cristóvão. A Portuguese brand, Trendout has a range of inflatable paddle boards, surf and sportswear clothing, eco wax, backpacks, and more…
How were you initially introduced to the sport of stand up paddleboarding?
I first tried SUP with a friend and I loved the experience. The board was rigid and I thought I’d like to have one for myself. However, I concluded that the size of such equipment would create space and transport issues and make it inaccessible to most people.
What ignited the spark in you to get involved in the industry?
I’ve always been connected to water sports, as I started bodyboarding at the age of 13 with a $10 styrofoam board. I was in love with the sea and the adrenaline of water sports. Besides water sports, I also enjoy Mountain Biking, Hiking, and SUP regularly… Until the age of 31, I worked at large companies as a Designer and Digital Marketing Specialist, but I was always confined to an office and a computer. I was not happy. Sports is a balance factor in my life, so I go out in search of nature, the sea or the mountains whenever I feel tired. When I decided to create Trendout®, I thought that creating a brand that promoted sports and the connection with nature would help people disconnect from their daily problems, help them relax and be happy. From the moment I took the decision of initiating the project, I’ve aimed at creating great products, with great quality, great design and great value for money, products that people would feel happy for using.
How important have good employees been to your success?
It is ultimately necessary for the team to be in line with the brand’s vision. At Trendout, I want people that are genuine, that enjoy outdoor sports but above all, people who identify themselves with the brand’s philosophy. Luckily, I have been meeting people who see themselves in my ideals, and that has greatly helped our growth.
If you had a chance to start your company over again, what would you do differently?
I started from scratch, so I don’t think I’d do anything different. It has been a learning path that has enriched me as a Human Being and as an entrepreneur. My only consideration is that in the business world, you have to be careful about the people you choose to trust. If I could do something different, that would be it. I would not have trusted certain people.
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
Before Trendout, I created other businesses that did not go so well in other areas. As an entrepreneur, failure is part of your day to day, and you hear a lot of “Nos”. However, I consider these important for personal development, searching for solutions and adjusting your business model to the needs of your customers. It’s about persistence and not giving up.
How many hours a day do you work on average, and what does your typical day look like?
It depends on the days. Some days have a very intense task flux, and I've had periods of 14 to 16 consecutive work hours throughout several weeks. It is a great challenge to create a new brand, as there are many variables to be considered, hundreds of different tasks to be implemented. Luckily, I consider myself to be a multitalented person, and this quality has helped me send the brand to market. My working day is very diversified and I don’t like routines, but 90% of it is dedicated to the project, and the remaining 10% is dedicated to sports, family and friends. Every day I take a walk in a park, in the middle of nature, and that’s where I take my most important decisions.
What motivates you, and who has been your greatest inspiration?
I am motivated by people, and I take joy from seeing people happy while using my products. If my customers, family and friends are happy, I am happy too. My great inspiration is the ocean, the mountains and nature as a whole. Many of the products I design are conceived following nature’s geometrical proportions.
How do you define success?
To me success is doing what you love, having a purpose in life, having a positive impact on people and the world, and everything else is secondary and a bonus that reflects our dedication, focus and hard work. Some people think that being successful and happy means having money, but I know a lot of people who have money but are not happy, as they are not following their passions…
What do you enjoy most about being involved in the SUP industry?
I love SUP because I consider it to be a very comprehensive, inclusive and flexible sport. It can be done by children, the elderly, and people with a certain degree of mobility impairment. As a sport, it works and sculpts the body, it can be practiced for relaxation but also for training with determination. The space saving and transporting benefits of inflatable technology makes this the most flexible and advantageous choice for developing SUP boards. At Trendout we are constantly developing and testing ways to improve our inflatable board design and performance, and this dedication is reflected in sales and customer satisfaction.
Where do you see the paddleboarding industry in 10 years? 20 years?
I believe it will become a very popular sport. It is still taking its first steps in Portugal, but the country’s weather and geographical conditions are bound to make SUP a sport to be practiced all year round. I believe people will see SUP as a new form of freedom and transport that will take them to places that haven’t been explored before, with zero negative impact on climate and nature. As a sport, it also stimulates Team Building and may even help conquering fears and water phobias, as it can be used as therapy for physical and mental illnesses. Manufacturing technologies will evolve to more ecofriendly solutions, and more activities, sporting variants and games will be developed. It will be a strong industry that will be greatly welcomed by people.