We had the good fortune of connecting with Etienne & Paulo Elsaesser & Serrano and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Etienne & Paulo, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risks are taken daily as an entrepreneur whether we know it or not. Running one or multiple business is always risky, no matter how much “security” one may feel. As you go on running a business, you cross many different obstacles, all come with their varying degree of risk involved. The longer you run your business, the more calculated your risk taking becomes. Risk taking is very uncomfortable in the beginning and seems like your whole life depends on it. Though sometimes it does, you have to look at every situation professionally, and know that as cliche as it sounds “no risk, no reward”. Growing up as surfers we are very adaptive with risk taking, because every surf session is a risk in itself. As an entrepreneur risk just becomes part of your daily routine! For us risk has always been part of life, we have learned how to channel it professionally. At this point life would not be normal to us without taking calculated risks.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
STRW was started by two San Diego based aspiring surfpreneurs. We are Paulo and Etienne who have an insane passion for surfing, everything ocean, and entrepreneurship. Needing a way to combine these and make our work meaningful to us, society, and the world we came up with the concept of Surfing The Reusable Wave. Knowing that each time we make a real difference through every purchase is a dream come true. Surf The Reusable Wave (STRW) is a brand combating the use of everything single-use plastic. Our brand was inspired by our constant finding of littered non-biodegradable plastics being littered in our local streets, beaches, and our precious oceans that we surf in and are surrounded with. Our first line of products is a line of different reusable straws implemented to tackle the plastic straw ban movement here in Southern California. We wanted to offer a sustainable solution to straw needs, but we did not want to limit ourselves there. Hence, Surfing The Reusable Wave (STRW) is a term coined from the movement that is shifting away from these destructive plastics. We got to where we are today by working hard everyday and staying consistent with our message. We owe our success to social media marketing and the various platforms that have allowed us to expand in the retail game. We take most pride in being in 200+ retail locations in just over a year. It was by far the hardest thing we have done. We gave up everything for our business, and took a huge risk in starting it. We overcame the challenges by keeping our head moving forward and always looking for a solution rather than trying to dissect our problems. We want the world to know that our brand is supporting a mission much bigger than us. STRW will not stop what we are doing until our planet is free of harm caused by our ever-growing pollution problem.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
There are so many great places to check out in San Diego. The best place to get your smoothies, juices, and health foods is Choice Juicery (vegan), they have multiple locations in San Diego for easy availability. For an authentic Italian dinner or lunch which is delicious beyond belief is Cesarina in Point Loma. If you’re looking for some grub by the beach and are craving a burger, Hodad’s is a must! You can also find excellent BBQ food at Phil’s BBQ. If you’ve had a long day at the beach especially in La Jolla you have to try a california burrito from Bahia Don Bravo or Taco Stand (both in La Jolla). Lastly, if you’re looking for some fresh fish in town served many different rad ways, you have to be sure to hit up El Pescador in La Jolla.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We owe our success to ourselves. However, we have had nurturing support from friends, our significant others, and family that has went a long way. We are always inspired by motivators such as Gary Vee.