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The Rhythm of Lost Boy Creations

The Rhythm of Lost Boy Creations

“Music is the soundtrack to your life.” - Dick Clark

The words of the storied Dick Clark have never rung more true. In a world where new, classic, unique, and original music is so readily available, it has come to define the way that we move through our existence. The way that we walk, speak, interact, dance, and above all else carry ourselves within the confines of the world as we know it. Sometimes a single introductory note of a song can be enough to bring you to a time and place… for better or for worse.

Each song tells a story, and in the world of business can speak or in this case sing volumes about a corporate culture and identity. The science behind music is so much deeper than the riffs and melodies that ring through your speakers or headphones. A single song can introduce feelings of joy, where in a different setting, could spark the water works or an entire range of emotions. Music is truly one of the most powerful aspects of life whether you like to admit it or not. Let’s face it, all those record execs and Hollywood soundtrack producers get paid the big bucks for a damn good reason.

The scene itself has changed so much and through the trials and tribulations of starry-eyed dreamers trying to hit it big, mostly for the better. Not to say that there have not been a few casualties along the way, and an abundance of heartbreak amongst artists and musicians dumping their heart and soul into their craft with little to no recognition of their mastery. Hunter S. Thompson once said, “The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.” So why the f*** would we want to hop in too? Don’t worry, I certainly won’t be shattering glasses with my out of pitch pipes.

Through the evolution of music platforms and streaming sites, the playing field has been leveled in a sense where the fruits of one’s labors can be broadcast to the world to hear, for better or for worse. Not to age myself, but MY GOD how cool was Napster?! Alright, outside of perhaps crashing your parent’s computer from time to time or mislabeling music like a plague, the idea of sharing music freely had opened the door for some of the greatest musicians in the lime light today. Man, I still love that version of “Gin ‘n Juice,” by Phish… or was it Garth Brooks (IYKYK)?

You might be asking how and why in the hell does this pertain to a surf shop at the end of ‘ole Rte. 1 in Key West, Florida? Well, it’s because a simple soundtrack can change how you respond to an idea or interaction. In fast food restaurants they use colors like; red, orange, and yellow to keep people eating fast, moving in and out quickly. They use uncomfortable seats to keep your ass from sitting there too long and they move on to the next customer. I would probably way 500 pounds if McDonalds had La-Z-Boys instead hard plastic benches. Here in the shop, we use music to paint a picture of who we are and what we stand for… a way for the guests and customers of Lost Boy Creations to relate to the style and persona of our silly little silhouette.

You never know what you’ll get upon entering these double doors on Southard St. and that is the beauty of what our company stands for as a whole, individuality! The eclectic fandom of a range of genres can be heard on any given day. It’s like the weather in Florida, if you don’t like it wait fifteen minutes. It’s been a battle convincing the more reserved passersby that there is nothing wrong with some of the more crass tunes that blast from our mish-mosh of speakers haggardly wired together to “kick out the jams.” But at the end of the day, we don’t really care! We joke frequently that our brand identity is simple, “unapologetically us.” It’s an idea that we try to keep at the focal point of all we do, particularly music. Its been touched upon on so many platforms where we have shared our story. To “Live Like a Lost Boy,” means to do whatever it is that makes you tick. For some it’s a bowling league on Friday night, and for others its base jumping off the Sear’s tower (legally of course). At the end of the day, like music, everyone’s soundtrack to life is a little different, and we are here for it!

It’s not some recent discovery where realized the importance of music in our shop, but it certainly has come to new light and in a way that has matured over the past few years. From the moment any one of our staff unlocks the door ‘til the bitter end of a long workday the tunes are going. A playlist that continues to expand, holds the personality of our company in the lyrics and rhythms of its 20+ hours of random musical wizardry, comprised of artists that carry the sounds and message of who we imagine ourselves to be. You can say, you’ll notice a common theme in how we at Lost Boy Creations move through life. We try to find a way to integrate our passions into our work, even when all odds are against us. Music is one of those wonderful things that drives us to get it done!

Like many of the aspects of our work in the shop, the love we have for music amongst other things has unexpectedly and welcomely opened some wild doors. You know what they say, “those who can’t do, teach.” Well… those who can’t sing or play, make hats for their favorite bands in hopes of staying close to an industry that we haven’t the slightest clue in how to succeed. We consider ourselves fortunate that through our work we have been surrounded by so many passionate individuals dedicated to their craft. Being in the right place at the right time doesn’t hurt much either. A prime example being the budding musician and our first musical connection, Joe Samba. Joe’s now wife, Olivia was an intricate part of Lost Boy Creations at a time of big change. She helped with graphic art, and really acted as my right-hand woman through the growing pains of increasing our footprint in our new shop location in Key West.

As life has a way of doing, the rug was ripped out from under me when Joe pulled me aside one day informing me of their abrupt departure from the Southernmost City. Squeamishly, I asked the reason for the sudden move, expecting the worst as I had been down on my luck lately. Joe had struck a chord in the hearts of music lovers across the country and was headed out on what would be the start to an epic journey, touring with childhood idols, and the heavy hitters of the reggae industry. How could you be upset when a friend was making his wildest dreams a reality?

Joe, a bigger than life personality that embodies what it means to be a Lost Boy was on his way to blazing his own trail to a life on the road and sharing what quickly became part of the soundtrack of the shop. Our friendship and support of one another’s artistic endeavors has remained the glue that helped lift each other up in times of need and the lyrics of his songs ring loudly from the shop speakers, sharing his story of success while spreading the unique and powerful voice of a “Lost Boy,” across stages nationwide. Together with Lost Boy Alum and Joe’s better half, Olivia, we cooked up some collaborative hats in support of his musical journey and continue to support his work in and out of the shop. (Spoiler Alert: Joe has something very fun and exciting in works! Ok, not much of a spoiler but be on the lookout later this summer for some new digs)

Through iconic surf films made famous by pioneers like Robert August, surf ballads orchestrated by the famous Dick Dale, and bands like Sublime that have hung their hat on the sometimes-rowdy surf culture, music and surfing have long gone hand in hand. Anyone about to take a whack at dropping into a double overhead bomb at Pipe would be lying to say they don’t have some sort of pump-up music ripping through their veins… consciously or subconsciously. It was a natural fit to ride the line and find our way into working with some of our favorite musicians that have perpetually influenced our work in the shaping bay. Joe and his involvement in the music scene opened our eyes to how we fit into this surf inspired music culture and beyond. In the wake of the groundbreaking sound of Sublime, a longtime favorite of myself and, I guess the rest of the world, a new genre blossomed, highlighting the gritty, yet romanticized So-Cal surf culture. Bands like the Expendables, Ballyhoo, and the Dirty Heads continued to shape a unique sound to better suit their surroundings and inspiration drawn from every walk of their life, with so many of these core values still at the root of their iconic sounds.

The ingenuity of these musicians has inspired us through our work as well as developed an avenue for collaboration. Through our brand identity, often sculpted in the sounds of the shop’s playlist we’ve attracted the attention of like-minded individuals looking for artistic expression through a different medium… our hats to be more precise. We often joke that a good shirt finds its way into rotation once a week at best. A good hat, however, may NEVER leave your dome! It’s easy to get creative when the care you have for your project is so genuine that you can’t hide your excitement. This has been the case as we have continued to grow our reputation in the music industry, gracing us with opportunities to work with those same bands… childhood idols!

I’m not gonna beat around the bush, “Bowl for two,” was like a high school anthem for me and my friends (sorry mom). Given the chance to showcase our hard work and eye for design for the betterment of a crew of musicians that practically wore out my red ’95 Jeep Cherokee’s CD player was the shit that dreams are made of. We took the opportunity of working with these bands and ran with it. As I said, I am no musician, the stage fright coursing through my body is pretty real, particularly with a guitar in hand. But suddenly, we felt like we were in a full-on jam session, working out the details of a well-orchestrated tune, capturing the nuances of both, our identity and the rhythmic personality of our favorite band’s celebrated sound.

To date, we have thrown our hat into the ring, no pun intended, with a bunch of national touring acts by offering our unique take on the industry in our very own method of fashionable expression. Unknowingly so many of these musicians related to us on a much deeper level making this unexpected connection so much more intimate. Their professional career as musicians lent itself perfectly to “Living Like a Lost Boy.” To hear their take on our mission firsthand from people that we have held in such high regards was the icing on the cake. In fact (shameless Instagram plug incoming), you can hear them chime in on what our motto means to them as we get ready to release our band interviews from Reggae Rise Up, from this past March on our Instagram account @lostboycretions and YouTube channel @rockintheshop.

Finding an appropriate avenue to engulf ourselves in an industry so alien to a bunch of surf bums was not an easy one. Scoffed at by the virtuosos of the oh-so-common two-dimensional business models and the monotone voice of a rudimentary corporate culture we were sure we were barking up the wrong tree. But, “How Can it be Wrong When it Feels so Right?” I know, I’m lame, but it’s true! The entire premise of Lost Boy Creations thus far has been based around doing what you love, and at times being too stubborn to fail.

True to form as the poster child for ADHD that I am, my musical taste and dedication to these new projects never stops expanding. It’s so hard to decide on one avenue to take in business or in life when there is so much out there to experience or listen to for that matter. Like the story of adapting to your surroundings, in our case making paddleboards instead of surfboards, its equally important to do the same for your soul. Music is an aspect of business that we wanted to engage in, regardless of its irrelevant association to a Florida Keys surf shop, and a direct link to the world of music is what we got. We’ve gotten creative and drawn upon inspiration from our favorite bands and venues to make hats that will soon be popping up nationwide capturing the subtle details that make them each so special.

A gentleman in the shop earlier today expressed his intentions of inspiring his two sons to follow their dreams and their hearts to do what makes them truly happy in life. A lot of times, finding that happiness in life as in business is not a linear path… its full of; crescendos, rallentando, improvisation, and sadly sometimes codas. Without these elements, some of the worlds most acclaimed pieces of art may not be what they are today. It is the eccentric details in the journey to success that make the ride worth the ups and downs. Even in the face of doubt from onlookers and naysayers, following the conforms and societal norms will only lead you to the path all too well traveled. We all march to the beat of our own drum, at least we should anyways. So, follow the unruly, scribbled on a bar napkin, sheet music to what brings you joy, even if your symphony is full of twists and turns. The final bars of music that are your life’s work will be so much more enjoyable if you can include in it, something that you enjoy doing. For us it is working with our favorite musicians… what will it be for you?

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