Surf Life And Other Things

Craft Goods

Interview with Spencer Goetz by Jeff Marsh – Images provided by Imperial Motion

Imperial Motion has been around as long as I can remember.  And for good reason.  Their style, design, materials and freshness lack nothing.  We are huge fans of what they do, and who they are – golfers, who love to surf, while making top-shelf apparel.  They set trends.  They go where no one else goes in the marketplace, and have no shame or hesitation in pushing the limits and boundaries of what works.  And it seems to always work.

It so happens that we share a building with the Imperial Motion fam. So we bump into them on the daily. But we also take golf trips to Gamble Sands together, hit happy hour rounds at the local muni, and do some business together.

Chances are, if you follow TRUE, you have seen their gear in some of our content.  Their Liberty Chino is the best golf pant I have ever found.  Actually, the best every day pant I have owned.  They are SO GOOD.  Their email list is one of 5 that I actually look at, because there is always something fresh coming off the press – their press floor is just below our warehouse, so we often snag a new shirt that is still warm from the shirt press.

I caught up with one of the co-founders, Spencer Goetz, in the hallways, and asked him a few questions about what makes IM new every day:

JM:  How did IM get it’s start in the PNW – a short oral history of an epic company

SG:  A hand full of credit cards, a make-shift screen print machine and garage was how we got started with IM.  We were just a few kids with zero experience or connections in the industry.  

JM:  Tacoma has long been a blue collar, industrial, hardworking, PNW town.  how have you seen it evolve over the years?

SG:  Tacoma has been quietly growing for a while now.  I think we’re just now really starting to feel the impact of Seattle’s explosive growth, which is bringing an influx of people and new businesses.  

JM:  How have you managed to fully capture the so. cal. surf vibes while working out of an ancient, nearly abandoned tacoma warehouse where they used to build and craft caskets?

SG:  Surf has always been a big part of our brand DNA so it was natural for us to align ourselves with athletes, photographers and models that were shooting in surf settings.  As the brand has grown and our product assortment has evolved outside of surf, we found the opportunity to highlight outside of tropical settings.  Our focus right now is movement in all shapes, forms and environments.  We want to make products that will work for you no matter how you move and where you choose to do that.

JM:  What does the future look like for IM – apparel design and audience, distribution and global manufacturing, surf culture, PNW vibes.

SG:  Our biggest focus right now is making products that we’re fired up on and listening to the needs of our customers.  We’ve made a commitment to narrowing down our product assortment and only making the best in each category.  I think we’re never really completely satisfied with anything, which keeps us pushing to make it better and better.  At the end of the day, it just ties back to our mantra, Never Established.  Always Evolving.  

JM:  How has the surf culture influenced your love for the game of golf?

SG:  I think surf and golf have a lot of similarities.  There is a big mental component to both of them.  You’ve got to be focusing on where you’re heading instead of looking where you’re currently at.   

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