With an eye on offering an American-made alternative, we began working with a stateside manufacturer of “blanks” and began building an inventory of private label shorts. Although the quality of the product was exemplary, we had become increasingly disenchanted with minimums, turnaround times and an increasing number of limitations. The idea of offering made to order boardshorts began to take root and in late 2006 when we had the “Epic” and “Gidget” styles digitized from rough sketches into physical patterns now utilized in crafting America’s finest custom boardshorts.
In 2007 it was time to make the dream a reality and the first step was identify a handful of talented alterations people that could remain faithful to the line-work of the patterns during the prototyping process while using a varying array of microfiber solids and prints. Next up was how to best offer custom boardshorts on the website in a way that was both intuitive and fun. I eventually ran across a developer who was able to execute the concept whereby the client dragged and dropped fabric swatches onto the boardshort elements (Waistband, Trunk and Pocket) to design their own creation in mere moments.
Since introducing the drag and drop tool, revolutionary for it’s time, we have vastly improved upon both the design and cart experience and especially so in the mobile environment where the percentage of sales are ever-increasing. What hasn’t changed is our attention to detail and quality that have come to exemplify the Mangrove Monkey brand. Our small but tight-knit team and I take great satisfaction in the knowledge that nearly half of our creations are crafted at the pleasure of repeat clientele.
We’re always looking to improve product and practices. Your invaluable feedback helps do just that. Drop us a line anytime.
I’m often asked about our mascot KoKo and how his likeness was originally developed. Actually, both our moniker and mascot were inspired during an annual visit to Windley Key in 2004. Upon hearing a local refer to a fellow resident as a “Mangrove Monkey”, KoKo’s churlish grin was indelibly seared into my brain. Later that evening, while enjoying an adult beverage at a favored watering-hole, I penciled-out KoKo on the back of a beer coaster and our world famous icon was web-ready shortly thereafter.
I later learned that the term “Mangrove Monkey”, at least in Windley Key, refers to someone who takes up residence in the dense mangroves on the gulf-side of The Keys. I’ve been out there and it’s surprisingly doable for a rugged individual.
Owner and Head Shaper,