Friendly Feature: Kyle Kaminsky
Where did you grow up? What was your upbringing like? What were some of your early influences/inspirations in life?
I grew up in Toronto. My upbringing was a pretty standard city boy upbringing. My Dads side of my family was all athletes and business men and my Moms side was all artists so I think I gained a bit of knowledge from both worlds.
How did Bather begin? What’s the story?
I was working a job I didn't particularly love. Bather was really somewhat of an escape from that. I worked at a desk but I got to dream about travelling and surfing and adventuring so it was a good outlet while staring out the window and watching the clock. It really started as a hobby and a way to inspire me to spend more time by the water. It wasn't until I saw first hand how people used the products that I realized it had the potential to be a brand. People love the water. It's representative of so many good things - summer, sunshine, and freedom. Things we all aspire to have more of in our lives.
Were there any previous experiences or business ventures that you find valuable now in your day to day running a brand like Bather?
I think every experience in life is undeniably valuable but there was really nothing prior that prepared me for starting my own business. It really has been learn as you grow. I was in sales before so to some extent I understand the idea of selling stuff, but selling is really only a small fraction of my day to day now. Owning a business is hard fucking work. I was naive when I got into this, at first you're just like "shit if I sell X I will make Y". Then after week one your like wait, "What if i sell nothing - how much do i make then?"
What’s been the biggest personal challenge in your life to this point? How did you overcome it?
Bather has definitely been my biggest personal challenge. I constantly feel like there's something I'm not doing well enough, like I'm failing at something. No one really sees that on the surface though - it's really just a product of being somewhat OCD and trying to be a perfectionist. It's stressful to think like that all the time but also forces you to always improve.
We know you at the shop as a rambunctious, fun-loving and kind-hearted guy. What connections do you see between your personality and the aesthetic of your trunks. Have you inserted those aspects intentionally or does it just happen naturally?
Aww thanks guys, I love you too. I'd like to think that being at the beach is considered a 'good time'. So why not make a product that reflects that. Our patterns are fun but also timeless. We stay away from novelty prints because they are just too trendy but we still like to have fun with the designs. In terms of inserting my own personality into the prints, I don't know if that would be considered intentional but probably just happens naturally. I won't make anything that I wouldn't personally wear so yeah I think there is an unintentional balance of style and personality in the products. Let's have fun but let's also look tight.
Bather seems less like a business venture and more like an art project for you. What value does it bring to your life to be able to do work that you love?
Without sounding corny, best part of Bather has been the people I've met. Every person at Lost and Found has become a good friend - that's pretty crazy. And that's just one store! I've probably made 15 lifetime friends through this business and I only imagine that number will continue to grow. I also get really good discounts at really good stores now....
What books are you reading at the moment?
Currently podcasts only, no time for reading. I listen to How I Built This everyday.
What music are you listening to at the moment?
I just went on a two week Biggie marathon that was probably inspired by the weather. There's lots of amazing new music coming out these days though. Rex Orange County, Daniel Caesar (one time), Courtney Barnett, J Cole, etc. The list goes on and on.
What are some of your hobbies/interests outside of being a mothafuckin' bawse?
Haha i make art. I like photography. I also hoard and do lots of antiquing. Baklava. I run too. I like running. It's such a weird hobby, it's just like ok byeeeeeee.
Do you have any advice for younger brand entrepreneurs in this industry who are starting at square one?
Pick one thing and just be really fucking good at it. You can do 100 things later, but in the beginning, focus is so important. Find a niche and make it your life.
Levi's Vintage Clothing 50s Sportswear Tee
Beams Plus 2 Pleat Tropical Wool
Vans Anaheim Factory DX Authentic