That’s awesome. What are some of the funny memorable quotes you’ve heard coming in the shop?
CM: Max, I know yours. Wetsuit pants guy is pretty good.
Max Karnig: There was a guy who came in once who was basically staring at wetsuits for like 10 minutes and resisting help. When he finally opened up, he was like “I want a wetsuit,” (with like a really thick Russian accent) “I want wetsuit but, only pants. ONLY PAAANTS!” He said it like the whole time, “ONLY PAAAANTS!”
CM: I WANT ONLY THE PAAANTS!
MK: He kept going on like, “IF I BRING TO TAILOR, WILL HE MAKE TO ONLY PAAANTS?” And you can’t really say much to that, but we had this really funny guy at the time working here who was like, “Yeah, sure just get the scissors out.” Then I had to tell him like, “No, no, no” and usher him out of the store. He came in a week ago to say that he finally found the pants. He’s been here probably four times in the last six months.
CM: Just being right here in the epicenter of Venice, right at the Venice sign on Windward – we’re a block away from the boardwalk. There are a lot of redundant things we hear constantly. Do you know how many people come in a day that ask us: A.) For a bathroom, B.) if we have change for the meter, C.) Where the post office is. We have a list of just these questions where like you see the person walking up, or they’re just going to scream from the window. We get hundreds of people a day who do that. All day long for like eight years. It’s pretty funny, but you just look at people sometimes and think, “I’m losing faith in humanity.” These people are just so harsh on us all the time too and you have to be nice. I just wish I could hit a recorder or a synthesizer or something for just that certain response. Or a go-to sign of answers to just point to. It’s like, behind Disneyland this is the second biggest tourist attraction in Southern California. We’re in the epicenter selling surfboards and surf clothes in the middle of just all this chaos. It’s pretty cool, but it’s also pretty nerve-racking and draining.
MK: We deal with people from pretty much anywhere: Sweden, Japan, Australia, China. Everyone from people who know surfboards and who geek out on what we carry here, to people like, “What is a surfboard?” We hear all sorts of funny things from people passing by though – sometimes they even think we’re a restaurant because the window says “Fish” and “Eggs.”
You guys have awesome parties here. What have been some of the more memorable ones?
CM: We always have the Blake Mills jams and stuff like that or Billy Gibbons and Jackson Brown and some other pretty heavy hitters. Those are really fun, but kind of reserved… Dude, you know which one was a good one? Our friend Kio who does Yellow Rat, it was his
50th birthday – you were here, right? Dude, we just tore this place apart. We moved everything out and it was just like a heavy party. We had Denny Aaberg who did like the Farm and the soundtrack for like Innermost Limits. They came to play for Kio’s birthday and we just had an all night rager. I opened the shop the next morning like still in here partying. People were coming in to shop and I was still covered in beer raging from the night before.
MK: A lot of those. Good “day 2’s” you know? And that’s when you sell the most, you’re just like on fire, haven’t slept in three days and you’re just like, “Let’s go dude, this board works insane! Come on, put the fin in it already” and they’re like bam, done, here’s the
Where do you see the Mollusk brand heading in the future?
CM: The focus lately has been expanding the wholesale line and doing the whole Mollusk brand with clothes and stuff like that. It’s cool, and as a surf shop that’s where you can survive and make some money. Shops don’t make shit on surfboards, the margins are just horrible. You sell a $1,400 surf board and make like $200 – it’s coo coo. But those are the beautiful things that people come in here to admire and love, then they walk out with a t-shirt stoked, it’s just the experience.
We did the Mollusk Jamboree, which was a music festival up in Big Sur. We’re doing more stuff like that; expanding into doing festivals and camping retreats, music events and stuff outside of the shop, which I think is always rad.
I have a vision of maybe starting to do like a Mollusk porn in here and call it “Reclaimed Wood.” I think that would be a pretty good avenue to explore. I mean there’s a lot of money in porn. We could have some live web feeds going. Just like dudes in here with their shirts off, bro-ing down – it would be pretty killer.