Surf Shacks 076

Bridget Reichert
Tofino, BC

Matt Titone

Nestled on a peninsula in the middle of Vancouver Island lies a very special place in the world; a little town called Tofino. And right in town on the harbor side is The Shoreline, a small boutique hotel that consists of a few rad A-frame cabins owned by a few close friends. One of the owners is Bridget Reichert, a warm-spirited Canadian gal with a taste for outdoor adventuring. Last summer, I made the trip up to the land of bears, salmon, and storm watching to catch up with Bridget and stay in one of her charming A-frames while soaking in Tofino with all of its natural glory.

Matt Titone
Matt Titone
Matt Titone

Where are you from?

I grew up in Saskatoon, Sk (Canada), which is about 1859 km from Tofino, it is completely land locked. I grew up snowboarding on a man-made hill in the middle of the prairies and sailing at the lake in the summers. It gave me a love of water and a true appreciation for the simplicities of life. I will never take a sunrise and sunset for granted. I spent my entire adult life trying to get closer to the ocean and eventually landed in Vancouver 5 years ago, which is just a ferry + 283 km away from Tofino, where I spend as much time as possible these days.

What do you do for a living?

I have spent my career working in the action sports industry. I feel very lucky to have worked with some of the best brands, starting with Burton Snowboards and currently with Vans. It’s been an amazing ride and I’m so grateful for all the people I’ve connected with along the way. My side hustles include teaching yoga and The Shoreline.  I love to create spaces for people to feel and experience something, an opportunity to get out of their routines / the status quo and connect back with themselves.

How did you first come into the Shoreline property and being a “hotelier” on the side?

An obsession with hotels. As a kid, I thought it was SO cool to get the robes and watch cable TV. Growing up, I got even more into it. I spent hours finding the coolest spot to stay on every trip. I would geek out over the details, the design, the feeling. It was a big dream to build a unique space like this in Tofino, but I actually had no idea how to make it happen. I built a “pitchdeck” and business plan, getting the dream on paper to start attracting partners. It worked, my best friend Leslie and her husband, Jesse Renneberg were in, and eventually we found the perfect property up for sale (previously known as “Tofino Inlet Cottages”). Serendipitously, our realtor introduced us to Jen Thorpe (a local entrepreneur and owner of the cutest shop in town, Caravan) who was also looking into boutique hotel opportunities. After one phone call and a coffee date spent daydreaming, we were all in. We bought the property in September 2017, did a renovation, rebrand, and launched as The Shoreline — a boutique, oceanfront hotel where A-frame cabin vibes meet modern surf shack cool. It’s been a wild ride, but we are so happy with where we are and where we are going. We’re also so grateful for all our friends, family and guests that have supported us along our journey.

Matt Titone
Matt Titone
Matt Titone
Matt Titone
Matt Titone

It can get pretty cold and stormy in Vancouver Island, not the most idealistic setting for most surfers. How did you first get into surfing?

Two words: Blue Crush. I wish I was kidding (I’m not). After watching that movie a thousand times, my mom took my sister and I out to Tofino one summer, I LOVED it. We got surf lessons at Surf Sister, I surfed my first “green” wave and I was hooked. This led to years and years of vacation and travel dedicated to surfing. I love everything about it — the lifestyle, the party waves, the coffee in hand surf checks, the days with the best waves and the days with the shit waves. I love the freedom, the progression… I was nicknamed the “barrel dodger” on a recent Indo trip, but hopefully one day I might let my hair dip into the tiniest and safest barrel (if someone knows where this is, let a girl know!)

What’s it like being a surfer in Vancouver Island? What are the greatest pros and cons?

Pros: It’s one of the most beautiful places on the earth and it attracts some of the best humans. Cons: Excessive Neoprene, the 5/4 with hood, booties and gloves. I mean, I’m a bit of a wimp, but it really can get that cold in winter. The Pro to this is that it makes you really appreciate the summer days where you can strip down to a 4/3 with no booties or gloves — mentally it becomes somewhat tropical!

Matt Titone
Matt Titone
Matt Titone

What are your favorite parts about Tofino and the area in which you live?

It is nature at its finest: pristine beaches, clean water, air, forests. It’s a place where time slows down and you can be so fully present, whether surfing or catching a good sunrise or sunset from the beach. It’s a reminder that you have everything you need and just how damn beautiful life is.

How have you seen the area change over the years since you’ve been visiting?

The summer’s are packed. Tourism is thriving. Surfing is growing. As long as everyone is packing out what they bring in and keeping the community and beaches clean, it’s all good.

Matt Titone
Matt Titone

What are your favorite parts of The Shoreline property?

I LOVE the outdoor shower. And the new sauna, it has a barrel window so you can see out into the inlet, which is so beautiful. I love all the touches that Jen has put into the units, the local art, the custom furniture and original robin’s egg blue cabinets.  I love the loft that my dad and friend Sean built in the A-frame house. I love our custom scent that Leslie designed with Crosby Elements… Seriously, there are so many favorites, but mostly I just really love the feeling of being on the property. It has a really inspiring, yet real laid back vibe that makes you feel right at home.

Any parting thoughts, words of wisdom, or sage advice?

I really believe that if you are staying true to your passions, putting in the work, and living your life with a loving intention, your dreams will be supported. That does not mean it will always work out perfectly, but if you let go enough to shift your perspective, things have a way of unfolding exactly how they should and I am so very grateful for that.

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Matt Titone

A goofy-footed graphic designer who hails from the first state, Delaware. After attending Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL then graduating from SCAD in Savannah, GA with a BFA in Graphic Design and Illustration, Matt moved to NYC and found work as a freelance designer and art director. In 2006 he moved west to Venice, CA where he co-founded ITAL/C Studio, constantly seeks left hand point breaks, and tries very hard to avoid crowds & traffic.

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