Two tan, tank-top-clad, young men jogged up the steps of the new, Forever Stoked retail shop and global headquarters. They entered and greeted artist Chris Pedersen with a nod.
There was only a moment of silence before one of the young men couldn’t contain his excitement any longer and exclaimed, “Look at the eye candy you guys have in here!”
- PHOTO BY STEVE MILLER
Pedersen and fellow Forever Stoked artist Peter Pierce began to laugh. They thanked the two art enthusiasts and were eager to know how they found the new location. The visitors saw the shop from Highway 1 and, having been fans forever, had to stop. The artists were stoked.
The Forever Stoked family has had a lot to smile about since opening their all-in-one headquarters on Dec. 3. Artists Pedersen and Charlie Clingman met as teenagers on a surf trip in the late ’80s. To pass the time between surf sessions, the boys drew cartoons and began to cultivate a friendship based on their mutual passions of surfing, nature, and art. In the late ’90s, Pedersen sent Clingman a handmade Christmas card featuring a surfing Santa. In 1999, Forever Stoked was born.
Now the team does everything from canvas to surfboards.
“They’re fully functional,” Pedersen explained of the surfboards. “They’re our tribute to the sea. It makes the ocean happy to see a beautiful board.”
Forever Stoked is constantly evolving. Pierce says he was once trying to achieve a more formal style, but now is less methodical in his approach. “My style is all over the place,” he said. “I’m more about what’s fun, now. I like to see groms get amped when they see something they really like in a painting. That’s what it’s about.”
What began as a two-man venture soon grew, and Forever Stoked now features five artists, including Jordan Haughey and Dave O’brien (who both had to work other jobs at the time of this interview). It’s a grassroots, word-of-mouth art business, and Pedersen says it’s going to stay that way.
“We’re not into big advertising. We love to do events where you get out and meet people face to face and make those connections,” he said.
This type of business style has paid off tremendously. Forever Stoked ships from Florida to Japan and everywhere in between. Pedersen said the current team is a group of really great friends, but they’re always looking to expand for the right artist.
“In the future, we want to get a broader range of artists who are passionate about what they do, whatever that may be,” he said.
The new headquarters provides the necessary space for the team to meet the growing demand for their work and show it to the broad spectrum of folks who love it, and it provides the space for the guys to hang out in between swells. Right now they’re focused primarily on their very recent move, but they hope to soon be planning events, including shows and music.
“We love what we do, and meeting people is the best part of this,” Clingman said. “We love art, and we love to surf. If we sell our work, that’s wonderful, but that comes second to talking to people about the things we’re passionate about.”
Forever Stoked’s new home is at 1164 Quintana Road in Morro Bay. Special holiday hours run Dec. 19 to 24, from 1 to 7 p.m. They sell apparel, accessories, stickers, cards, and gift certificates, too. For more information, visit Foreverstoked.com. Also be sure to like them on their Facebook page to receive updates on upcoming events.
Artist Merchant Cooperative One-Stop Holiday Store Opening features a wide selection of handcrafted gifts from local artisans and organic growers Dec. 5 to 24, Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Adobe Springs Holiday Store is at 205 Oak Hill Road, suite 106, in Paso Robles.
Intern Maeva Considine compiled this week’s Strokes and Plugs. Send your business news to firstname.lastname@example.org.