Hansni recently spoke with us about motherhood and how she has been able to adapt in a male-dominated business.
You are currently located in South Bay California is this where you grew up?
I grew up in Orange County, CA. When I was 8, my family moved from Africa to the States.
When did your love of surfing begin?
I’ve always loved the ocean and its beauty. Somehow, we’ve always ended up living by the sea or large bodies of water. Ultimately ending up in California is when I first learned of surfing.
Where does your business background come from?
My father was in the textile business, this gave me my foundation and love for apparel which allowed me to use my creativity and business sense. I went to design school with plans of going on to business school, but the allure and fast-paced life of fashion kept me in the industry for 15 years. I worked for several major brands and loved every minute of it and eventually started my own brand with a partner. We enjoyed successes but also made some mistakes along the way and eventually closed our doors. Ultimately all that business background was pivotal in helping form Strand Boards.
When you first started Strand Boards, why was it so important to have your products made in the US?
It still is important to me, that these products are made in the US! I love our process, I love how we can make a product designed specifically for each client with their needs/wants in mind. You can’t do that as easily, if you produce overseas. I like to think of us as, “surfboard couture,” since we are all handmade products. Some other reasons, however, are in keeping jobs here with the small businesses that we work with, having full control of quality, and of course, helping to save the environment by keeping some surfboards out of landfills.
How have you been able to flourish in two male-dominated spaces, of surfing and plumbing?
Great question! It hasn’t been easy and still isn’t. However, once they meet my bubbly personality and know what I’m talking about it seems to win them over!