Ones to Watch: Erik Paulsen, Tavik

by Elise Diamantini

Erik PaulsenErik Paulsen was immersed in the board sports culture when he worked for Laguna Surf & Sport in high school. “I fell in love with brands, fashion, music…after college, I had the desire to start my own company. At the time, there was so much expansion happening in the action sport world. Working at LSS, I saw the rise of brands like LRG and Rvca, and the opportunity in the market for new ones. We had a vision for a lifestyle brand that catered to the action sports individual who was a bit more fashionable and tied to the music scene. Today, we’ve not only surpassed that vision, but have also elevated the brand to fit the men’s contemporary marketplace.”

Paulsen launched Tavik in 2004 and admits the first three years were challenging. “We were working hard to get the name out locally, setting up the business, learning about manufacturing, production, etc. It wasn’t until 2007/2008 that we had our first big sales push.” Now Tavik sells to a broad range of stores like Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters, Apple, Asos and Simons. “Because we’re a lifestyle brand that connects subcultures, we’re able to sell a wide range of retailers from boutiques to surf/skate and streetwear stores.”

Best sellers currently include boardshorts, walkshorts, wovens and knits. Paulsen describes Tavik as a monochromatic, fashion-driven collection made of premium fabrications and materials. The focus is on fit and quality, as well as versatile pieces that take guys from day to night. Layering pieces, technical details and unique prints are the collection’s foundation. Up next: Paulsen’s expanding into new product lines and categories.