What I Learned From Being a Beach Bum to Creating a Thriving Boardshort Empire and Still Finding Plenty of Time to Do What I Love the Most: SURF

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Miami raised Abe Allouche was born with an entrepreneurial spirit. Choosing the road less traveled, his destiny was to create a business from scratch. After years of traveling the world and following his dreams of surfing exotic waves, his journeys led Allouche to Bali, Indonesia where in 1998 he established Island Daze with a simple idea; design the best boardshorts in the world to do what he loved to do, surf. Two decades later Allouche has single handedly built Island Daze into a global leader in private label surf apparel design, development and production as well as started his own Boardshort collection: BBO. You can find his boardshorts at the best surf shops and specialty stores in every corner of the globe.

Opportunities can present themselves anywhere and at anytime ….

On my journey I didn’t know that I wanted to be an entrepreneur or that surfing apparel was my future. The truth is, this is was an opportunity that I created for myself from something that some might have considered a setback. I left home and moved to Hawaii in search of great waves and a change. After many years in Hawaii I found myself in Bali. Little did I know following my heart and the perfect wave would change my life forever. Living hand to mouth was getting old at this point. Along the way I had befriended a factory owner, he taught me the fundamentals of production. The idea of making something out of raw fabric fascinated me. This was when I knew I could make my boardshorts and share them with other surfers, so I sold some of my surfboards and made enough money for my initial production run.

Building something you’re passionate about is important…

In hindsight, it makes perfect sense that Island Daze became my destiny. As a young surfer, I lived in my boardshorts and I needed them to hold up through the wear and tear of daily, unrelenting use. The decision to start my own surf apparel company was so organic because it stemmed directly from something I was so passionate about. My driving motivation has always been to create products with the perfect balance of quality, durability, style and value.  

Surround yourself with people that believe in your product as much as you do…

Part of my dream has always been to be able to work while still surrounding myself with good energy and like-minded people. In Bali, where all of our initial manufacturing was taking place back in 1998, I rented a three-room shanty (the new Island Daze HQ) near a string of world class surfing spots and it became a crash pad for fellow surfers and friends who shared the “living the dream” and “embracing the journey” company values. The energy that was created at the shanty, through the surfer’s support and motivation, inspired me to push myself as well as my startup company towards success. Some of the people who were part of that inspiration were Myles Padaca who went on to win the Triple Crown of Surfing; Dave Boneventura founded Vestal and Tsovet watches; Nick Billington built his dreamboat and sails it around the world; and Pancho Sullivan who is renowned for being the most powerful surfer in the world, winning a gold medal at the ESPN X-Games and for finishing as one of the top surfers on the World Championship Tour, as well as my business partner since 2014.

Have fun, success will follow…

Choosing to start a company that encompassed what I loved most, has been the fuel to 20 plus years of successful work and play. One of the best parts of my job is working on all the marketing collateral and new collections as I get to travel with some of the best people in the world to some of the most beautiful places out there. My business is my passion and my passion is my business. I started Island Daze with $2,000 and now we are the leaders in private label for surfing and lifestyle apparel. I never made money the focal point of my success it was all about building a great company, money was always a by-product to all the hard work.

It’s such a privilege to work with friends I’ve met along the way: surfers, photographers, videographers, men and women who are the best in the business.

My team and I work very hard but we still manage to find time to go on surf trips. Finding a balance is key, you need to find what refuels that fire, to continue to be creative and push harder, mine so happens to be surfing and its done me very good, so I’m sticking with that!

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