October 13, 2019
Imperial partners with Building the Revolution for Limited Edition Hat


BOURBON, Mo. – Imperial Action Sports, the surf, snow and adventure sports arm of
Imperial, has partnered with Building the Revolution and Mike Vavak for a limited-
edition hat collaboration. The collaboration features Imperial’s DNA Project collection,
which showcases Imperial’s 103-year-old heritage in headwear, to introduce it to the surf
"We’re super excited about this collaboration with Building the Revolution. I, for one,
love what Building the Revolution is doing with his platform,” said Blair Wheeleer, sales
manager for Imperial Action Sports. “BTR is championing and empowering core retailers
and I’m stoked on how these limited-edition hats turned out. "
As part of the partnership, Imperial will be supporting a content series in which Vavak
will interview industry leaders about the value of branding local shops and the state of
Below is our Q&A with Building the Revolution’s Mike Vavak.
We’ve been following @building_the_revolution for a long time. Can you
give us a little background on what led you to create it and your goals for
Building The Revolution started as a ‘thank you’ to all of the surf shops who gave me a
career. One of my first jobs in the surf industry was selling accessories for Ocean and
Earth. This was back when Amazon was still known for books and only a handful of surf
shops had online stores. Back then, you had to go to a surf shop to get your traction,
leashes, board bags, etc.
Those years at Ocean and Earth taught me lessons that I still use today. More
importantly, the friends I made at surf shops across the country are still my friends
today. These friends and lessons helped launch my career, which allows me to feed my
family, put shelter over their heads and clothing on their backs.
The goal of BTR is to say thank you and remind people to support their local surf shop.
It seems like every year more and more "core" brands are being sold at big
box stores. Do you see that changing?
No, I don’t see this changing. At the end of the day, people start brands to make money.
They will claim, “core” as long as they can.
From day one, I’ve known Building The Revolution will never be a big brand because I
hold value in the words “Support Your Local Surf Shop.” This means, no selling direct,
no big box stores, no selling to shops that don’t sell surfboards.

This doesn’t mean I can’t be an in-demand brand. I focus on high quality, limited-edition
products, that are only available at surf shops. This allows me to control my distribution
and never have to close out products. It also means if you see someone wearing a
Building The Revolution product, the sale supported a surf shop and in return supported
surfing culture.
How do you think core retailers compete and grow in a marketplace that is
increasingly going online with brands focusing on themselves rather than
the retailer?
There is a saying, “You can’t out Amazon, Amazon.” If you do what they do, you lose. The
customer walked in your door because they wanted an experience and they wanted to be
part of something. They want to be part of your tribe. Give them an experience that the
online giants can’t give them. Make them part of your tribe and make your store part of
the local community.
Plus, you need to invest in yourself. The number one product sold at a surf shop should
always be the surf shop’s hats, T-Shirts and accessories. Those products are like badges
of honor and your customers wear them with pride. Not to mention you can only get
those products at your surf shop.
What has reception been like from retailers and brands?
The reception from retailers around the globe has been overwhelmingly positive. We are
all in this together and I appreciate the retailer’s support just as much as they appreciate
mine. Brand support has been good, too. When you push a positive message, positivity
comes back at you.
What’s next for @Building_the_Revolution?
Last year I started Board Shop Day (@boardshopday), which is on the third Saturday in
May. This is a day to celebrate surf, skate, and snowboard shops around the globe. Not
another holiday for discounting but a day to put the “special” back into specialty. The
goal is to encourage brands and shops to offer limited edition products that are only
available at board shops. The next Board Shop Day is May 16, 2020. Futures Fins, Ocean
Earth and Ace Trucks are already confirmed to release limited edition products. Board
Shops created this industry and Board Shops can change this industry. They deserve a
day of recognition.

About Imperial
Founded in 1916, Imperial Headwear is the leading manufacturer of premium quality
headwear, apparel and accessories for the golf market. Imperial’s products can be found
at 96 of the Top 100 and over 70% of the Top 400 golf courses in the United States. The
Association of Golf Merchandisers (AGM) has voted Imperial the #1 golf headwear brand
for four consecutive years. In 2019, Imperial added the Imperial Action Sports, dedicated
to headwear, apparel and accessories for the surf, snow and adventure sports markets.
Imperial is committed to style, functionality and perfection in fit and comfort. It is this
commitment that has allowed the creation of a wide variety of headwear and apparel

with quality that is second to none. Renowned for its superior customer service and art
customization capabilities, Imperial offers its products using the most innovative fabrics
and designs, as well as logo decoration and embellishment technologies.

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