SEA BONES | BYRON BAY
Posted on April 16, 2017 by Trace
S E A B O N E S | BYRON BAY
At the beach end of Fletcher Street, Byron Bay you’ll discover a salty island-vibe aesthetic in the newly opened Sea Bones women’s coastal concept store.
Sea Bones is a joint venture / collaborative dream child of local renowned Photographer Ming Nomchong and women’s sustainable ocean wear designer Danny Clayton of Salt Gypsy.
by Tracee Annetts – photography by Ming Nomchong
HC: It’s been a journey for you both, from your early pop-up version to your newly opened haven, tell us the inspiration behind Sea Bones & how your joint venture came to life.
M & D: Independently we had both always dreamed of having a space that catered for coastal loving women and had been talking about it for 6 months before we decided to take the plunge and start Sea Bones. We’re both surfers and lovers of the sea, and we saw a gap in the market for all the local gals for a space that catered to indie, independent, local labels and businesses that revolved around coastal living and looking after this earth, that we decided to create a business that we hope does all of that.
Danny and I spent days back and forth with a hundred different names. We didn’t want it to feel girly or too feminine, we wanted edge to it. We finally, by kind of accident, fell upon Sea Bones, and everyone we asked, loved it.
Sea Bones – remnants of things that belong in or near the sea.
HC: What attributes do you look for in the labels you stock & choose to align with in Sea Bones?
M & D: We’ve carefully curated a collection that we fully believe in being great businesses/labels. Not only are they on trend fashion wise, the people behind the brands are part of the community or doing good things for the environment.
Some of the brands we stock include; McTavish Surfboards, Waysaway Surfboards, Opia, Remi Lane, San Taylor Swim, Atmosea wetsuits, Salt Gypsy, Zea swim, Saint Helena, Herewith, Smart Leash Co, Surf Organic wax, Will & Bear Hats, Aloha Collection, Samudra, We Are Feel Good Inc Sunscreen, just to name a few!
HC: The best thing about being in business in Byron..?
Ming: Being able to surf every morning! [haha not that we’ve had time the last few months!].
Danny: Working and connecting with talented & driven people who share the same values & lifestyle.
HC: … and the challenges?
Slow times when the weather is bad. Rents are pretty high in old Byron town so a good influx of people is kinda key to staying afloat.
Ming: Be specific and straight up from the start with what your goals and ideas are for the business. Danny and I have contracts and agreements just so everything is laid out on the table and no one can get hurt. That way we can get on with business and not have to worry about what happens if..
Danny: Agreed – talking about money and finances with your mates can be really awkward and confronting but it’s a necessary part of working everything out pre-business and being totally honest with each other. I would also add that Ming & I had the opportunity to work with each other over the past year informally through Ming’s Studio Tropico, so we’ve seen how hard each other works – the constant early mornings and all the late nights.
At the end of the day, I absolutely respect and admire Ming’s work ethic and we’ve discovered we have really complementary skill sets that allow each of us to take ownership in the areas we excel at in order to split the workload and drive the business towards the shared goal.
Friendship first, business second.
Above 13 photo’s by Trace – The Handsome Collective of Danny, Ming and Ming’s handsome pooch Nai’a
All other photography provided by Ming Nomchong
HC: You are both keen surfers, how does a session in the Bay feel, compared to surfing elsewhere in the World?
Ming: When you’re out in the lineup surrounded by more chicks than guys, it’s a pretty awesome feeling. The camaraderie in the water is great and you almost never have a bad session.
Danny: It’s hard to complain when the air is this fresh & clean, the water this clear and warm most of the year, the waves are consistent, and the women outnumber the guys.
HC: What are you currently riding / preferred surf break / and dream future Surf destination?
Ming: I’m riding my Artist Collab McTavish 9’4 Noserider which I LOVE.
My fave break is Wategos, cause the vibe is super chilled and there’s always a wave for everyone.
Future Surf destination? Sayulita, Mexico. How can you beat peelers, tacos and beers….
Danny: I’ve stolen my fiance’s Ed Sinnott bright orange 5’3 twinny.
HC: Which environmental causes does Sea Bones align with, that you would like to see more awareness of?
Ming: We’re both huge advocates of knowing where your clothes are made plus buying and making sustainable products which don’t further destroy the earth. Which is why we love to talk about our suppliers to anyone who walks into the store.
Danny: Renewable energy – Sea Bones is powered by the local community-owned Enova company. Perhaps making us the first women’s boutique in the world to be powered by renewable energy.
Ocean & beach conservation is a huge one. We stock Salt Gypsy gear made from ghost fishing nets and post-consumer nylon waste and Clean Coast Collective products to fund their beach clean ups. These products are a great opportunity for our team to engage with our community and customers to share information on what is possible in how we can use our consumer choices to support the businesses and brands utilising sustainable business practices.
HC: What are your personal thoughts on the Shark debate in Northern NSW? Are you for or against Shark nets?
M & D: We are totally against shark nets. They are causing more harm than good and should be removed from all areas of the ocean.
HC: Deck us out for a surf session at The Pass, what would we be wearing & what’s under our feet?
M & D: If it’s the middle of Summer we’d be pulling out the turtleneck cropped rashie with a cheeky high waisted swim bottom and a bottle of Feel Good Inc Sunscreen.
Both outfits we’d be pairing you with a McTavish X Ming Nomchong limited edition artist collab board [available to order at Sea Bones]
HC: Name 5 salty living essentials from Sea Bones that you would have us choose to take home.
– Aloha Collection wet bag (for your wet swimmers and towels post beach)
– Quick dry turkish towel by Layday
– The latest issue of Herewith Magazine
– A Cheeky Bikini from local label San Taylor Swim
– A beautiful cotton cheesecloth jumpsuit from Opia
HC: You have both already accomplished an enviable list of achievements and experiences, what are the moments that have brought you the most joy and peace?
Ming: Being in the ocean. It doesn’t matter where, as long as there is a good wave near by.
Danny: Looking around our shop and explaining to customers that most of our brands are locally-based women designers making rad gear we want to use and play in. And beer o’clocks at Sea Bones.
HC: Favourite tunes you’re listening to in store?
Ming: We like to mix it up but I’ve got a favourite playlist that my brother made me called “Coconuts” which is a collection of old tropical beats from the 60’s & 70’s.
It’s pretty much on repeat when I’m in the shop.
Danny: Give me a bit of Little Ann funk radio or Latin Aotearoa grooves on a Sunday.
HC: Tell us about your visions for Sea Bones in the future.
Short term goals are to start holding evening talks/workshops with some of our suppliers, local artists/surfers about topics that are relevant to them.
Kick-starting with: #WhoMadeMyClothes?
SAN TAYLOR & SALT GYPSY WILL BE SPEAKING AT SEA BONES ON FRIDAY 28TH APRIL FROM 6:30PM.
LIMITED CAPACITY – PLEASE RSVP: AHOY@SEABONESBYRONBAY.COM
SEABONES WOMEN’S CONCEPT STORE
SHOP 6, 8 FLETCHER ST, BYRON BAY
Long term goals, we want to open a Sea Bones on the West Coast of California in the not too distant future.
Bringing a little of Australia’s women’s beach culture to Cali.
Story by Tracee Annetts – Photography
by Ming Nomchong
+ 13 select images by Tracee Annetts
FOLLOW SEA BONES ON INSTAGRAM
FOLLOW MING & DANNY ON INSTAGRAM
Learn more about Sea Bones products and purchase on-line