Haydenshapes' spectacular Mona Vale factory destroyed by fire…
A couple of weeks back your ol pal DR spent a delightful hour or so shooting the breeze with the shaper Hayden Cox and his biz partner, marketing whiz wife Dani at their factory in Mona Vale, Sydney.
It ain’t hard to admire this pair. There’s Hayden, the sunny faced forty-one-year-old with a boyish face and his rock star chic gal Dani who still own a biz that could’ve fallen into investors’ paws years back, pouring their hearts into a conga-line of new ventures. For these kids, it’s all sweat equity.
And the factory is spectacular, what you might call a paradoxical minimalist grandeur. The pair proudly showed me through the place, their baby, with its concrete floors, the soaring ceilings and its acres of glass.
I wasn’t surprised. The couple has collabed with Audi, Alexander Wang, IWC watches, Dion Lee, Mr Porter (for their eponymous surfwear brand) as well as making resin furniture for high-end Australian brand SP01.
So it’s a little heartbreaking to hear the joint went up in flames earlier today, thirty firefighters and hazmat crews “racing to control a fire belching enormous billows of smoke…but the well-known surfboard factory the fire sparked within was destroyed.”
The Haydenshapes factory at Tengah Crescent lit up in the late afternoon, although a cause has yet to be determined. One staff member was treated for burns.
Hayden started Haydenshapes in 1997 when he was twenty-two, and who wrote a best-selling book seven years ago called New Wave Vision about his climb to the top.
I described it back then as “a wonderful story of a driven kid who shucks the expectations of his family (accountancy!) to learn to shape, build a surfboard company, create a unique method of surfboard construction and, eventually, be feted by icons as diverse as Audi and Alexander Wang. A tough biz-man, sure, and…oowee… a little sensitive to the inconsequential yapping of critics, but his advice, his thoughts, are compelling… as a window into a young shaper’s rise, fall and rise, of the challenges of the surfboard game, of defiance in the face of unsupportive parents, of making your way in the world on your own terms, it works.”