When you think of the Easey St team you think good times. The energy, fun and most importantly innovation that the team bring to the table stands out within the industry. Based out of a 1960’s style red brick warehouse in Melbourne, Easey St is a hub of surf, skate, art, fashion and culture. The group lead by James Lanyon and Mark Grayson not only manage a selection of iconic brands, but have also lead innovative concepts and ideas that have helped and supported retailers. To find out what makes them tick, and a little bit more about the team we shot a few questions through to James. Enjoy
Can you give me a brief run down of the Easey Street crew? How you came together, what you were doing before, and what everyone roles live within the Easey St team?
The dream-team at Easey St is the greatest—we are really lucky to have such great employees who all live and breath the culture we have created together. We have Caitii Dunn aka the thong whisperer / office manager heading up Havaianas key accounts alongside Tim Douglas also known as the watch whisperer, covering off all things Nixon for Vic, Tas and SA.
Then there is Joel “Good Times” Reid who was our first employee and today handles Volcom, Nike SB and Cons like a bowse. This is all supported by our über talented Sales Analyst, Lauren Clayton, ex NAB. Lauren supports and drives all brands sales at a granular level weekly/monthly along with Easey Data.
Myself and Mark Grayson started the business back in 2009. We are life long friends, where after a surf, sitting in the carpark over a cold beer one of us asked the other “Want to start an agency together?”
I was working at Billabong, Mark had just come out of a life of retail, from family owned surf shops to public owned retail. The success of our business is due to this combination, Myself from a wholesale based past and Grayson’s retail experience informing every decision we make. We question everything with “Is this right for the retailer?” and “Is this right for the brand?”
I want to talk about your space. The big old warehouse that homes Easey St looks out of control. A) What was your vision when taking over the space? B) How has the warehouse evolved alongside the business over the last few years?
Thanks for the compliment. Yeah, it is a great space. We have lots of enquiries to use it for parties, TVC, photo shoots for ads, mags etc. We knew we wanted a space that showcased our brands in the best way possible, there’s only so many posters you could hang in a hotel room. It was a big decision to shirk the status-quo, but we knew it was the right thing to do.
As we have grown the spaces have been redesigned to include more cutting edge showrooms along with hospitality areas for killer product night’s so we can promote our brands the best, fun way possible.
I’ve heard a lot about your Easey data you provide to your accounts. If it’s not top secret, can you elaborate on what it is, and how retailers use it?
Easey Data is a purpose built Business Intelligence Tool. At Easey St, we are not content with being better we want to be the best. So we put everything into making sure our brands have the best sales figures and being profitable for our retailers.
Being all over the sales data is critical. Easey Data helps us do that in conjunction with our brands and retailers.
Planning is the new selling. Although the data is very important, it is only half the picture. We use our energy, sales experience, fun and creativity to make fully informed decisions.
You cant predict the weather, you just have to be ready for it.
I have also had the pleasure of watching one or two of the video showings. Although the acting was questionable in some parts, it does come together pretty nicely. How long does something like that take to set up and finish?
Ha! What do you mean the acting is questionable?!
It is all about planning to execute these clips efficiently, the shoots take anywhere from 4 days to a week to complete, taking in pre and post production. We are lucky to work with an amazing production company who are aligned with our vision of continually evolving the process.
What is the response from retailers? Do they have reservations ordering product without seeing them in person?
We have been producing Virtual Showings for over four years now. We work really hard for our retailers. We want them to be as profitable as possible, which starts at the buying process. Understanding we are all time poor and that it’s hard to remember a 1-3hr showing in detail, along with time out of the shop can be expensive, we knew this was important for our retailers to be efficient where possible, so the Virtual Showing was born.
The Virtual Showings are just one way we can deliver best in class information about our brands to our retailers consistently and the way the brands intended. The positive for the retailers is they can share with their staff, view in their own time and re-visit for training purposes. Again, we work hard to ensure we have the best relationships with our retailers so they have confidence in our services and us. There will always be a touch and feel to garments and products—I feel we are all product people and thats what we love about our jobs and this industry.
The velocity of the consumers thirst for innovation and newness means the old method of long lead times and hundreds of showings is changing, and we need to harness technology—or sometimes even create technology—to keep up.
Easey street from my perspective to be the most successful agencies within Aust. What do you attribute your success as an agency to?
Thanks, this means a lot to us as a company.
The answer to that question is simple—”better never stops” is one of our core values and always keeps us evolving.
Everything we do, down to the tiniest detail, is constantly being evaluated to make sure it is the best we can achieve, both personally and commercially. Of course there are hits and there are misses along the way, but we always strive to be better, to be the best. We have built a strong culture that is driven off a strong Vision and Mission statement. Under this are 5 clear Easey St values—these are fundamental in allowing us to scale our culture.
You hear a lot of “ how can we do this better” around Easey St.
The brands you guys look after seem to fit with the Easey St culture and group. Do you get hit up often to manage other brands, and how do you keep that culture and brand message consistent with group.
Sure, there is certainly interest in the way we go about things, but we are very clear about our mission and values and we make sure we are representing brands with the same outlook on the way to do business.
Moving onwards from video showings, Easey Data – what’s the next innovative step for you guys?
When your core goal is to be the best you have to be continually moving forward so oh yeah, there are always things fizzing around in everyone’s heads. You can be sure there will be something happening