This year’s July 4th, my friends and I spent all day at the beach. I love the beach – so much I’d even go as far as to add some extra “o’s” in there and say I looove the beach – but we were there all day. By 2 p.m. my feet had gotten so burnt by the hot sand I couldn’t walk on them. There was sunscreen and sand in my Publix sub. My bottle of ice water tasted more like bath water. And, my neck hurt. Lying on the sand is just plain uncomfortable, I realized. I started to wonder if we could just to get to the part of the day where the fireworks would go off and I could go home to my bed.
When I got home that night and checked my inbox, I saw a message from the founder of a company called Sand Cloud. As I read the message, I couldn’t believe it – it was like some beach god had been watching me in my misery all day and decided to connect me with the most amazing start-up: one that produces handmade, Turkish towels with a built-in pillow.
The company is appropriately named Sand Cloud, and CEO Bruno Aschidamini sent me a towel to try. He and I ended up chatting on the phone about his business model. The company is only four months old, and just this week completed its Kickstarter goal of earning $15,000 in order to distribute the towel to manufacturers and run a larger-scale operation.
Aschidamini and his two best friends Steven Ford and Brandon Leibel, who are all in their 20s, quit their jobs to start the company out of their California home. They spend a lot of time during the day at the beach (“basically in our backyard,” Aschidamini says), promoting their product and networking with customers. In the evenings, they connect with customers from all over the world, routinely answering emails until 10 or 11 p.m. and working working late into the night. ”We wanted to spread the love to every beach town in the world,” he says.
The towels are handmade with Turkish cotton, which repels sand and dries more quickly than the traditional American cotton-polyster blend. The cotton also gets softer with every wash. The cylinder-shaped pillow at the head of the towel can be easily removed, which comes in handy when washing the towel – or transforming it into a stylish sarong.
The towels come in blue, orange, green and purple and retail for $29.95. I chose the ‘Sunset Orange‘ shade, a light, coral orange that is pretty true to the shade pictured online. Most of my bathing suits are blue, so I thought the orange towel would be a nice complement. After perusing the company’s Instagram, I’ve decided that the blue is gorgeous, as well. (Side note, Sand Cloud’s insta posts are some of my favorites, always featuring beautifully lit, cerulean blue beaches. I want to break out my Sand Cloud and head to the beach every time one comes up in my feed.)
The next step for Sand Cloud? Expanding its business into retail stores. “We want bring it into the right retailers. We’re really conscious about our image and who carries our products,” Aschidamini says. They’re looking into boutiques and surf shops across the country. I’m confident about one thing: if they distribute in South Florida, they’ll make a killing.
Photos by Adam Alvarez.