Wayne & Donna Gunther have been cultivating Surfing Cowboys® throughout their careers as commercial photographers, creative directors, educators, curators & retailers.
22 years ago they converted their photo studio on Venice's Abbot Kinney Blvd into a retail shop because everyone wanted to buy their props - the store became a rotating museum where everything was for sale; a celebration of style, magically-mixing Beach Culture, Cool Euro, Hawaiiana and Rare Cultural Icons.
Their curation inspired a genre and received the attention of the international press, designers, brands, and regular folk.
What most people don't know is that behind the scenes, all these years, the Gunthers have been passionately honing a collection and a plan for the next evolution of Surfing Cowboys®, a project they've been yearning to do.
Recently when the lease on their Venice Blvd location came up for renewal they made the decision to take a short break out of the brick-and-mortar trenches to focus on evolving Surfing Cowboys into its next incarnation.
So, with the same verve that inspired them to shift from fashion photography to retail they decided to take a leap. They are currently working on the Surfing Cowboys brand guide and the repeatable merchandise they crave to launch Surfing Cowboys' next hurrah.
Retail is still a big part of their lives and Surfing Cowboys merchandise including finds from their travels and branded goods can be purchased both on the website surfingcowboys.com and from their creative headquarters in Mar Vista just minutes from their old location.
The Gunthers are riding a new wave and invite allies large and small to reach-out. They need and appreciate your continued business as customers and they need and appreciate your continued support as allies who can help carve the way forward.
It's been an amazing trip to this point and in their heart of hearts they feel that the best is yet to come.
"Surfing Cowboys" is a term that Wayne and Donna Gunther invented 25 years ago to capture a lifestyle of freedom, transformation, and reinvention. It’s the reason why people come to California from all over the world. It's the essence of The West, whether you find it on the range, in the ocean or living in your heart.
Surfing Cowboys evolved out of this spirit into an internationally recognized brand (all be it a small one).
The company has been singled-out by the press and customers alike as the go-to source to tap into authentic California culture. The Gunthers have been referring to Surfing Cowboys as a "State of Mind" since before they ever opened their doors to the public.
The Surfing Cowboys curation merges icons of beach culture, mid-century design, rustic Americana and pop-culture into a seamless style.
Wayne and Donna Gunther, regarded by many as the Godparents of California mid-century popular culture creation, live deeply rooted in their personal aesthetic and experiences. Using their life as a two-lane blacktop with a nod to the past and an eye to the future, they live a life in which ideas, aesthetics and objects of inspiration are cultivated, curated, put on view, and offered for sale.
The Gunther's work and the unique environments they’ve created have inspired innumerable designers and brands around the world.
After 22 years of retail, the Gunther's recently "pressed re-set", temporarily closing their brick and mortar store to lean back and take in the wide view as they prepare for a leap forward into their next adventure.