Tempest: What a New Brand Has to Offer For the 904

September 23, 2015 3 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Metro Jacksonville’s Kristen Pickrell interviews one of Tempest Clothing’s founders, Colby Nickell, to learn why he’s trying to bring it to Jacksonville and what it could mean for the beach scene.



The following responses are a result of a brief Q&A session with Colby Nickell, one of three founding “groms” of Tempest Clothing Co.


A new resident to Jacksonville, 18 year old Colby Nickell came here with the intention of doing more than just getting his college degree. An avid surfer, and one who has had many successes in the surfing world, Nickell was drawn to the beach scene here, having spent his life just two hours south in Cocoa Beach. He’s now ready to experience what the Jacksonville surf scene has to offer—a scene he hopes to change with the introduction of his new line, Tempest Clothing Co.


Tell me a little bit about Tempest. Where and why did it start up?

Tempest Clothing originated about 3 months ago, with owners Kody Brown, Noah Birch, and myself. We also have our rad ambassadors, who are part of the Tempest family. Their role is to spread the word about us and rep our brand wherever they may go. Tempest, in the dictionary, means a "violent windy storm." This "violent storm," gains its energy from the ocean. We at Tempest harness that same energy through being in the ocean as well.


Where did the idea to open up a line come from?

The idea of tempest came from us really wanting to have a company that sponsors young "groms" (young surfers) and give back to the people to those who aren’t as fortunate. Due to some financial issues, we won’t really start building up our team until early 2016. As of now, though, we already have some serious surfers/athletes that make up our Tempest Team.  We recently held our "Grand Opening" beach party and surf contest down in Satellite Beach, where we were totally slammed with customers and participants.  


Tell me a little bit about the company's roots and successes in Cocoa Beach.

We are rooted by the humble vibe that makes up the Cocoa Beach area. I grew up trying to prove myself as a respected surfer at The Cocoa beach Pier, and I wanted to gain further respect, as well as expand my love for surfing, by making a clothing company. The local support here in Jacksonville has been beyond amazing, and I know for certain that  we would not even be a company if it wasn't for our local support, both here and in cocoa Beach.


How do you plan to expand in Jacksonville?

 I plan to expand into Jacksonville by focusing on getting recognized by the local surfers around here. The surfing talent is huge here, and with talent often comes amazing social media presence, which is an opportunity to get our name out there. UNF is also a great outlet for young people and their understanding of the importance of supporting local businesses. I have sold some shirts to quite a few people around even just my dorm in the few weeks I have been here.


What sorts of marketing techniques are you using?

Our marketing technique is simple: appeal to the youth, mostly through social media outlets, as much as possible. This whole social media realm that we were basically born in to at a young age really makes us vulnerable to advertisements kids see everywhere. We want Tempest Clothing to be one of these advertisements, but come across as a company that wants more than money; a company that just wants to spread some happiness and some good vibes.  Along this train of thought, we plan to make a clothing drive for the struggling families in Puerto Rico this summer, and hope to visit, too. We are currently looking for any sponsors or events we can get to make this drive and trip successful.


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