Wandering star the company is owned & run by me, Gideon bright. A North Devon UK based surfer with over 30yrs surfing behind me, & hopefully, a whole lot more time in the water ahead of me too.
I grew up in Cornwall & worked in graphic design, I had a bit part in a movie ‘Blue Juice’ which led to London, where I worked in the film industry for 15 years before relocating back to North Devon when my family started.
I designed & built the first Dryrobe based on an idea my mum had when I was a lot younger (about 16).
I always used to get cold changing in Godrevy car park or wherever I was surfing. I lived in Carbis bay, St.Ives & mum was handy with a sewing machine and decided to do something about helping me.
I remember she gave me this homemade ‘thing’ one Christmas. It was like a huge cape. It was light blue waterproof material on the outside, with a dark blue strip across it, a dark blue towel lining with an elasticated hole for your head to stick through & a hood with poppers. She later told me “it was a like a Hatty fattener”, something her Mum made for her out of toweling.
I remember taking it with the best ‘wow thanks mum’ I could muster & slinging it in the board-bag.
It was a freezing day at Godrevy, I can’t remember when exactly but must have been winter 1983 ’ish.
The wind was so cold it was freezing our faces off just looking at the surf.
So we got in the suits ok but coming out I remember thinking, I don’t care what anyone says, I’m using that thing, so I busted it out, slung it over my head.
Now, I think, it was just Scrappy, Tarps & me but maybe Ratsy or maybe Rambell, or Huddy too. Pretty sure the car park was empty apart from us. The cold had frozen our brains, I think, as I don’t remember much being said. We had gone into survival mode. I got changed in it, then I passed it on & we all used it.
I know there is a photo about somewhere & the hunt is on, but no joy yet.
Genius idea! That thing did some changes over the years. It got smelly & mouldy as hell & disappeared somewhere along the way but the idea lived on.
My mum’s creation must have had a lasting effect on Tarps, who later went on to start one of the UK’s leading towel robe brands, Robie Robes in 2007. They got the whole towel robe thing going in the UK with his wife at the helm.
I guess they inspired me to dust of the old waterproof & windproof ‘cape/robe’ idea & see if I could re-work it into a real product.
While we were working on Dryrobe we created the Dryrap, a hands free change towel with a Velcro waistband. It was out first product to go on sale early in Nov 2009.
I can’t say it was without its problems and it took a lot of effort & help from too many people to name here but the rest is history.
The first ever waterproof, windproof change robe ‘Dryrobe’ sold online in Dec 2010. There have been numerous upgrades & changes but we now have it perfected.
We have continued with the innovations, bringing out whole range of products since then with function & design as the core concept. The Dryrobe reviews & comments have all been so positive & just using the product is proof enough of the thought & care that has gone into it, and almost reward enough on those freezing morning changes.
It’s been an interesting process so far but it feels like we are only at the start.
#dryrobe Get changed. Stay warm