Reiser Interview

For 3 years we’ve been very fortunate to have Reis Paluso running the show at Korduroy. People always associate myself as KorduroyTV, but the reality is that it’s a team effort and Reis has worked day in and day out to provide the Korduroy audience with great stuff. Yesterday the man got his due in this solid interview with the action sports business resource Malakye. In it he describes the inner workings of our collective and where we’re headed.

What is your role with Korduroy? How long have you been working with Cyrus?

I started working with Cy in the summer of 2009. We were first introduced while I was working at the Patagonia shop in Cardiff. I began helping him with multiple projects that he was working on at the time but everything soon turned to focus on Korduroy. My role with Korduroy started off as being sort of the utility guy running the blog and doing occasional shooting and editing. But as our viewership increased, the blog got more in-depth and took most of my focus along with answering emails, coordinating content, working with Cy on new concepts, setting up events and a whole lot more. At first glance, one could assume Korduroy is surf-centric. But, not far under the surface is a wonderfully eclectic mix of bios and healthy living videos, as well as the surf-centric clips mentioned and diy instructables.

So, what’s the deal with embracing surfers living a sustainable and healthy lifestyle?

Surfing has been our beginnings, but I think our content goes beyond that bubble to show people that they can live a good life, enjoy the outdoors, and do it all in a healthy, creative way. And in sharing this message, we have created a platform for independent outdoor culture. We try not alienate the stoked folks by featuring a bunch WT and QS elite surf athletes that the average stoked person can’t relate to. Because of this tact, we get a lot of viewers from different areas who are inspired by surf culture but who also hike, skate, snowboard, etc. Surfers have always been conscious, forward-thinking, and free individuals, so we are just showcasing how some people are doing it. We just use surfing as the vehicle for that message. The DIY stuff is also a big part of our ethos. And Korduroy is really just an excuse for all of us to explore this more in our own lives. By being resourceful and thinking outside of the box, we’ve been amazed at how much we’ve accomplished…from making things, to building Korduroy itself! In today’s modern era, we are so accustomed to buying something new whilst the same result can be had reusing things. Once we began to think this way, it’s amazing what you can do (not to mention the amount of money you can save).

How many people are on staff at Korduroy? Do you hire freelancers? Is Korduroy looking to expand it’s team in the near future?

Right now, there are 4 of us working on Korduroy. Cyrus is the founder and creative director. James Campbell is the head of our video production. Dan Llano is our manager and keeps everyone in line. And then there’s me. We also have a few other cool folks who are helping on other aspects of Korduroy including web development, video production, and business related work because they believe in what we’re doing. We’re at a stage now where people can come to us with great ideas and build their own job using the momentum we’ve created. It’s exciting times, like an open-sourced business.

Korduroy grew from a blog to a proper site, complete with a store and a new, clean, organized, professional feel. How was the site redesign/upgrade process?

For anyone who has been involved in web development, they know how big of an undertaking it can be. There is a lot that goes into it and it costs money to play in the big leagues outside of WordPress or Tumblr. There’s a learning curve that we’re in the middle of refining. I know that when we were designing the new site some 18 months ago, there were a lot of temptations to create all these cool features. We’re at the point now where we have like 3 sites in 1 and that’s not good for the user experience. Pretty soon we’ll be launching an updated version which takes into account our analytics and tons of user feedback to provide our audience with the streamlined Korduroy they want. Looking back, concepts and ideas only get you so far, but once you put it out there you really begin to see what works and doesn’t. There’s no tried and true formulas out there, it’s sort of like the wild west. We’ve just been fortunate enough to explore and come back with more and more knowledge.


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