Connect
To Top

Meet Steven Ford of Sand Cloud in Pacific Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Steven Ford.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Steven. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
In the summer of 2013, fate led 2 San Diego State college grads/roommates, Steven Ford and Brandon Leibel, to take jobs at a local San Diego, call center where they would meet their future business partner and lifelong friend, Bruno Aschidamini.

With a passion for the beach life and ocean preservation, the three would constantly dream of quitting their day jobs selling life insurance to do something that served a bigger purpose. Little did they know, they would come up with an idea that would change their lives forever. This is the story of how Sand Cloud began…

Living in the sunny beach town of San Diego had given Steven and Brandon an idea for a business: a towel that would help people take better naps on the beach. So, the friends ordered a few dozen beach towels and travel pillows from a discount website and had a local seamstress sew the pillows to the towels. They called their product Cloud Nine. Bruno bought the first one for $20. Soon the two began selling the pillow-towel to friends and family, but it proved to be an unsuccessful venture, so they gave up.

By April 2014, Brandon and Bruno quit their jobs at the call center. Brandon started driving for Uber to pay the bills and Bruno started a one-man life insurance brokerage from his living room. One day the 3 friends met up at the beach to play football like they always did.  As the sun began to set, and the foamy waves crash against the shore, Bruno mentioned Cloud Nine and suggested they start it back up, but this time around rename it: Sand Cloud.

Totally inspired the three friends decided to risk it all. Committed to building Sand Cloud together, they all moved in together into a two-bedroom loft. Steven then quit the call center, like Bruno and Brandon did earlier that year. The friends drove Ubers to make money to live on, did tons and tons research, perfected towel designs all day, and lived on rice and beans in order to save money to build the brand we now know as Sand Cloud.

Fast Forward to today: The Brand has since, been featured on Shark Tank, made a deal with Robert Herjavec, grown an ambassador team of over 100k, recognized as one of the fastest growing companies on Shopify, and all of this has led to an increase of marine life efforts from Sea lion rescues and rehabilitation to wide spread beach cleanups.

Has it been a smooth road?
It definitely was not a smooth road. From the beginning we faced the hurdle of not having any money to start. We stayed lean and resourceful to find ways of reaching people for free. From walking the beaches to hacking social media, we were able to overcome this issue.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
We started in the business of towels, we have since expanded to a brand built around our mission of saving marine life. This has allowed us to launch a whole line of products from apparel to accessories and more towels. Our mission is at the forefront of everything we do, that and our ambassadors sets us apart.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
San Diego is the best place to start a company! Being by the beach has been a huge inspiration. It’s an up and coming hub for start-ups and all the resources you need are here.

Contact Info:

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in