Episode 01 //
Pilot: A Glimpse Into the Beginning of a Brand
Coming at you direct from the middle of nowhere to the center of everywhere, it's the Beneath the Surface Podcast with BOTE CEO and Co-Founder, Corey Cooper, along with world-renowned photographer and BOTE Director of Photography, Sean Murphy. In the pilot episode, Corey and Sean take a walk down memory lane, taking you behind the scenes to introduce you to names, places, and inspiration behind the BOTE brand.
"We say it all the time. We design cool shit, for us." - Corey Cooper, BOTE CEO and Co-Founder
More than a stand up paddle board company, BOTE is a lifestyle. For people who like to get outside and do cool shit. For people who appreciate design and quality. For people who invest in brands with soul.
The BOTE creative team is the driving force behind the brand you see on our website, in stores, in advertising, and everywhere else. Through wild adventures, shelved products that never made it to market, countless photoshoots, and exponential growth, it all goes back to who we are as a brand: we make cool shit, for us.
Coming at you direct, from the middle of nowhere, to the center of everywhere.
Who's In The Episode
Lead Designer, Co-Founder, and CEO at BOTE, Corey Cooper is a licensed engineer hailing from Auburn University. Corey is the pioneer of the DarkRoom, assisting with the design of the machinery, concepting the layout and ultimately developing the workflow used in DarkRoom production. Corey’s passion for this project is so strong that on any given day, regardless of how busy things are at BOTE, you will often find Corey working in the DarkRoom.
Sean Murphy is the Director of Photography at BOTE and a world-renowned photographer based in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. After spending most of his career based in Los Angeles, shooting for brands like Adidas, Red Bull, and Toyota, just to name a few, Sean moved back to the Redneck Riviera. You can find Sean capturing gritty America and spontaneous moments that translate into visually stunning photography.
“We at BOTE understand what Sean Murphy brings to the table. Yes, he brings ridiculously creative ideas and a barrage of insane imagery, but he also brings with him an infectious energy and a laugh that can only come from the kind of crazy that we here at BOTE celebrate. The past four years has been a roller coaster of bad-assery, and I like to think that as a creative team, we have developed one of the strongest, most recognizable brands in the industry. Sean Murphy is a huge part of that team. Here is to many years, road trips, and radness to come.” – Rob McAbee, BOTE Creative Director
Links From The Episode
- The home of BOTE Board: Destin, Florida.
- Sean’s kind of a big deal, just ask the guys at Tenacious D, Weezer, and Tool.
- Check out Sean’s killer portfolio at SeanMurphyPhoto.com.
- The worst and best experience of all time: the Florida Everglades.
- Adventures inspired by Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.
Lead Designer (and Owner) at BOTE, Corey Cooper is a licensed engineer hailing from Auburn University. Corey is the pioneer of the DarkRoom, assisting with the design of the machinery, concepting the layout and ultimately developing the workflow used in DarkRoom production. Corey’s passion for this project is so strong that on any given day, regardless of how busy things are at BOTE, you will often find Corey working in the DarkRoom.
“We at BOTE understand what Sean Murphy brings to the table. Yes, he brings ridiculously creative ideas and a barrage of insane imagery, but he also brings with him an infectious energy and a laugh that can only come from the kind of crazy that we here at BOTE celebrate. The past four years has been a roller coaster of bad-assery, and I like to think that as a creative team, we have developed one of the strongest, most recognizable brand in the industry. Sean Murphy is a huge part of that team. Here is to many years, road trips and radness to come.”
– Rob McAbee / BOTE Creative Director
In the early days of quarantine, Corey and Sean decide to launch a podcast. Because the world definitely needs another podcast.
00:02:23 Corey Cooper & the Birth of BOTE
When these two first met, Sean was fresh out of rehab and Corey was a young 20-something engineer from Mississippi who was in the early stages of building the BOTE Board empire. Living in a coastal area as an experienced engineer with a huge affinity for design, it was 2010 when Corey saw early variations of stand up paddle boards start to crop up. The concept was cool but the design was bad. So, he set out to fix it.
00:06:13 Sean Murphy
Sean was living the dream in LA, shooting photography for celebrities and internationally known bands like Weezer and Tool, but was anxious to get involved in the outdoor space with his photography. Having grown up a waterman in Fort Walton working on charter boats, just down the road from Destin, Sean’s friend Allen told him about a local guy doing interesting things in the outdoor space.
00:09:07 Lightning in a Bottle
Sean was a little bit rock and roll. Corey was reshaping the outdoor space. Magda’s bullshit meter hadn’t been set off (yet). Then, there was a black Jeep mail truck… it was literally lightning in a bottle.
00:12:10 Rob McAbee: Creative Director
Soon after joining the team, Rob McAbee, BOTE Creative Director and Founder of Bug Slinger™ Fly Gear, stumbled upon images from the mail truck photoshoot. It was time to make things official and move the brand forward.
00:13:38 Putting the Gears in Motion
The trio, along with Bob Brown, creatively jived and fed off each other’s energy. It was a unique dynamic, because they were all users of the product with a very clear vision for the brand. Now, not only did we have a killer product, but we also have authentic, killer content.
00:15:10 Retaining the Heart of the Brand
Keeping the creative team small and in sync has helped to maintain the heart and soul of the brand. “When I’ve worked with brands in the past that have grown fast, what tends to happen is: they lose their soul. They get watered down.” - Sean Murphy, BOTE Director of Photography
00:16:36 Its Simple but Its Not Easy
Sean and Corey recount an incredible wake surfing photoshoot for a product that never came to fruition. But that happens sometimes; you have to stay true to who you are, and you do that by keeping a pulse on the smaller things.
00:18:22 We Make Stuff For Us
Making cool, quality outdoor products is who we are as a brand. It’s fun to do, exciting to talk about, and if it ever gets boring… well, Corey’s going to move onto selling light bulbs.
00:20:36 What's to Come
The goal of this podcast is to share the arc and story of the BOTE brand by way of a look behind the scenes at big moments and experiences that helped carve the path for the BOTE brand we all know today.
See ya next time.