"Akela is the Hawaiian word for "happy". For us nothing makes us happier than surfing whether it is creating clothing, catching a wave or hanging with our friends on the beach - it is our passion. We as the Akela Surf family want to share this spirit with fellow surfers, enthusiasts and those who have an appreciation for the lifestyle."
Annie has been creating art in the form of clothing since she was in her early teens. From a small town in Quebec, she quickly fell in love snowboarding and the skate culture. Eager to play with designs and colors, she created her first skater tees while she was still in high school.
Her passion landed her 2280 miles west where she got accepted to study Fashion Design at Helen Lefeaux in Vancouver. And that’s where her creativity and unique style was able to blossom. Her love for her craft and all of her hard work quickly paid off.
She began her career working for Three Stones, a street inspired fashion women’s line. She moved back to Montreal, Quebec to help Orage, an outerwear clothing brand, to help develop their ski brand and identity. Later she traveled all over Europe and Asia for Osiris Shoes to help with trend spotting, trade shows and to work directly with their overseas manufactures.
One fateful day in Del Mar, California, Annie was introduced to surfing. She remembers the first time riding a surfboard and the indescribable rush she felt after catching her first wave - pure happiness.
Annie’s kindred spirit led her to take a trip that started in Tofino, Canada and led her to set up her first surf shop in Sri Lanka. She designed a surf clothing line that used all of the local fabric and accessories that she could find - it was very popular with the tourists.
With her newly acquired experiences, she went back to Quebec where she happened to run into Servio in a metro station. Servio jumped at the chance to ask her out for coffee.
Servio was studying international commerce in Montreal. He started surfing at the age of 9 near Margarita Island, where he was born. After political turmoil erupted in his native country, he moved to Barbados where he was able to study English. Before long he was backpacking across Europe, learning French and Italian as he traveled. An adventurer, just like Annie, he wanted to keep exploring the world so he moved west, to Montreal. The harsh Canadian winters and lack of Ocean waterfront made him miss his surfboard and the freedom of the Atlantic waves. He began planning a way to combine life, surf and business.
When Annie and Servio's paths had crossed, Servio was skateboarding and the two began to talk about designs for women skateboards.
Akela Surf was born in January 2012. The couple started an online business that offered eco friendly products for the Canadian Market selling organic tees, surf wax, and accessories. It was very important for them to respect and cherish the beauty of the worlds oceans. They pledged to ensure that their products would not negatively affect the environment. Based off of their work, they won a competition at HEC in Montreal. After a few months, they opened their first store in Montreal, Quebec.
They experienced fantastic growth and after a year of operations, Annie gave birth to their son, Kaiko. They decided to take a trip to Barbados. During their trip they received some amazing feedback from one of Akela’s swimsuits and before long - demand for their unique offerings blew up! They decided to shift their business to focus solely on Akela Surf and closed their store shortly after.
Akela Surf now offers a full line of unique, handmade, clothing and accessories for their customers.