The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Laura Goe: surfer, artist and CEO

04 09:51:04

Fast forward to 2023, GOE SurfWear wetsuits are walking down the runway at Mercedes-Benz fashion week—this is the dream for the 19-year-old entrepreneur, student and artist, Laura Goe.

By using a synthetic rubber material called neoprene, Goe is able to create an affordable and comfortable wetsuit, designed specially for women.

What has become a “rich persons hobby” shouldn’t inhibit people to go out and surf, said Goe.

As a former participant in the New Venture Challenge, a spin off of the popular show “Shark Tank,” Goe is no stranger to the challenges of generating success.

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Melissa Moreno, founding executive director of the Sheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation was one of Goe’s advisors.

Goe admits to being nervous about the New Venture challenge last spring. “I never wrote a business plan before,” said Goe.

The complicated questions of numbers and profit margins became easier with the guidance of Moreno and Bonnie Chavez, a business professor and Sheinfeld faculty member.

“Laura is lucky that she comes from a family of entrepreneurs and she has the natural instincts of an entrepreneur,” said Moreno.

As well as a student at City College and CEO of her company, Goe SurfWear, the multi-dimensional designer is also a painter. Her favorite thing to paint on is a surfboard.

The vivid acrylic-based artist works on boards using various colors and paint pens. With a waterproof sealing spray glazed over her painting, the board is as useful as ever— just a bit more lively.

“I like the idea of putting fun, random things on a board. It gives it more character,” said the surfer and artist.

One painting close to Goe’s heart can be seen in the Funk Zone of Downtown Santa Barbara. The piece titled “Dude” is the mural of two waves colliding into one another, designed by Goe and her close friend, Keely Thompson.

Unfortunately, due to a new hotel being built, the piece is being taken down in the next few months.

Goe SurfWear is geared to launch a new collection next spring, featuring bathing suits that won’t fall off in the ocean and comfortable t-shirts for guys and girls.

When she isn’t creating a clothing line or designing a personal surfboard, Goe enjoys the indie tunes of Arctic Monkeys and the electro remixes of iconic performers.

Her style and beachy vibes may add to the vibrancy of her spirit, but a traditional influence holds high importance in her life.

Japanese paintings and a diverse cultural background have helped conceive the method of her work.

“Even the clothes my grandma would make would inspire me,” said Goe.

With her parents both entrepreneurs and her grandfather an artist, they have all contributed to the path that Goe is taking.

Jeff McMillan, illustrator and artist is a strong influence on Goe’s imaginative work. His abstract yet hyper realistic paintings are a favorite for her innovative mind.

“Most artists are weird in the brain,” said Goe, laughing at the creativity in McMillan’s work.

While most of Goe’s days are focused on launching her new collection, she still makes time to catch a few waves for herself. Surprisingly, Goe just learned how to surf this past January.

With multiple projects going on at once, she appreciates the support of her family and advice of her elders. When it comes to the t-shirt designs, her and her dad work together.

“He loves it,” said Goe. “He’s always excited to work with me.”

A different approach is taken when it comes to deciding what to paint next. Reoccurring dreams about sharks led the way for three original pieces of art, titled “Sharks Cove.”

A trip to Fiji for her 18th birthday inspired the painting of a crab on a surfboard, which she later named, “Naughty Crab.” By using neon pinks and gray smoke, Goe transforms an average surfboard into a dreamland of colorful doodles.

Goe wants to take her business as far as it will go. In ten years she hopes to be a top competitor in the women’s surf wear industry and put it in places it has never been before.

Even with a few roadblocks in the way, Goe’s go-getter style keeps her at the top of her game. Her dedicated passion and original techniques are leading the way for a whole new vision in the surfing community.

“It’s called surf art,” said Goe.


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