Keeping Kids Cool
COASTALWATCH | KIDS
“Every good thing in my life can be drawn back to my beach experience.”
Why this man turned his hand to creating wetsuits specifically for small humans.
If you haven’t seen Trent Mitchell’s photography, you should. He recently locked in the cover of The Surfer’s Journal and snaps water with an awe-inspiring understanding of light and movement. Check it out.
Mitchell and his partner established Sunhouse People out of necessity. When their son Ozzie was small, the beach lovers simply couldn’t find sun protection that did the job the way they wanted for their child and, like many of us, they wanted to enjoy the elements. “We have been hitting the beach since the first years of our lives,” Mitchell explains. “Every good thing in my life can be drawn back to my beach experience, and my partner is the same. My fiancee is a primary school teacher and swim teacher and I’m a professional water photographer and designer, so loads of our life skill is poured into this venture.”
After much research and trial, Sunhouse wetsuits – “for sun smarter kids” and made up of neoprene which offers 100% UV protection –was born. “We have a product that’s a great first step in our vision as a sun protection lifestyle brand” says Mitchell. “We have spent our lives at the beach and want the next generation to have the same privilege, just with the best protection possible. We know how much natural positivity can come from building a great life around the ocean. We are here to pass it on.“
CW: What inspired you to do this?
TM: We couldn’t find a good looking and functional wetsuit for my eight-month-old son’s first swim in the ocean, so I was inspired to start designing a solution. The bigger wetsuit companies make suits for small surfing humans [but] these dedicated surfing wetsuits are not functional for your everyday kid to use. Our aim is to bring the protection of these suits to an everyday beach lifestyle product for kids that just works.
What was a key driver?
Bringing our little man along to the beach in his earlier days was a gamble. We looked forward to our family beach days so much and they could end in 20 minutes if the little fella wasn’t happy. After a few of these experiences I definitely became aware of how little time it takes for kids to be affected by the elements in different ways. Comfort and protection are key.
Why are you focusing just on mini humans?
It’s where our energy and focus is right now because of where we are in life. It’s a natural and real process for us. We are small with good intentions and solving real problems. We are filling a tiny gap in the market and we believe in what we are doing. That’s the most important thing for us.
So much advice around sun safety is avoiding the sun, but in Australia that can be unrealistic. What does your product offer that supports people to do that?
We definitely don’t see sun safety as flat out avoidance, we love the sun. We believe the best way to start life as a mini human is to spend big days outdoors being creative and active. Our wetsuit is lightweight and sun, wind and water resistant. It helps families play together in the elements by giving parents a single application solution that works. It provides protection and warmth, and most importantly it’s easy to use and keeps kids stoked longer.
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