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On The Record: This LA Local Is Bringing Back The Hammock

* Hammocks re-imagined for urban living and everyday use
* Bold prints and colorful patterns 
* Canvas construction over easily-tied ropes and knots

All hail the hammock. Once reserved for tropical vacations, the hammock is making a comeback in fresh new ways. For an example, look no further than Layback.

Like the name suggests, Layback is a brand that wants to help you relax, free your mind, escape the mundane, and enjoy new experiences and happy places. Get on your skateboard, your bicycle or your sail boat, find some trees, set up your hammock, lay back, and enjoy life.

The hammocks are super sturdy and well-made and come in an assortment of bright, colorful prints. Imagine your favorite graphic tee or Hawaiian shirt, only printed on a cotton-canvas hammock. When you’re done, each hammock folds down into an easy to carry (and attractive looking) drawstring pouch, that you can sling over your shoulders like a bag.

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Image courtesy of Layback[/caption]

We caught up with Layback’s founder, Adam Cook, to find out how a Canadian-turned-LA local started a hammock company, the best ways to use a hammock, and why it’s time to rethink what you know about relaxing.

How did Layback start?
I was inspired to start Layback one summer night in Venice Beach. I was over at a friends house for a BBQ and we were hanging out in hammocks. While hanging in the hammocks we were discussing different ways I could acquire a working visa and move down south. Being from Vancouver, BC, it was always my dream to live and work in LA by the ocean. One way was to start a company and apply for an entrepreneur’s visa. I’ve always dreamed of having my own company and we just needed a good idea.

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We started discussing the fact that there are not a lot, if any, lifestyle chill hammock companies. The majority of hammocks are generic or the complete opposite and very technical. I wanted to start a well-branded lifestyle hammock company that becomes a household name.

What did you do before this?
Before getting involved in the hammock game I ran a retail store for 10 years. We specialized in skate, snow and surf. Before starting Layback I had zero knowledge of manufacturing hammocks. How I learned was a lot of trail and error – and a talented girlfriend who conveniently is a designer and seamstress. This made it very easy to try out different methods at our studio without having to have samples made elsewhere.

Where does the name “Layback” come from?
The name Layback came from my background in skateboarding. I already had the idea of branding my own hammock company and all I was missing was a name. I was skating through the streets of Venice Beach when a friend came up beside me and did a stylish layback. Right at that moment i knew that was it – Layback! So perfect.

Why do you think the hammock is making a comeback?
I understand not everybody is going to be in a perfect oasis scenario with their hammock. That’s why we at Layback are trying to market hammocks in a more urban setting. Think city parks, rooftops, your local beach. Our goal is to design cool prints that people may also want to showcase in their home. It makes a great extra bed for guests if you’re lacking space. They’re great for studio apartments, and on patios too.

We’ve had a lot of students set them up on campuses for studying. I feel if people get creative with their hammocks in their everyday lives they can come up with some pretty cool places to Layback.

What inspired the designs and prints for your collection?
The hammock prints were inspired by good vibes. We designed the prints to be fun and colorful. We want our customers to smile when they escape the mundane and relax in our Layback hammocks. For that short or long period of day you get to lay in your hammock and let your mind wonder, we want you to feel like you’re on the tropical beach. We feel our fun color prints help with that effect.

What are some stereotypes people have about hammocks?
The biggest misconceptions and stereotypes are that you need two trees to fasten the hammock. Or that you need to be skilled at tying knots, which is totally not the case! Like I said, if you use a little imagination there are so many ways to hang your hammock. And we at Layback are gong to have fun showing the world all the different ways to Layback.

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