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Benny Gold

True to His Name

A boy steps on a skateboard and falls in love. He grows up, goes off to college, studies graphic design, and moves to California to find work and better skate spots. He finds work as a designer and settles into the working life. Boredom and aimlessness set in, so he starts making stickers. This is the story of Benny Gold, whose iconic “Stay Gold” stickers, fitted caps, and clothing can now be found all over the world. His flagship store opened last week in the Mission.

Benny took some time out of his crazy schedule while prepping for the store opening to tell his story.

SFS: Can you provide a little history of how you got to where you are today?

BG: My path to where I am is pretty standard. There are no short cuts, just hard work and dedication. I studied graphic design in college. After graduating I moved to SF looking for my first design job and better skateboard spots than what I had.

I started as junior designer and worked my way up at a bunch of companies. After a few years, I got really fed up and bored with where my life was heading. I felt like I was growing old too fast, so I started making stickers as a reminder to slow things down a little.

The Stay Gold stickers were meant to be a reminder to stay youthful and make time for the things you enjoy in life. Making the stickers and putting them up around town gave me a new love for design. I started expanding on the project. Fast-forward to the present day and it is a full-fledged clothing line distributed around the world in over 100 stores with the first flagship about to open.

SFS: What is the Benny Gold brand all about?

BG: The Benny Gold brand is based on the mantra "Stay Gold" and keeping that way regardless of age. Our youth mentality and the things we hold dear are the real gold inside all of us.

SFS: What do you consider your largest influences?

BG: I am influenced by anything that makes me happy. That has been skateboarding for as long as I remember. I make sure to get out on the board as much as I possibly can. It's been 25 years since I first started skateboarding and I still find it as inspiring as the first day I stepped on a board. I feel blessed to have found something that keeps me inspired for so long.

SFS: Can you share a little bit about your creative process?

BG: My creative process is a lot of sketching and brainstorming. The idea is the most important part of any design. If you have a strong concept the rest just falls into place.