Today we’d like to introduce you to Gunther Estrada.
Gunther, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
Born in Lima, Peru, in the barrio of Surquillo (outskirts of the capital) a very vibrant and street-oriented community: everybody is always outside their homes interacting with their neighbors. Kids playing freely out on the streets until late hours almost year round.
My brother and I got introduced to skateboarding one summer while buying tropical fish for our home tank. In front of our confused inner kid’s eyes, this pack of young skaters glided by us with their fluorescent color gear and American skateboards, one of them ollied onto the sidewalk and that was the beginning of our new lives. We continued skating and progressing a decade after that until an opportunity to leave my chaotic, corrupted and beautiful 90s Peru arose. Came to the US in 1997 with an exchange student program, with my skate dreams in the back of my mind and the willingness and excitement of a new life in a new world.
Spent several years learning my way around here, and always keeping my skateboarding alive and all of the other artistic expressions that came with it, music, drawing and painting have always saved my soul from the day to day meaningless jobs I was able to find while trying to sustain living expenses in my new home.
It was not until I got the opportunity to work for the skate industry when my life changed drastically, I was able to see the other side of the industry I loved for so long. Involved with pro skaters and designers that were the responsible for the new global offerings for the market. Worked at DC Shoes for 8 years developing the Latin American market as sales associate, merchandiser, and my last position with them as marketing director. I received a global marketing recognition and left the company soon after to start a new chapter at Volcom in their marketing department for Latin America. I stayed with them for three years.
All of those years working with all of these highly creative people and seeing how the machine operates in the big leagues always made me think about my own dreams, after those long days of work for someone else’s dream and vision. Every night my mind would be always occupied in creating, designing and coming up with ideas for my own project.
It was not until leaving Volcom in 2017 when I decided to focus on my own project. Born from an art collective in 2013 in Long Beach called “Los Garbage”, after this original project got dissolved for different reasons in 2014 I decided to keep part of the name and make it into a brand that will work as an extension of the things I liked. Skateboarding, Motorcycles, Music and Art. I started by creating graphics for the first collection called “The Monster Series” where I collected and recycled old ideas I had from my personal projects from a decade before. The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Vampire Monster, Frankenstein and The Black Jaguar helped start this new project. Printed t-shirts, pins and patches and added them as a complement to my handmade leather good offerings at the new concept store in Long Beach, CA, it seems like a dream come true to say that I have a place where I can create and share my art with people I love and new friends that I made in this new venture.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Garbage Made has been in business for the last five years and we opened our first store in Long Beach in June 2018. The sacrifices that were made to get where this project is currently at were significant, but I was motivated by the good times and the fact that I woke up every morning ready to do what I love. Garbage Made offers quality handmade leather goods, apparel, and accessories for those who appreciate products made to last. All of our collections are produced in small batches, always trying to rotate and refresh the product every three months with the help of other creative invited artists and friends.