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Locals Feature – Slightly Choppy

September 8, 2022

Locals Feature is a collection of intimate interviews with local makers, artists and entrepreneurs in Newport Beach. Follow along every week to get to know familiar faces and creatives who continue to shape our community and make it what it is today.

Name: Scott Richards

Job Title: Founder and Artist of Slightly Choppy

Seven years ago, in the salty, industrial boat sheds of Newport Beach, Scott Richards founded Slightly Choppy, a hand-stitched collection of surf flags and artistic keepsakes. A painter, collector, designer and surfer, Richards draws inspiration from the place he calls home, creating a brand that connects people to the local spots they love most. Before starting his own business, he had worked as a Creative Director for iconic surf brands while exhibiting his artwork in cities like Los Angeles, New York, Honolulu, Sydney, Paris and other galleries.  His artistic eye is drawn to bold color combinations, typography, natural fibers and hand-painted signage. Here’s an inside look at his work and how he continues to be a creative force in the community of Newport Beach.

What inspires your designs?

My designs are usually inspired by experiences—by visiting a location and getting a sense of the aesthetic, color or mood. I imagine the golden days when something was purely authentic, like a specific time period, the history or when the style was classic.

What is your favorite part about owning Slightly Choppy?

The best part about owning my own art studio and business is the freedom to make what I like. No boardrooms full of executives here… It’s just a pure and delicate balance of art and commerce.

Tell us what you love about Newport Beach!

The Newport Beach I love usually blooms in the fall when the waves, water, and air are warm, the summer crowds have all gone home and the beaches and the bay take a deep breath to just be still. My favorite time is late morning after a surf, heading to work in Cannery Village and having coffee with the local old salts talking about the golden days of surfing.

Where can people shop for your flags?

Believe it or not, there are four unique shops around Newport Beach where you can find Slightly Choppy flags and goods…SeaVees near Lido Marina Village, Trovata in Cannery Village, 15th Street Surf Shop and Almond Surfboards in Costa Mesa.

Do you have a favorite local artist?

Jeff “Yoki” Yokoyama, owner of Yokishop, is my favorite local artist, designer and sustainable fashion guru. A staple of the global surf industry, Jeff’s creativity and artistry come through in every one of the wearable pieces he makes.

What makes your flags a great Newport Beach souvenir?

Each product is made and considered by local resources and influence. The salt from the ocean and air is literally in everything we create. The flags are handmade with heart from an authentic point of view.

Any new designs in the works?

Since we make handmade goods inspired by our favorite places, there’s no end to ideas and new designs. Several recent trips to the Hawaiian islands and local mountains have us sketching and designing new styles that will drop this fall.

Three of your favorite activities to do in Newport Beach?

– Surfing The Point and Lower Jetties

– Poking around the boatyards of the Balboa Peninsula

– Biking the alleys and backstreets to The Crab Cooker

Written by Visit Newport Beach

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