Meet owner and designer Todd Conger of SHELTER.
Todd is an adventurous individual with a passion for design, a love of the outdoors, and a drive to create things new and exciting. His design experience really began to form during his studies at Oregon State University with a major focus in Graphic Design and strong representation in fine arts. Todd was an accomplished student and scholarship recipient and strived to push himself and the others around him. With studies primarily focusing on two dimensional compositions, there was always an urge for him to expand into more experiential and spacial design, so that people could not only see the design, but they could thrive within it and feel the full emotions of an environment. Fast forward six years and you can now begin to really see the passion and excitement Todd has for design of all disciplines and how he plans to share that with us all.
A word with Todd…
How did Shelter get started?
Shelter is the culmination of years of experimentation, sketching, designing and dreaming. It was born from long days on the beach as kid building forts in the sand and realized by the gratification and excitement of building something with your own two hands. I wanted to bring a sense of adventure and wonder into the lives of others through timeless products, exciting build-outs and good vibes.
What did you think Shelter would be at this point when you were first getting started?
Starting ones own endeavor is always nerve-racking as you are stepping into the unknown about whether your businesses could sustain and if people would like the work you are putting out. I always knew though that with determination and by keeping a smile on my face, I could create a company that could better the lives of others. I always dreamed of owning my own design firm and in a way I have done that, I just didn’t know I was going to get so much traction in the restaurant niche. It has been a great learning experience and we are happy to be able to push our designs and craftsmanship with each project forward.
Where do you see the future of Shelter?
I am really excited about this next year and our push to create a full line of products and accessories for home, living, adventure, and lifestyle. The past few years and the main start at SHELTER focused mainly on our commercial clients, but I would now like to offer a lot more for everyone else. I hope that one day SHELTER can be a staple brand in everyones home and on the road. I want our products and design services to spark conversation by providing progressive aesthetics, intriguing textures, bold statements, seamless functionality, and to stimulate the senses. Life always needs a little more spice.
What is your favorite pastime?
As a kid it would be climbing trees and trying to build swings and treehouses in them. More recently it would be scootering around the world with my beautiful wife.
Favorite thing about your job?
Flexibility, movement, and freshness. Starting and running your own company obviously has its perks. I definitely put in the hard work and long hours, but what makes it great is the ability to take off when I need a break. If the surf is good we usually go, or if an opportunity arises that pulls me away from the shop for a bit, I will take it. I also love that I am active most of everyday. I get to work with my hands and build things for the betterment of others whilst not feeling glued to a chair. And finally my job allows me to play with so many facets of design, craftsmanship, and experimentation that it never feels monotonous. New clients are always coming in and hundreds of ideas fill my head everyday, many of which we can create anytime we decide to.
Biggest accomplishment since you began Shelter.
Each event in its own has been an accomplishment including being in business for four years now. The biggest thing though is that I still love going to the SHELTER shop everyday and that I am so excited about living my passion.
If you were arrested without any explanation what would you family and friends think you had done?
It would probably be from indecent exposure and public urination. I have to shower outside of my van and there is no toilet.
What are the unwritten rules at Shelter?
Smile and Laugh everyday and to enjoy what you do and, if the surf is good we'll see you at the beach.
What is your spirit animal?
Dolphin. Play in the surf all day long.
What is something that is really popular now, but in 5 years everyone will look back on and be embarrassed by?
Reclaimed wood and Instagram.
Is cereal soup?
I don’t believe anything cold should ever be considered soup.
Do you believe in van life?