Layback Co. was founded by friends Adam Cook and Justin Chorney in 2015. While teasing each other about an old-timer skate trick and their laidback approach to life, they thought it would be a humorous, yet potentially rewarding, feat to test their luck at building a hammock company.
Having both grown up in cities on the lush West Coast, the duo established their brand's mandate on a mutual love for the tranquillity of nature and the excitement of urban life. Pouring through their many ideas for hammock prints, they narrowed down their selections and designed their first collection in early 2016. After a satirical appearance on the keener CBC show Dragon's Den—where they impressed nearly every "Dragon" and had customers nearly crash their site—Cook stepped forward into a more serious role as CEO while Chorney stepped into a role on their board of advisors. Cook hit the ground running: he reached out to his friends in the snowboard, skate, and surf worlds to chat about avant-garde patterns for a second collection of hammocks. He partnered with his old colleagues from the snowboard industry—sales reps with feelers for burgeoning brands—and ventured with his hammocks to lifestyle trade shows in the US.
One serendipitous partnership came at the Agenda trade show in Los Angeles. Rachel Rivera of the art- and design-focused WKNDRS was roaming the booths as the day was nearing its end. She spotted Cook and his hammocks strewn about. Pulling her cofounder Clair Ouchi over to the Layback Co setup, they noticed they were all dressed in the same tone of light pink. A conversation began on where they all hailed from. Hmm. They were all from Canada. The girls inquired which city. Vancouver. No way! Thrown for a loop, the entrepreneurs began narrowing down the coincidence even further: they all worked out of their respective offices in Chinatown. But what street?
Suddenly Cook and the girls realized that—while they had never met before this business trip to Los Angeles—both companies were based in the exact same office building, just on a different floor. A deep friendship and business partnership were forged. Ouchi and Rivera each hailed from a background in the arts, textile, and pattern design, which Cook shortly realized could help Layback in the drafting and creation of original prints. The teams united. With demand high, and partnerships strong, Adam and the WKNDRS, got to work designing more hammock patterns. Success. Since then, the trio has continued to collaborate on prints, patterns, and designs with each new season.
Overcoming the hurdles new companies too often face—in Cook's case, interrupted shipping and production and a pandemic entirely out of his control—Layback quickly emerged from a tongue-in-cheek idea to a seriously discussed Vancouver company. In 2020, Cook brought on two of his closest friends, professional skateboarders Spencer Hamilton and Sascha Daley, to design a collaboration print that spoke to the duo's creativity and dedication to their craft. With that a success, in 2021, the athletes each introduced their own patterns: Hamilton's inspired by the azulejo tiles he saw while on a skate trip to Portugal and Daley with an illustration of rebirth aided by artist BB Bastides. In the same collection, the WKNDRS launched their signature hammock, a bold jungle print with pops of whimsical peach. Cook then recruited California-based professional skateboarder Lizard King to design a namesake pattern, which he envisioned by reflecting on his youth rock climbing in Salt Lake City, Utah.
With collaborations strong, at the root of the company remains unfeigned friendships. Cook continues to partner with the athletes and artists he genuinely enjoys spending time with—those pursuing their dreams around the globe but who return to their homes and adventure locally with the same passion. Cook and Chorney's original mandate still intact, Layback's hammocks are designed to this day to encourage adventure and promote the laidback life its founders have always enjoyed.