If you’ve visited courses like Bandon Dunes or any USGA events over the past 10 years, you probably are familiar with Seamus, an accessories company based in Beaverton, Oregon that specializes in custom link style accessories. As we prepare to launch our Autumn/Winter selections from Seamus, we sat down with founder Akbar Chisti to gain a little more insight into Seamus Golf.
TG: Tell us a little more about your background and how Seamus started.
Akbar: I’m a CPA by trade and caddied for years at Bandon Dunes. My wife Megan was a designer at Pendleton Woolen Mills and she’d make headcovers for me and my buddies. That’s pretty much how we started Seamus.
TG: What’s the office in Beaverton, Oregon like?
Akbar: We have about 20 employees here, half of which work in production. Megan owns half of the company and still manages a few key accounts and does some sewing. She scaled back over the last year as our daughter entered grade school.
TG: What do you want consumers to know about Seamus?
Akbar: We are a golf brand that makes golf accessories. Really focus golf purists’ golf and accessories. All of our products are manufactured in Beaverton. Our customers include golf destinations like Bandon Dunes and Sand Valley, and strategic partnerships with the USGA. We create custom products for customers and events all over the country.
TG: How has Covid-19 impacted operations at Seamus?
Akbar: We lost a lot of business. We shut down operations for about a week due to the pandemic. During that time, we sent all nonessential employees home and furloughed one employee while we worked to reconfigure our office set up to practice social distancing. We were able to pivot from making golf accessories to PPE equipment and in the first nine weeks, shipping about 16,620 masks to 49 states and nine countries. I have a brother and several customers that work on the front lines providing care in the face of this pandemic. It felt good to be able to keep people employed and help fight the pandemic at the same time.
TG: What are some of your most popular products?
Akbar: Our headcovers & ball markers for sure. Our ball markers are highly collectible and forged in Portland by blacksmiths. Designed after the hickory era, they represent a cool mix of where golf used to be and where we are today. The Harris tweed bag is the best-selling golf bag. Golf bags are not a huge component of what we do but we saw an opportunity to make a bag for a half set, which was our way of imparting our own DNA into our product. It’s a bag for those who have an appreciation for playing the game.
TG: How do you guys come up with product design?
Akbar: It’s a collective effort between me and the design team. As a self-proclaimed golf nerd, I serve as the end consumer in the product design. We have a more casual approach to the game and that is reflected in our products.
TG: What are some of your favorite courses?
Akbar: Pacific Dunes and The Preserve at Bandon are always going to be a couple of my favorites. Royal County Down in Ireland. The Dunes Club, Shore Acres, both Streamsong Courses, Isleworth, Mountain Lake, Royal Portrush, Royal Melbourne, Cypress Point is really cool too, did you know that?