Men With MOX

Men With MOX: Riding Waves, Winning Life

Men With MOX: Riding Waves, Winning Life - MOX Skincare

Meet Steve Watts, the Do-Good Entrepreneur With a Zest for Life Who Faced the Shark Tank and – Through Hard Work and Success – Lived to Tell the Tale

MOX represents more than just skincare. It's about embodying positivity and passion in all areas of your life, while also making a meaningful impact and staying true to yourself. The MOX attitude is strength and humility, a willingness to learn and grow in every aspect of life.

One of those Men With MOX is Steve Watts, an entrepreneur and family man whose successful handboard brand – Slyde – catapulted him into the life he’s always dreamed of. After being featured on Shark Tank, he’s helped grow many other brands, all while giving back to his home country of South Africa through jobs and clean water.

To spotlight Men With MOX, we caught up with Steve to chat about his brands, life post-Shark Tank, how he balances family and work, and the nitty gritty on what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Here's the inside story:

Steve Watts, Slyde Handboards and Thula Tula

Pictured: Steve with his wife, Angela, and a Slyde Handboard

MOX: Can you share a specific challenge you faced in your life, and how did you overcome it to emerge as a stronger, more resilient individual?

Steve Watts: The first thing that comes to mind when I think of the challenges I’ve faced in life is starting a business. I did this in a foreign country with no family support structure around, and it wasn’t easy. I started it out of a garage in Venice Beach in 2010. I’ll forever be grateful for the people who rallied around me to help build the brand, especially my business partner Russell.

He really was such a great support system every step of the way. Starting Slyde Handboards was a challenge, but we had some of the most inspiring and fun times in that garage, and I plan to cherish them forever. There is an air of invincibility and optimism as you navigate your way through starting a business; and honestly, to me, it was some of the best memories.

Steve Watts, Slyde Handboards and Thula Tula

MOX: What made you want to be an entrepreneur? Can you tell us about your brands? What was the inspiration behind them?

Steve Watts: I’ve always wanted to own my own company by either creating something people would love to have or changing someone's life with a service or product. My first company – Slyde Handboards – actually came to me when I was really young (maybe eight or nine), but it took me until the age of 28 to get started on it.

As kids, we used flip flops or fast food trays to bodysurf waves in my hometown of Capetown, South Africa. We’d spend hours in the water, just goofing around. As time went by, the idea of creating a brand around different ways to ride waves came to me. And so, Slide Handboards was born. In 2015, we even got a deal on Shark Tank with Mark Cuban and Ashton Kutcher.

Today, we’ve expanded to help many other companies grow, like Thula Tula: A blanket mill we work with in South Africa that creates beautiful blankets. It’s always been my dream to give back to my home country. In fact, we’ve helped create and keep over 700 jobs there! And we’ve partnered with some incredible people to bring water to underserved people in South Africa.

Steve Watts, Slyde Handboards and Thula Tula

Pictured: Steve and Slyde Handboards

MOX: How do you define being a better man, and how has your understanding of this concept evolved over time?

Steve Watts: For me, being a better man means being a better husband and father.

To be a better man, you can use a multitude of traits to gauge your progress, like respect, empathy, integrity, responsibility, and communication (the list goes on). While these are excellent traits to work towards mastering, just trying to remember them all can be complex for me, which is why I focus on one. By doing this, I’m hopeful I can nail the others down with time.

Something I practice every day is focusing on how I treat the people and things around me, especially my wife and children. I have a short fuse – and when the right buttons are pushed (my kids are awesome at this) – I use daily reminders to keep from losing my insanity because someone decided to paint graffiti down the hallway or something else equally as chaotic.

As parents, we all know how easy it is to go postal when something crazy happens, but it’s these times that you can really practice being a better man for yourself and your family. For example, I’ve found one of the best ways to stay calm during stressful times is firstly knowing what situations trigger you. I try to stay away from those or be hyper-aware.

In the end, it’s really important to me that I raise my daughter and new-born son to be strong. I want them to feel as though they can come to me with their problems, and that would be impossible if I was constantly blowing up (as it would be for anyone). So – I always ask myself, “How would I want to be treated and talked to?” This has really helped me!

MOX: As someone who pushes the boundaries of your own passion, what values or principles guide your actions and how do you work to instill these in others?

Steve Watts: I’ll refer back to the previous question as I always try to treat others the way I’d want to be treated. This can be super difficult, especially in an environment where you’re working on your passion, but – honestly – nothing is worth being rude for.

I try to always lead by example, which is hard because we’re all working remotely. As someone who thrives in a competitive team environment and an all-around people person, this has been a huge challenge for me. But I’m growing as a person because of it.

MOX: You faced the Shark Tank and made it out to tell the story! Can you give us some insight into your experience on the show? Did it teach you anything? If you came out with one piece of advice – what was it and who was it from?

Steve Watts: It was an incredible experience from start to finish. And, for all those wondering, Mark Cuban and Ashton Kutcher are both very much involved in our business to this day, so it’s been nonstop since. I can honestly say we wouldn’t be here today without Shark Tank.

The show taught me that you have to know your numbers above all else; it’s where the magic happens. However, I’m really creative, so I see colors and pretty things, which is why my wife, Angela, does the finances. Beyond that, though, there’s a growing community of entrepreneurs from the show that help and support each other. We even had a reunion in Las Vegas recently.

Slyde Handboards, Shark Tank, Steve Watts

Pictured: Steve, Angela, Ashton Kutcher, and Mark Cuban on Shark Tank for Slyde Handboard

MOX: How do you balance your family and work? Do you have any tips for those struggling with this?

Steve Watts: I enjoy what I do and feel privileged to spend my time doing something I love. With that being said, the reality of running your own business is far from what you see people portraying on social media. It can be incredibly stressful and lonely at times.

You must make time for yourself and your family. Luckily, being your own boss gives you the flexibility and freedom to do the things you like, such as surfing in the middle of the day or taking an impromptu camping trip with your daughter. I never have to miss out on these adventures!

MOX: Who has been a role model or mentor in your life, and how has their guidance helped shape the person you are today?

Steve Watts: I’ve had a lot of mentors and people I’ve looked up to in my life throughout the years. Each one has had a different impact; some have been in my life for short periods, while others have stuck around forever. But, I’ve always tried to respect myself enough by being my own mentor; this has given me the belief that my instincts are enough and worthy.

When I need advice, I usually try to consider my own actions, while also making sure to run it through my personal set of standards, instead of blindly following outside counsel. I know that most things don’t go according to plan, and I’m well aware that I’ve made some mistakes in life. But, they’ve all been my own to learn from.

Steve Watts, Slyde Handboards

Pictured: Steve and Angela

MOX: What role does your self-care, including skincare, play in your daily routine, and how has it impacted your well-being and confidence?

Steve Watts: I really hate dry skin, especially on my face. I literally cannot leave the house without some sort of shea butter moisturizer. Also, due to my wonderful Scottish heritage, I was not born with skin that loves the sun, so I put facial sunscreen on daily.

I was born in South Africa, and although sun damage awareness was a thing in the 90s (it was likely not as in-depth as today), I still remember getting sunburnt on more than a few occasions. Because of this, I make sure to have regular dermatologist checkups.

I actually recall the dermatologist I had at the age of 15 (Dr. Rabooobie, I still remember his name!). He told me that I’d never see my 30th birthday if I didn’t make applying sunscreen an everyday habit. Honestly – I think he saved my life.

MOX: What's one way in which you take care of your health?

Steve Watts: I look after my health with a simple philosophy: “If you put enough crap in, that’s what you’ll get out.” I watched my mom pass away from cancer in 2018, and it had a profound effect on the way I look at my own health. While I’ve always been fit and had a healthy diet, I definitely started to emphasize educating myself and testing what’s best for me.

Health and fitness are not a one-size-fits-all type of thing. For me, taking care of myself looks like a well-balanced lifestyle with as little stress as possible. I also make sure to get a good eight hours of sleep a night. Don’t let anyone fool you; sleep is one of the most important aspects of health. Having an excellent sleep routine will change your life, trust me.

MOX: What advice would you give to other men who aspire to make a positive impact or just to show up better in their own lives?

Steve Watts: I have one word to summarize this question: Action. Too many times, we – as humans and men – listen to that voice in the back of our minds giving us a million reasons to not get up and make a difference. But all it really takes is the first steps. Again, it’s easier said than done, but it does become a piece of cake the more you do it.

Steve Watts, Slyde Handboards

Pictured: Steve and Angela

Stay Updated With the MOX Blog

With a commitment to providing valuable content 24/7, the MOX Blog is constantly being updated with a steady stream of Men With MOX profiles and good-to-know skin info. The MOX blog aims to equip men with the knowledge they need to look and feel their best, providing guidance on everything from selecting the right products to balancing fatherhood with career ambition.

Stay tuned to the MOX Blog for articles that’ll empower you to unleash your own personal MOX. And make sure to check out Steve’s awesome brands that he’s worked exceptionally hard on, Slyde Handboards and Thula Tula!


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