Sonoma Valley photographer debuts clothing line

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“The word swill is a combination of sweat and chill,” explains Ryan Daffurn about how he chose the name for his new apparel line. “That’s kind of my life. We have an active culture here in California and we also really do enjoy our downtime.”

An avid surfer, snowboarder, skateboarder, hiker, camper and mountaineer, Sonoma Valley High School graduate Ryan Daffurn ’00, recently combined his passions of photography and the outdoors to launch a new photography-based clothing line.

Daffurn, 36, is a photographer first and foremost. During his sophomore year in college, he took a photography elective, bought an old manual camera and was hooked. His landscapes and travel images can be seen around town including at B&V Whiskey Bar & Grill and at his father, Richard’s dentistry office.

“I’d like to do an installation in a local gallery or a winery to show my work,” he said.

He recently exhibited his photographs at the Sausalito Art festival, and just finished up a huge coffee table book project of photographs of the property of former U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland Dick Frederick.

Daffurn was born and raised in Sonoma. He grew up on the east side by the cemetery on MacArthur Street and he is a graduate of Prestwood Elementary and Altimira Middle School. His family still lives in town.

After graduating from Sonoma Valley High, Daffurn attended Sierra Nevada College, in Incline Village on the northeast shore of Tahoe. After living in the Sierras, he moved back to Sonoma seven years ago.

“I love having it as a home base,” he said.

Today, he splits his time equally between photography and Swill, with some seasonal work making wine on the side. He takes his photographs and prints them directly onto fabrics.

“The core of Swill relies on unique artwork created by me, so I’m always thinking about new images,” he said.

He also works with local companies, including Peterson Mechnical, to put their logos on his hats “Retail is challenging at the moment, but I’d like to build an online presence for the clothing as it’s a huge market,” he said.

Swill can be found online at or at Sonoma Old School.

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