It was only a few weeks ago that I was hacking away at the 16th iteration of the Founder's Logs. Since then a lot has happened, but most notably is that I have relocated to New York for the summer. Although there is still much work to do surrounding the preparation for the summer, I am finally beginning to settle into place here.
We just recently re-opened our online store, so if you have been waiting on that, the floodgates are open! If that isn’t enough we are also opening up a Duffel + Dopp combo sale for Father’s Day (June 19th). I will note that we have decided to pull down the Zag Pack and the Duffel Pack for the time being. These bags are still in our playbook for the future, but in a similar way to closing the shop has the ability to become overwhelming. We need to be laser focused on improving our existing successes, and even being comfortable with them before we can look at an entire new product.
As we move into the summer, I am focused on doing a few things; namely enriching and expanding our brand recognition in the North East. So much of the physical aspects of the business have existed in North Florida, but this summer there is an opportunity to expand our reach in a market that I am arguably just as familiar with. There is a high concentration of traffic on Fire Island in the summers, and this can be used to our advantage as many of these individuals are coming from New York City. With such inherent ties to the fashion industry this approach actually makes a lot of sense to me. What is the plan? Well, sitting next to the children selling painted seashells with a wagon full of bags of course! As ridiculous as it sounds, there is almost an expectation amongst throngs of people passing through the small town of Ocean Beach to see vendors, typically children, selling small crafts, shells, and artwork on a specific stretch of benches in town. I actually used to sell shells and duct tape wallets here some 10-15 years ago. I think this would actually be a great way to connect with people on a very personal level and welcome them to the ideas and goals of the brand and company. This deeper, personal connection is where we have seen a very similar kind of success at the many different markets and pop-ups we attend, but in this scenario my competition would really be kids with shells and crayons. I think I can do that. In addition to this, I am working on establishing connections with the few retailers on Fire Island as well as some of the more appropriate towns and commercial districts on Long Island. Retailers, Marinas, Organizations, and more are all on the list and will be included in the more comprehensive strategy for the summer.
These intentions to grow our brand recognition include plans to tailor content towards this audience in New York too. Over the past year and a half we have found that on Instagram, Facebook, and other social platforms our content does well when it falls under a few different categories; New product release, “brand building”, personal anecdotes and asides, and giveaways. I think “brand building” through insights into backstory, inspirations, and relevant information surrounding our environments will be a great way to introduce these ideas to existing audience members, welcome new ones, and provide a richer context for people to interpret and understand our brand. This plan will also extend to Will as he does a similar thing in California when he heads out there in a few weeks. This pattern will continue ideally through the end of the summer and even into the fall.
It is crazy to think about how far away the fall seems, but I also know all too well how quickly it will be upon us. We certainly have our work cut out for us.
Stay tuned. It’s going to be a great summer!