When I “officially” launched Snoloha in February of 2007, I wasn’t sure what that first year would hold. Looking back, it was a whirlwind. I hit the road and managed to open a bunch of retailers throughout the state, made it as a semi-finalist for the Surf Expo LAUNCH contest, won the Most Slacker-Friendly award through StartupNation and was featured on MSN.com. That all happened within the first nine months of the brand being “born”.
2008 was a bit different…lots of ups and downs. I managed to open more retailers, introduce new designs, sign a licensee in Europe (which was / is a big deal) and gain new customers and fans. I also got burned by potential “sales reps” whom I thought were going to ge a big help in growing Snoloha throughout key areas…but instead it was a bust and a fair amount of samples were never to be seen again.
Going into 2009 I made the decision to pull back on retailer growth and concentrate on the brand and growing organically and through word-of-mouth. Sure the economy had something to do with this decision, but I also wanted to rework the product selection, the fabrics, introduce new designs and simply put into place what I’ve learned about the brand and my customers. As a result, the designs, product selection and materials being used have come a long way since February of 2007. I guess that’s all part of this growing process. I’m more happy now with the quality and selection of the Snoloha product line than I’ve ever been. Most of this is not represented on the website yet, but will be as we move closer to 2010. Some items are carrying over, such as the hoodies (new colors and inventory will be arriving tomorrow), lounge pants and some of the accessories.
Looking to 2010 it’s time to get back into the retail swing of things, which means looking for sales reps, and attending my first major tradeshow, Surf Expo. I’m extremely excited about Surf Expo. The booth ideas are plenty and it’s gonna be here before I know it. I don’t consider myself much of a salesperson, but when you’re passionate about something…you don’t really have to sell. At that point your not selling, your just sharing your vision, your dream, your passion. All I can hope is that the retailers I meet at Surf Expo will share some of the passion and enthusiasm I have for Snoloha. And I guess the same goes for sales reps…finding one that shares a vision and passion for the brand and it’s growth opportunities.
If you have any retailers in mind that you feel should carry Snoloha, or know of any established reps who may be interested in the brand…let me know.
Gotta go now. It looks like a good night for a sail.