The journey so far….
Well we have been open just over a month now and I want to say how great it has been but the reality of it is that it has been very stressful. I’m not a social media person normally but the amount of time I spend on Instagram and Facebook at the minute is ridiculous. The whole opening month and a bit has been a massive learning curve and I’m sure that it will continue to be like that in the future.
The above may sound as though I think its been too much but that is not the case, its been so much fun as well and worth every little bit of stress…I am the part owner (with my partner, Marcia) of a brand new clothing company!
Yup, that’s me. You’re probably wondering how I ended up in this situation…
How it started
This all started as a conversation between myself and Marcia, about how Vans started up and how it probably wasn’t that difficult to set it up (spoiler alert: it is very difficult) so we had a half arsed search of how to start up a canvas shoe company. We had some fun making some designs, despite our overall lack of artist talent, and sent a couple of emails to see what the process of getting the shoes made would be and then it just kind of died out.
Fast forward a bit and we started talking about it again but thinking more about other clothing rather than shoes. Again, it was a lot of talk but not much action. This pattern happened a couple of time until this year (the dreaded 2020) when we discussed it at the start of the year there was more of a feeling that if we really want to do it then it had to be now.
With a self kick up the arse, we started Bear Down Clothing Co. In all fairness I don’t think either of us were completely sold on the name, until we saw the finished logo that we had commissioned
Once we saw this we fell in love, this was everything we wanted, and it was time to get up and running.
Raring to go
I’d like to tell you it was all smooth sailing from that point on but it most certainly was not…it actually started off alright, my friend and unofficial Bear Down photographer (we joke he’s an unpaid intern) EC Righ (@photo.righ – check him out his photography is amazing) pointed me towards clothing companies that were using a drop shipping method. We thought that this would be the best way to go with the low costs of setting up and taking a bit of the responsibility out of our hands. This in hindsight was a bad idea due to us both having a strong need to be in complete control of what we are doing.
I am not going to mention the company we were using for drop shipping by name as I don’t want to bad mouth them but we had a complete nightmare following a good start with them.
During lockdown a lovely customer got in touch with us on Instagram to ask if he could buy a couple of tees (thus becoming our first official customer) and a Youtube reviewer (@vikingbeardmatt) got in touch and we arranged for a tee to be sent to him to give a review.
Our customer and Matt provided very good feedback on the clothing and Matt’s Youtube review was brilliant (go on his Instagram and check him out) but we knew we couldn’t carry on using drop shipping.
Fresh start, without having started
We already flirted with the idea of holding stock and we were planning to do it once we had built up enough sales but with the experience of drop shipping it was either get our own stock in or just stop, and in our heads that was not an option.
We found an amazing supplier and printer based in Glasgow and we decided they were the ones we wanted to use. With Covid going on though we had to wait until they opened back up (this felt like an eternity) but once they were we talked with them about what we wanted, and some back and forth emails with them and we made our first order. At this point I would just like to thank them as they were and continue to be amazing with us, they answer any stupid question we have and are so helpful and friendly.
So we were ready to go, we got the website update with the stock we hold (the website is in a state of constant work in process) and opened up on 1st July.
And we’re off!
Since then as I’ve mentioned above its been very stressful but has been fun and the feedback that we have received from customers has made it all worthwhile.
Just recently we have started working with North East based model, Amy Lee (@aim_for_love) and she is now acting as our brand rep, we are obviously super excited about this and feel Amy is the right person for our brand. We encourage you to check out her Instagram, and the photography she works with @mattchadwick1979.
We have big plans for Bear Down Clothing Co and are looking forward to what the future holds for the company.
This is our journey so far, big thank you to all of you that have been along for the ride!
Now that you’ve read this go get yourself on our site and buy something haha
This is the first time I’ve wrote a blog so please bear with me if it’s a bit shit. I’ll try to get better and will try to write something up regularly.
Thank you for reading,
Bear Down Clothing Co.
Instagram : @bear_down_clothingco