Okay, we’re pretty damned excited we have a second life, but before anything else is said about the nature of this resurrection and the plan for moving forward, we want to recognize the incredible debt of gratitude we owe to those of you who stopped in to The Kitchen and shared your thoughts.
We were humbled by your outpouring of support, but more than that, we were inspired. Reading through your comments and countless emails from customers, friends and family allowed us”no, forced us”to continue to explore any and all avenues for breathing new life into this little enterprise we all care so deeply about. Thank you, each and every one of you, for having faith.
Likewise, Nau wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the passion poured into this thing by a much larger group of colleagues who worked tirelessly over the past 3 1/2 years to give life to this enterprise. To all of you, a heartfelt thanks for shaping the ideas and spirit that is Nau.
So, now we’re coming back. But as those of you who saw our message on the website know, we’re going to try things a little differently this time.
We’re going to start small. With a tight crew, we’ll focus on product development and what we like to call ‘story development.’ We’ll also focus on our ecommerce business once we re-launch the site for our new Fall/Holiday 2008 line. We will not be operating our own brick-and-mortar stores, but instead we’ll be developing relationships with select retailers who would like to partner with us.
Of course, we’ll also benefit from the support that we’ll get from our new friends at Horny Toad (well, they’re not really new friends, given that a bunch of us use to work with one another at one of our other favorite clothing companies). They’ve also provided us with ‘patient capital.’ That means we don’t have to worry about fundraising in the short-term, although we’ll still have to work our butts off.
There are a lot of things, however, that will NOT change.
Our clothing line will still embody the same innovative design philosophy that gained Nau a following from the streets of New York to the Boulder backcountry”a stylish blend of timeless form and technical function, favoring clean lines over clutter and durability over disposability. And, of course, all garment production will still adhere to the highest standards of environmental and social responsibility.
In other words, ‘Beauty, Performance, Sustainability’ will still be our mantra.
Beyond that, we intend to continue to donate a percentage of every sale to organizations working for the common good, and we’ll invite you, our customers, to do the work of deciding which one. Reflecting the fact that we’re starting off smaller we anticipate some change in scope and scale to the Partners for Change program, but we remain committed to our original goal”to prove that business can be a force for social and environmental good. As soon as we’ve had an opportunity to talk directly with our partners, we’ll let you know the details.
And last but certainly not least, we’ll continue to act as host for the collective community of like-minded individuals who are committed to positive change and are reflecting this in all aspects of their lives.
Between now and the launch of our fall/winter collection, we’ll be working on the re-launch of our website, re-establishing relationships with key business partners and suppliers, rebuilding our systems and structures and keeping you up to date on our progress.
Historically we’ve used the Thought Kitchen as our forum for exploring the broader notions of positive change and have been careful not to use it as a business oriented venue. However, during this rebuilding phase, we’d like to depart slightly and use it to share our progress by involving you in each step between now and the re-launch. That’s not to say you still won’t find an entry or two on why we love Portland, or the 10 worst sports films of all time”those are important to us, too.
So, we invite you to weigh in on the conversation and we’ll do our best to engage with you and respond to any questions you may have.
God, it’s good to be back!
Hal and Josie (not in the picture), Mark, Ian, Jamie, Peter, Andrew, Susan, Jolie, and Gordon