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The Though Kitchen - Dedicated to Stirring the Pot

What Nau…

Posted by admin | June 24th, 2008 | Filed under Uncategorized

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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

43 Responses to “What Nau…”

  • June 24, 2008 at 2:01 pm | Austin Ramsland says

    [Note to self: head between legs, breathe deeply into paper bag]

    I am trying my best not to jump up and down, and also trying hard not to swear at the computer. I am so terribly excited about this news. It is somehow so fitting that a remarkable turn like this come from such a remarkable company. I can’t wait to see what you guys have in store for us.

  • June 24, 2008 at 2:01 pm | Jonathan says

    Will NAU continue to be based in Portland? As a PDX resident, I hope it remains in the Northwest. Congratulations on keeping the business model alive. I look forward to your new line.

  • June 24, 2008 at 3:23 pm | ian says

    Jonathan,

    We will continue to be based in PDX. In fact our office is over in the Crane Building adjacent to the Lizard Lounge store not far from our old digs. Come by and say hello.

  • June 24, 2008 at 3:26 pm | Stephen Landau says

    Welcome back Nau! We were shocked and saddened by your departure six weeks ago. Your return gives us faith that it is possible to change the world and to do better.

    Looking forward to see what’s next…

  • June 24, 2008 at 3:29 pm | Eric H says

    Wonderful news guys. That is so exciting. I can’t wait for the updates and to hear whats in store. Too many good ideas to keep down.

    Best of luck and keep in touch,

    Eric @ 103

  • June 24, 2008 at 3:55 pm | BWJ says

    Words can’t express how amazing this is.

    Congratulations Ian and the rest of the team. And a BIG thank you to everyone at Horny Toad. I can’t wait to check out the Lizard Lounge next time I’m in PDX.

    Good luck on the hard work that lay ahead, I look forward to 2.0 this fall.

  • June 26, 2008 at 1:26 pm | madcarrot says

    This is such great news – I almost feel like crying. Not wanting to spoil my makeup, I’ll resort to jumping up and down and yelling wildly. Congratulations on this new venture. I wish you great success and look forward to your new line. Long Live Nau!

  • June 26, 2008 at 3:15 pm | Nick says

    Good news. Now open a store in San Francisco, and all your troubles will go away.

  • June 26, 2008 at 3:20 pm | Elena says

    Alas, I can finally quit wearing my black mourning crape, which is a good thing since summer finally arrived in Portland. I await your rebirth and take great pleasure in knowing an inspiring business model is back in our midst. Congratulations.

    Best,
    Elena at ZAAZ

  • June 26, 2008 at 6:48 pm | jimbobula says

    congrats peeps – I knew it just wouldn’t roll over and die…

  • June 26, 2008 at 8:16 pm | MercuryPDX says

    Hi. Not looking to rain on your parade, but could someone please contact me at the email I’m posting under. Thanks.
    -JP

  • June 27, 2008 at 6:17 am | Jim Chioffe says

    The power of SMALL,
    I have to commend Horny Toad for their vision.
    I am certainly happy about Nau’s Phoenix, but I do
    know that it could of gone a different route.(Like having
    some giant swallow Nau up) Like a VF (TNF) or an REI
    and suck the soul right out of us.

    Jim Chioffe

  • June 27, 2008 at 9:02 am | grant says

    i know a bunch of us here in st. louis are excited you’re back!

  • June 27, 2008 at 10:33 am | michelle says

    Yay! I’m so happy!

  • June 27, 2008 at 11:22 am | Rich G. says

    I am so excited about this!

    As one of your biggest customers (I swear I have to be… it’s absurd how much I bought!) I can’t wait for your fall winter line. I love your clothes, and I love your message.

    No Logos on the clothes! Amen.

  • June 29, 2008 at 3:58 pm | libby says

    excellent! this makes me oh so happy! i knew the dream was too strong to die. xoxoxo

  • June 30, 2008 at 7:19 am | RucySF says

    Sharing the voice of experience… really think you should expand the size line to include XL or even up to 1X, you’ll find a whole new crop of consumers to get the word out, and your sales will at minimum triple those of S & M sizes.

  • June 30, 2008 at 9:19 am | Christian Silk says

    Thanks so much for continuing our faith that companies can function differently and make a difference in the way we buy things. We are SUPER EXCITED that Nau will continue not only because we believe and want to support your philosophy, but we also love your clothes!

  • June 30, 2008 at 11:13 am | Peter says

    Please you folks burned through millions of dollars of capital. This is not a green driven company this is an ego driven company. The best way to be green is not to make so much crap. You made product no one wanted so you went out of business – pretty simple deduction. So much for your innovative business plan. The folks at Patagonia must be laughing their proverbial butts off. Although the funniest part of all is that Horney Toad hired any of you to run the new 2.0 version of the company. Package it anyway you want but in the end if you put lipstick on a moose it is still a moose.

  • June 30, 2008 at 11:40 am | Brandon Borrman says

    I’m am trying to remain cautiously optimistic; but I’m really about ready to throw a party. Very happy you’re back and hope you continue to adhere to the design and social philosophies that made you so attractive.

    And I’m relieved to read about your willingness to let the growth happen slowly and naturally. Nau is an amazing place, tremendous success will come, but it’ll take time. You have a small army of preachers out there in your loyal customers. We promise to keep spreading the gospel.

  • June 30, 2008 at 5:47 pm | bill fritts says

    this rocks, kudos for finding a way back, we all were in nau-withdrawls. sounds like you have your 2.0 plan on straight, grow it naturally, step by step. we are all waiting to see the next collections.

    bill

  • June 30, 2008 at 8:24 pm | Simone says

    I can’t believe how amazing this is! I’m thinking about moving to Portland next year and am now really exited to visit you.

    Lots of love

    Simone (104)

  • July 1, 2008 at 2:26 pm | Mark says

    great news. great brand. great stuff.

  • July 1, 2008 at 4:31 pm | Makenna says

    THANK GOD!!!!! I am so excited. WOO HOO!!!!!!

  • July 1, 2008 at 6:25 pm | Emily says

    Hello there, I am looking forward to the new collection and congratulate your team on thinking through to a new solution for your company. One request: since you’re focusing on e-commerce, it would be great if you could ship to Canada (affordably.) My stateside relatives who have been acting as my U.S. post office would be most grateful.

  • July 1, 2008 at 9:14 pm | Leif Utne says

    Ian, et al,

    I only heard yesterday about your troubles. What a relief to come here today to this news. Congratulations. Looking forward to watching the Nau 2.0 phoenix take flight.

    leif

  • July 2, 2008 at 8:14 am | Geoffrey Helt says

    YES,
    Reminds of the story of Palm. Jeff Hawkins, the founder of Palm, had a massive failure with a handheld device at the same time as Apple was flailing with the Newton. It forced him to head out into the woods and rethink the whole concept of a PDA. He came back to the world with a balsa wood prototype and 4 principles that drove the design:
    1. Must fit in the breast pocket
    2. Must complement and not replace the personal computer
    3. Must be priced below $300
    4. Must be so simple that anyone can use it

    To this day, the PALM is still the most widely and swiftly adopted computing platform ever.

    I hope and trust that you all have had a similar experience. Take your time on the relaunch and get crystal clear on the principles driving the rebirth. Reinvention is always and forever a question of identity.
    stay true
    glh

  • July 2, 2008 at 3:32 pm | Howard Silverman says

    Fantastic! Congratulations!

  • July 2, 2008 at 5:05 pm | Toby says

    Hey Guys -Welcome back. Thanks for putting out a great product and good luck with the relaunch. i’m excited to see what the future holds.
    Best,
    TB

  • July 2, 2008 at 6:45 pm | Al R says

    I’m VERY happy for you to get a new opportunity to see the NAU concept and ideals through to it’s potential…congratulations. I’ve been a fan of Mark G’s for MANY years (long before he moved back out West), and it’s been interesting watching the birth of NAU from a long distance away, and the “changes” over the past few years.

    One “lesson learned” I haven’t heard talk about is making it QUICK and EASY for potential shoppers on NAU 2′s new web site. I think the glitz and WOW stuff in the old web site was pretty once pages eventually loaded, BUT it’s important to think about the typical user on a typical PC with typical connection speed. Less FLASH and faster navigating around the site would have resulted in ME buying more product from you. Good luck!
    Al R

  • July 2, 2008 at 9:32 pm | Jolie says

    Thanks for all of the incredible responses, your posts both challenge and inspire us to live up to and exceed your expectations of Nau.

    We appreciate the time you took to write and wanted to address a few of your points…

    Emily, we are working on our ability to ship to Canada and possibly even distribute through a partner up North, stay tuned and hopefully your family in the US can retire their postal duties.

    Geoffrey, thanks for the words of wisdom, we admire those who have turned a loss into a victory and seek wisdom in their success.

    Al, we have plans to launch a new website in early September with the primary goal being ease of use, faster navigation and transactions, along with the other features you know and love.

    Peter, we hope you will see this is a new day at Nau, we plan to grow slowly and thoughtfully, we hope this moose lives a long and productive life, with or without lipstick.

    Simone, we look forward to seeing you in Portland, we love our city and you will too.

    Grant and our friends in St. Louis, thanks for the well wishes and support!

    Thanks again for your comments, feedback and questions…Jolie

  • July 3, 2008 at 8:25 am | Brian Jamison says

    This is terrific news, and absolutely the right thing to do. There /is/ a market out there for you, and you have built some fiercely loyal customers, myself included. We will support you. You guys are my favorite clothing line bar none – your ethics, spirit, fabrics, fashion, and finish were inspirational and for the first time made me felt like I was actually living in the 21st century. I look forward to your more organic and paced return. So… may I be first in line for some more chino twills? =)

    -B

  • July 3, 2008 at 4:23 pm | Amy Bondurant says

    Hip, hip…Horay! We love you Nau. I’m so happy for y’all. Can’t wait to see what the genius tank cranks out.

    all the best,

    Amy

  • July 6, 2008 at 1:42 pm | Nikki says

    So will there be any plans to do international shipping? :)

  • July 7, 2008 at 8:37 am | hal says

    Hi Nikki-
    We’re all excited about the potential of doing business internationally, but will have to focus on getting things going smoothly here at home first.
    It is definitely part of our future plans, though.
    hal

  • July 7, 2008 at 10:38 am | Teresa Kasner says

    Hats off to all of you in not giving up on Nau! I look forward to the Fall line of Beauty, Performance, and Sustainability.

    Former Nauian and forever fan,

    Teresa

    PS Miss you guys…

  • July 10, 2008 at 1:07 am | sc says

    Chicago… home of Horny Toad at the roots… will enjoy the rebirth of UNfucKing the World… Again!!! And We can’t wait!

    See you soon…

  • July 11, 2008 at 8:10 pm | teri says

    YAY!!! I am so glad to check back and find that you aren’t disappearing after all. I’ve been directing all my friends here to get your stuff while they still can–good to know that this isn’t the end of recycled pants and jackets that really are waterproof. woohoo! (happy dance…)

  • August 14, 2008 at 7:42 am | Andrea says

    I am relieved and happy that you have found a way to continue your company. My daughter turned me on to your store in Boulder a year ago and I have found that the clothes I grab first to put on are nau.

    I hope that you will revive the urbane jacket. “That’s a really cool jacket,” I hear just about every time I wear it, from my home in Telluride (and birthplace of Horny Toad, by the way) to New York City, to Alaska. It is, indeed, embodying your sense of function and style. Then I get to tell the admirers about your company. My big concern is what I will do if I lose it?

    Congratulations.

  • August 14, 2008 at 12:30 pm | Ian says

    Andrea,

    Thanks for your enthusiastic support. Yes, the Urbane Jacket will be back when we launch the Fall 08 line in October so stay tuned. Of course, there will also be a host of additional products that combine beauty, performance and sustainbility in the way that the Urbane does. You should also know that we’ll have a retail partner in Boulder and possibly in Telluride as well. As soon as we know more we’ll let you know.

  • August 19, 2008 at 1:21 pm | Ann Monroe says

    Your clothes are wonderful but if you ever want me to order from you again you will have to DO SOMETHING ABUOT YOUR WEBSITE, which is so bloody snazzy that it is non-functional. 1) you cannot cut and past your telephone number – assuming I might want to use it elsewhere like in my address book 2) Once you put in an order and are asked to pay, you cannot either see what size you have ordered or go back to the page on which you COULD see the size. In fact you can’t do anything except give up and start over or cross your fingers and hand over your credit card. 3) there is no “contact me” information on the site – or if there is, Google can’t find it because the site is so full of fancy software. Yes, I know you are cutting edge – but there is cutting edge that’s attractive and cutting edge that is simply full of itself, insensitive to customers and a bloody nuisance, and your website is a fine display of the latter.

  • August 19, 2008 at 4:35 pm | Ian says

    Ann,

    We do want you to order from us again and that’s why we are busy retooling our website. We know there were problems and we intend to fix them. We are currently working on the finishing touches of the re-design and intend to re-launch the site in October. Please let us know what you think. I hope you’ll feel that we’ve listened and responded with a more user friendly experience

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