588 words | 3 minute read
Before looking forward, it pays to glance backward for a moment to appreciate where you've been.
To say 2019 was a insane year is an understatement.
It started in the ICU with an infection and sepsis, where I lost all muscle mass and the ability to move my leg. Over the course of the year, I discovered how many people had the back of my family and I. We are forever grateful.
Despite losing the first few months, we set up 11 booths in 2019. Starting with The Arnold and a great comp the following week in Detroit despite having my leg drained before hitting the road and violently puking all night lol. October was crazy with comps 3 out of 4 weekends across the NE. We also hosted two USS comps with over 80 competitors each! We had the chance to travel from upper MI to MD and meet so many awesome people. I truly love this aspect of the business.
I love what we've been doing and honored to be part of this community. It's been insane to see the brand reach all over the world. The gym we started last November has been growing with people from hours away training every Saturday.
With that said, we are still a very small brand. One that gets 12 orders during Black Friday weekend, not hundreds or thousands like many of the other brands that we get commonly compared to. When I went all in this June and went fully self employed, the business didn't scale as planned and we accrued debt. I'm going back to work full time to pay off that debt and support my family. We will temporarily putting out less clothing inventory.
So what's the plan for 2020?
We started a Threadless store, where a majority of our designs can be purchased in more styles and colorways than ever before! This allows us to offer lots of awesome gear without purchasing inventory. There's even mugs on there and the ability to make bags and leggings! We've been asked if the site still supports us since it's a 3rd party. Yes, it does and it means a lot that people are making sure.
The products we have at booths and on our Shopify site will be limited editions, so if we post an embroidered beanie or a pint glass or something, know that we probably only have a dozen or two.
We will still be putting out grip shirts! A lot of people have been asking for them. I know people don't like preorders but it allows us to not front the money to our printer and guarantees you will get a size before it sells out.
THE BIG CHANGE:
We will be focusing on some new products that aren't clothing, but are still focused on the strength athlete. Allie and I are working on and testing some stuff that should be launching in the next few months. We're excited to branch out from tshirts and do some different stuff, and hope you like it!
To the OGs that have been with us since June 2017 and to the people just finding us, thank you. We love what we've been able to do so far and are pumped that we have so many loyal supporters. To anyone that has read this entire thing, please drop a comment! What did you accomplish in 2019, what will you in 2020, how did you first hear of us or what do you think about where we are headed?
Eric and Allie Cedrone
Iron & Stone Strength