The time has come to sum up 2021. As usual, we won't be giving a glamorous, celebratory speech. 2021 was really, really tough. Luckily, it was also pretty fun. Read on for some of the unfiltered ups and downs of the past year.
Not having enough products was definitely the biggest headache of 2021, as we were pretty much sold out of all our bestsellers throughout the year. You might have head about the challenges Covid brought upon supply chains, and like the rest of the world ours was hit pretty hard. It doesn't look like these challenges will magically disappear in 2022, either. To be brutally honest, it's been pretty rough. Frida in customer service is doing everything she can to please customers waiting for their products. Supply chain manager Maja wakes up every day to more bad news that she has to convey to the rest of us. Designer Jorunn has to wait months for prototypes. Camilla and Kristoffer have to market products we don't have. CFO Marita is going crazy because the numbers never match our expectations.
Luckily, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Most products are finally back in stock, but the world of supply chains is still very unpredictable. Our vision is to introduce slow fashion to the world, but maybe not like this 😉
We had a growth rate of 52% in 2021, ending with a turnover of about 18 million NOK. This is our highest growth rate so far, which is obviously a great feat. At the same time, it's a little bittersweet, knowing that it could have been even higher had we had more stock.
Despite large investments, we also achieved a positive result in 2021. Not to brag, but we managed to do so because we fulfilled our strategy of moving sales from external retailers to our own channels. In the beginning of 2021 we had around 100 retailers. Now we have about 12. That means that the growth rate in our own channels ended up at 73%.
Fun fact: Our result would have been 184 000 NOK higher if we hadn't set aside money for our environmental tax. Read more about the tax here.
Not only is our growth rate increasing, but so are the number of people on our team. In 2021 we hired five new full time employees. Soon there will be eight of us working full time and two working part time. It's hard to describe, but mama mia what great people we have found. It gets more and more apparent every day that our team is our strongest weapon.
Expanding the team is both fun and challenging. A year ago there were only a few of us and everyone knew "everything". The more people on the team, the harder that becomes, and now we have to think about structuring ourselves differently. None of us have done this before, and we have a few questions. For example: On April 1st we will be getting a new CMO, making the marketing team a whopping three people. Should they create their own department with their own manager? Or should we still structure things so that all employees work together? These are questions that all startups must figure out, and we can't wait to find our answers!
We "found ourselves" in 2021. Together with the company Iterate, we figured out how our brands personality should be expressed.
- We are the company with strong opinions and big promises.
- We are the green company that doesn't greenwash, but instead dares to make people a bit uncomfortable. We tell it like it is.
- Not to mention, we are the company that will be a stone in the shoe of large companies and people opposed to change.
See our new identity here. During 2022 this identity will come to light in multiple new ways – including brand new packaging.
In a year where sustainability and the clothing industry have received lots of attention, it was very cool (and surprising) to be given the Award for Environmental Distinction. People might wonder sometimes what in the world we are doing – asking people to buy less clothing, when we live off of selling clothing. The committee's evaluation sums it up well, and is a good reminder of why we have set out on the journey to disrupt the clothing industry. Read it here.
On relevant note: Last year, we repaired 271 NP garments through our lifetime service, and helped many people repair by themselves as well.
We also made a slight entry in public as the stone in your shoe. Watch this ten minute long presentation (Norwegian) for a better understanding of our business model.
There are three main areas we will be focusing on in 2022:
- Our marketing. In 2022 we will take new steps within marketing and the way we reach people. The essence is to become less dependent on ads (especially Facebook), and to test different channels and methods within more traditional digital marketing.
- Our lifetime service. The concept works, but it isn't amazing and the must be further developed to be able to be scaled up internationally. We need to make it easier and more fun to repair – both for you and for us.
- Our products. We have written a product strategy for the future, and the first thing we are working on is becoming better at what we started with: base layers. Better quality and a wider variety, to be more specific. At the same time we will be expanding our collection slowly but surely, and in a few years we will be able to offer you a completely different lifestyle with a tiny wardrobe – whether you're the person that skis really fast down the mountain or the one that hangs out and waits for the others at the bar at the bottom.
- We will be raising equity for the company through crowdfunding. More info will be coming soon.
Enjoy the winter as long as you can.