Yesterday I ripped a bandaid off, and it certainly stung for a lot of people. Well today I’m going to pull out the salve, dab it on the open wound, help explain our decision, and discuss our next adventure. If you have no idea what I am talking about, we are closing our Custom Australian Made Studio… so make sure if you want a piece of Australian Made Custom awesomeness you get your order in before 3 March. Now literally is your last ever chance. (And unlike a John Farnham “The Last Time” tour, this honestly is your last chance).
Well a lot of people are feeling the sting. I have been in inundated with emails, phone calls, and social media comments. BOgear has been around for 8.5 years, more than a quarter of my life, and from all perspectives it should continue to be around for many more years to come. This closure appears to be coming out of the blue. Reason we are closing our Australian Custom Made Studio is it simply isn’t viable. Overheads and manufacturing costs have risen considerably over the years and we are in a position where we can no longer sustainably compete on an international basis with our Australian Made capabilities. Despite all my efforts I cannot make it work, nor grow beyond what we currently have. In short if we continue the way we are, we are going to die a slow and painful death and destroy everything that was once awesome.
I have poured my heart and soul into BOgear and feel it is an extension of myself, and so this is not a decision that I take lightly. I mentioned it earlier, but it has been running for more than a quarter of my life, so it feels unnatural to be taking this action. But truth is, with all the pain comes a fair amount of excitement. Excitement for the New Adventure.
BOgear is evolving, and taking a fork in the road to head on a New Adventure. This is what our “road map” is showing:
In the super short term we will keep our Australian Studio doors open to fulfil each and every order that comes through. Nothing will be missed, and everything will be to our BOgear perfection. We do not want anyone to miss out on a piece of Custom Australian Made BOgear. So make sure to get your orders in if you want a piece of BOgear history.
In the short term we will be taking a brief break to rest, analyse everything, plan in greater detail, and begin our pivot to New Adventure.
In the mid term we will be evolving into a Design company specialising in Sewn Product, rather than a Manufacturing company. We have been offering this Design service for a while now, but am excited to take it on full time, dedicating more time, mental capacity and resources. We already have a long list of design clients kicking arse locally and internationally so will be focussing more on them and helping them grow. We also have a couple of new clients which we are looking forward to working with in greater detail. We haven’t discussed this side to our business in the past, so are really looking forward to sharing this moving forward.
And for the New Adventure? Well in the mid-to-long term we do plan to begin working on new internal Design projects. These are projects which we have been dreaming about for the last three years but never finding time to work on. This will give us time to work on them, perfect them, and launch them. These new products will be offshoots and designed by BOgear, but not carry the BOgear brand tag. Honestly I don’t know what this new brand will be called, but we will be obvious with our labelling, something along the lines of “brand X by BOgear”. Reason we plan to do this is we do not want to distill what BOgear stood for in the past – obvious of which being Australian Made – but want it to still be understood that new “brand X” carries all the other hallmarks of BOgear’s history; durability, longevity, “it never dies” construction, our stupidly good warranty, clever design, environmental and social responsibility, and most importantly kudos from those in the know. I know those of you out there with a current BOgear backpack will appreciate this, as it means yours is a piece of Australian baggage history.
So while I am sure this news brings a fair bit of grief to some people, it also brings a tinge of excitement to me. I really look forward to this evolution of BOgear, and cannot wait to continue down the road on this New Adventure. I look forward to sharing this New Adventure with you. BOgear will continue on, just in a new and revised form.
Transparency is important, something which I personally pride myself on, which is why I am explaining everything we are going through. To be completely honest this is a scary proposition for me as I am basically cutting off our “bread and butter” for potential and a bigger dream. But in chasing and trying to continue to make the “bread and butter” manufacturing work we simply are not growing, and instead stagnating. I want to share this New Adventure… this bigger dream with you, and hope you will continue to support through the transition.
Regardless, thank you for all your support over the last eight and a half years. Thank you for purchasing from us, writing us rave reviews, recommending us to your friends, sharing our words, liking our posts, commenting on our photos. Thank you for everything that has got us to this fork in the road. It honestly means the world to me, and while this is a big change, it isn’t a “GoodBye Forever”!