Navigating Peaks and Valleys: A Candid Look at Our REI Journey

Navigating Peaks and Valleys: A Candid Look at Our REI Journey

Embarking on entrepreneurial journeys often highlights vibrant success stories on social media, but the reality can resemble a rollercoaster. Our recent venture with REI encapsulated this mix of exhilaration and disappointment. Though REI wasn't initially on our radar, securing a spot in their inventory marked a thrilling accomplishment. The first order of tunics soared off the shelves, leaving us over the moon with excitement.

However, the story took an unexpected turn when REI asked for a re-order. Challenges surfaced as our inventory fell short, a unique struggle tied to manufacturing in Alaska. We made a deliberate choice to supply our locally manufactured products to stores integral to our journey, such as Cycle Chic and Dos Manos, instead of diverting them to a larger retailer like REI. Was this our best decision? We believe so. These local stores, present from the beginning, have played a crucial role in building our confidence and shaping who we are today. 

Missing out on a second order from REI was undeniably a tough pill to swallow, prompting reflection on whether to see the glass as half empty or half full. Acknowledging it as a missed opportunity stung, but we choose to view it as a valuable lesson and a stepping stone toward improvement.

Stepping into the new year, we ponder the question: Can we have it all? Can we support local while growing our brand into larger stores? Our answer is a resounding yes! We believe we can have it all. Slow and steady wins the race, and as we move forward, we aim to make decisions that will increase our inventory, allowing us to supply both small and big retailers with the items they would like to carry. 🌱💙

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