Happy February! Last month we tested sending our monthly investor update to the entire community. I asked if this is something you'd like to see more of and I received a resounding "heck yes" from the many of you that replied. So here we go again...
We It's been a chilly month, but we've stayed warm and busy creating new product, hosting events in the store and raising awareness for conservation.
NPS Score of 87
We regularly maintain a world-class Net Promoter score but this month our NPS score went through the roof. Above is another loving customer who tattooed our logo on their arm—amazing. To learn how an NPS score is calculated, watch this short video.
We use these responses to learn what we're doing well and how we can better serve our community.
Herring Conservation Campaign "Big Little Fish" Launch
Working with partners Pacific Wild, Sea Legacy and Conservancy Hornby Island, we're campaigning to highlight the importance of herring along our coast so stocks can rebuild and the ecosystem can have a chance to truly flourish.
DIY Screen Printing Workshop
Big thanks to everyone that came out to our screen printing event at our Victoria flagship store. Due to some awesome workshop leaders, our community learned more about out production process and were able to create their very own Sitka products.
We have started the process of exploring a change to our name. Although our e-commerce has been growing quickly, this growth has exposed substantial confusion with a hunting company from the United States called Sitka Gear. This company is owned by W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc (GoreTex).
We're a lot more save the animal than kill the animal and have no desire to be mistaken for this company. Moreover, Sitka Gear owns the trademark of the name in nearly every country other than Canada which, paired with the confusion, is a real threat to our business.
17 years ago, we named our company after the spruce trees that grow next to our favourite surf spot which will not be an easy thing to come to terms with, by any means. That said, we've made massive changes to our company in the last few years. Moving production back to Canada, shifting from a (primarily) wholesale company to a direct-to-consumer (D2C) model while steering away from petroleum-based fibres. Trying to find the silver lining, a new name may be more fitting to the company we are today and even more so to the company we are becoming. We've sure come a long way from those first days of shaping boards in the back of our shop. We have started the process of selecting a name that truly represents who we are today, and still reflects where we have come from. I wanted to make you aware of this likely change as soon as possible and have you part of shaping what's next.
Big Little Fish Tee
Printed by hand in Victoria, BC, these Canadian-made tees support the suspension of the Georgia Strait herring fishery. With each sale we will contribute $20 towards their conservation.
Technical Outerwear Program
We have a mandate to avoid using petroleum-based fibres (polyester, nylon, lycra, acrylic) wherever possible. This makes building outerwear incredibly challenging to produce under the current textile paradigm. However, after several years of tireless work we've been able to develop a 100% organic cotton option that is breathable and beads water like your average nylon shell would. We will be rolling out 3 products in this fabric in 2019. Two of which will be made in our Victoria, B.C. factory.
We will soon be saying a bittersweet goodbye to Isaiah Archer who is launching his own business, Whistle Buoy Brewing Co., a micro brewery in the heart of downtown Victoria. Isaiah began on our shop floor in Victoria and worked his way up to leading all our retail teams. We couldn't be more proud of his growth and his leap into entrepreneurship. Cheers Isaiah!
What Customers are Saying:
“I purchased the ladies Merino wool long sleeve t-shirt and it is everything I was hoping for. It provides warm without all the bulk. The product is very well-made and I am pleased that it is Canadian made. I will definitely be ordering more from Sitka. So happy that I found your website.” — Debbie Neeve
“The product is amazing. Thank you so much.” — Candi Mantiquilla
“I chose 10 because I really f*cking like this shirt - so partly it's the colours that match perfectly with my capsule wardrobe which was just a chance, and the fact that I got the last shirt on sale in my size. But it's also because this f*cking shirt is the softest flannel - the kind I thought I was getting when I bought my Fjallraven plaid but didn't. I support Canadian industry, design etc. Shipping was quick ans as expected. Quality was really good, looking forward to washing it.” — Jacqueline Busche
After sending our January Investor update to the community we had a huge response of people asking how they could become investors. We love the thought of our customers being the owners of our company and are seriously exploring this as an option. Stay tuned for more news on this front and let me know if this is something that you'd be interested in.
Around the Industry
Changing our name is a daunting task and we'd love your help here. Any thoughts or suggestions here please send them my way. Thanks.
Rene Gauthier, Founder and CEO