The Hawk-Mo Hotwire

Micro Entrepreneurism, Simple Living & Art

Figuring it out

You know what’s cool? Resilience.
You know what else is cool? Caring. Help. Support. Love.
And yes, I’m talking to you.

I was standing in the shower tonight, thinking about how to write a followup post to my last one. It feels like a tough act to follow.

Somehow all of this reminded me of being 25. Of being 25 and wanting to run a sailing center that had a board full of over 60 somethin’ men that didn’t want to listen to a 25 year old. Let alone a girl. They offered me the job, with all the work and responsibility, no power to actually do anything, and no pay raise to boot. I walked out and said I’d keep my instructor position thank you very much. Later on though, I got ballsy and made a presentation to the full board covering my ideas on how to improve their community sailing programs for all ages. My voice shook. I’m sure I looked like a nervous wreck, and I was one. But I did it. I fucking did it. And I got all done, and every board member but one acted as though I had just said nothing at all. Shuffling papers and shit. That one, his name is Frank Chivas (CEO of a Baystar Restaurant Group), stood up and gave me a round of fucking applause and said something like, “Hot damn girl, you’re going places! How can I help?”

I got fired less then a month later. By email. But not before causing one HELL of a ruckus and impressing the hell out of a top notch business man.

That was the second to last job I got fired from before depending solely on RAGGEDedge to pay the bills. Truth be told, I got fired from my last 4 jobs before this one. Think the Universe was trying to tell me something?

But I digress. I think I was reminded of that night at the board meeting because it reminds me in some weird way of my last blog post.

I wasn’t speaking, but I’m pretty sure you guys all knew that my voice was still a little shaky. I got all done, and I while I was hoping for some response, the depth of the responses that came blew me away. I had tears in my eyes more then once.

So this is where I started thinking about resilience. About how every experience you have before, prepares you for the moment you’re in, and will go on to prepare you for whatever you might encounter in the future.

I’m guess what I’m trying to say is, I’m feeling like we’re pretty damn resilient people. Christmas sales aren’t really going any better, we’re down about 25% for the last quarter so far, but we are already moving on. Christmas can’t be fixed so there’s no point in dwelling on it anymore. Instead we’re using this dip as the motivation we need to make our website upgrades, revisit our marketing strategies, improve our message, and get excited about the business again.

The last time I remember being this business brainstormy minded and motivated was when we made the change from sailcloth wallets as our main keyword (which no one really cared about or searched for) to carbon fiber and kevlar wallets (which are the keywords that put us on the map). That was 3.5 years ago. We were both sick in bed for a month straight when we came up with that oh so obvious now revelation.

We are due for another round of that goodness. And so it has begun. Website research complete, we’re going with Magento Community version, so long as our web guy gives it the go ahead from his end. We’ve already selected about a dozen extensions that will add functionality upgrades to the base platform that will allow us to do things we’ve wished we could do on our site for years! If all goes well, we’ll be mobile and tablet friendly, vastly improving navigation, product searchability, product pages, shopping cart experience, and photos. We’ll be adding review capabilities, and an affiliate program.

Plus, I’ve been brainstorming about branding too. We need to start marketing RAGGEDedge Gear wallets, not just carbon fiber and kevlar wallets. After writing that sentence, I realize how dumb and obvious that sounds, but its like a transition step for us as a company and a brand. And no small step at that. Before, when really no one knew us, the only way people ever found us was by generic keywords and/or luck. Now, while we’re still teeny tiny, we at least have a shot of someone actually coming looking for our brand. Especially if we start marketing like we are a brand and not some generic carbon fiber wallet manufacturer.

With that concept in mind, I’ve come up with this:

RAGGEDedge Gear walletAnd that’s where we’re at.



About mudly

Mud is main blog writer extraordinaire, picture guru, and the garden and adventure instigator. She loves to cook, but doesn’t much like following a recipe. She also loves typewriters, the color turquoise, and wearing tie dye with stripes. And she dorks out on while dreaming up and planning her next garden.

One comment on “Figuring it out

  1. The Artful Antidote
    December 12, 2013

    Hello, Hawk-Mo!

    I usually read your blog but don’t comment… Unintentionally! I am usually bemused or inspired, nonetheless. But these serious posts got me thinking on how I might help…

    Below is a smattering of inspirational tidbits and my design eye telling you what I see!

    I just re.stumbled upon Freitag’s website today! These bags were the fancy of every design school student I knew years back when they just had the messenger bag. They have expanded quite a bit but their solid product has stayed true to itself. They are very much about MATERIAL just like you.

    I think their website is FANTASTIC… As well as the company! I think their roots are similar to Ragged edge and their story and curation could be inspiring to you.

    I think overhauling your image/branding/website/marketing will be a solid step forward. I like the direction you are going with the new photo/graphic in this blog… And I am curious to see what else this could influence… I think more images of your product in use would go a long way… It’s about durability and RUGGED and extreme… I want to see a bike messenger ripping through traffic in NYC with a ragged edge messenger bag or a snowboarding team loading their gear (ragged edge included) into a helicopter or a rock crawler jeep crushing a wallet under its monster tires… These are obviously extensive/expensive photoshoots but I am sure there are “smaller” ways of accomplishing the same effect!

    I think big, bright images of people with/using the product will help potential customers connect with the brand. They can go to the website and see someone/something they identify with and say.. “I could do that… I WANT THAT!!!

    My input on your website design… Visually…. is that it is a bit busy. The colors are “in your face” and BOLD but I think that’s what you were going for?! But my eye wanders all over the place and I think your product is very clear.cut, simple, and clean. Funky, fun, crazy, bold color ways but still structured. I think if your graphics reflected this more your image would be more cohesive.

    Just some thoughts… Take em or leave em!

    I love you guys and wish you well… We are excited to see you soon!

    Love, Lauren.

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This entry was posted on December 12, 2013 by in Entrepreneurism.

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