On October 30th 2015, Merpola set sail as a proper business with a small collection.
Right now it’s October 30th 2016 and we’re still a proper business with a smallish (but growing!) collection of unique whosits and whatsits. 1 whole year of plundering the shipwreck that is your heart, mind and pockets. We survived the year. It’s bloody extraordinary, so many small businesses fail out of the gate or stumble off of their path. Please join me in raising a glass for my baby, a survivor.
I started Merpola because there was nothing else like it out there, and once I got the idea in my head of what it could be it seemed silly not to make that happen. A celebration of the seas that you could put on your body, on any body, and transform your state of mind for the day, something to make likeminded people... happy. Something cool and out of the ordinary that had been ethically researched and kept affordable and still had some edge to it. It does turn out, however, that creating things of a high quality takes a ton more time and money than you think it will. It’s also a lonely and often thankless job setting up a company. That said, I am so proud of everything accomplished so far. Both RuPaul and Michelle Visage giving me a shoutout on their podcast. Being approached by some newspapers and blogs to talk about what I do. Meeting a ton of other young entrepreneurs and business owners, being inspired by all of their unique stories. Shipping items to new friends in countries I couldn’t point to on a map before now. The empowerment that comes with being your own boss and getting mountains of stuff accomplished without anyone telling you to. Learning new skills all the time, etc etc. It’s because of you guys that I can still justify doing it, thank you for giving me that gift.
Here’s why you should stick around until the next anniversary.
- New stickers arrived a few weeks ago, bringing the total amount to collect up to 11. New business cards are also on the way!
- Apple Pay is now fully working on our site. Whether you’re on a desktop or phone you can pay for your orders with your fingertips. Nifty, huh?
- I can’t say much about it yet, but any day now we’re going to be a part of something really cool. The Prince’s Trust (who have always been so supportive and encouraging, thanks guys) have cherry picked Merpola for a new ‘thing’. Stay tuned.
- In a few weeks there’ll be a new Merpy release. Something to stick on your jacket that isn’t a pin. Think ‘Destiny’s Child but underwater’. I’m working really hard on it right now.
The above ^ is only what’s to come in the very near future. I’m going to look into funding options in the new year and really kick things up a notch. If anyone reading this has any advice about that kinda stuff please drop me a message.
An anniversary seems like the perfect time to reflect on where we started and where we’re heading. Here’s what I wrote in the first ever blog post as a ‘mission statement’. How does it stack up a year on?
There are tons of independent clothing labels shouting at you for attention. Way too many, perhaps. How many can you think of that, first and foremost, don't take themselves too seriously? A handful? Same here. How many of those take what they do seriously, and always reliably deliver high quality products that will last you more than a dozen washes? Even less.
Merpola is, and always will be just that; lighthearted yet full of heart, winking at popular culture whilst dancing with the subculture, ignoring trends in favour of fun and energetic punk spirit, sharing cigarettes with mermaids and casting spells on your high-school bullies - it will always be silly. Marrying silly ideals with serious practices and ambition, that's what I hope will set Merpola apart from your average homemade sweaters and high-street t-shirts. We're going to create great products that make you smile.
I sincerely hope I’ve been making you smile. That you’ve been feeling cool and mermaidy as fuck in your Merpola. It’s gonna continue, because I have the support from awesome people like you.
Oceans of love,
p.s. a lot of the people I wanted to thank have been listed here on an Instagram post. It’s not nearly everybody, but go have a look.