Now would be the time to draw up the financial statements from last year and at the same time speculate a little about the coming year. What really happened last year and what will happen this year?
The year started with us recovering from December's crazy pop party, where we spent about ten hours, seven days a week. It was quite a lot of work for us and a little Christmas vacation was really good. When we went back to work in early January, the next task was to sell out the winter collection left over from the Christmas sale. Luckily, it wasn't difficult, but the shirts sold well. At the same time, we were looking for a bigger apartment and we moved to a good-sized triangle in the middle of February.
At the same time, the planning of the spring collection continued and a business space for the pop-up store was searched for April. Another big step was also the search for RIVA Clothing's first intern. We received a lot of applications and after the interviews at the end of March, the amazing Anette joined our team! Yes, and we also went for a spin in Lapland at the beginning of March! It was such a nice trip that I still have a similar trip to Lapland in my binoculars for this spring... Otherwise, the spring was calm on the work front. Along with the move and looking for an intern, we prepared for the next pop-up and the production of the spring collection.
Right at the beginning of April, our pop-up shopping center opened in Forum, Jyväskylä. Building the store was quite a hectic job, and at that time we had to work from morning to night. The third type really became necessary. Even though there was more labor, work was still done around the clock. We also went to photograph the new spring collection for the first time with a professional photographer - best thing ever
! It was great to get to know Jenora Design! Despite the tight schedule, the store was opened on time and the spring collection was very warmly received. The Red Giraffe and SCND also participated in our pop-up. Even in the mornings, you can find the dark roast of Red Giraffe in our coffee cup and SCND jewelry in our ears. Or from Eve's ears.
The spring collection moved at a good pace and there were enough people at the pop-up. This time, running the pop-up wasn't so difficult when we had Anette with us, who had a real trial at the beginning of April, when we redeemed the trip to Barcelona that Riku got as a birthday present. Anette did her job really well despite the tight schedule, and by the way has also helped us from time to time after training. The pop-up was supposed to be only for April, but we got the opportunity to extend it for three weeks until the end of May. And we continued! We also managed to get the summer collection on sale for the pop-up, but we had a bit of a weird time with it...
In the heat of winter and spring, we ordered a lot of the summer collection. Very much. This time the shirts started moving just "just fine" and we realized quite suddenly that we were a little pissed off. Prints may not have been as popular as we had imagined, and (surprisingly) in the summer, people have a lot more to do than buy shirts. Selling the summer collection was actually our first real challenge, how do we get through this with our skins intact. However, the company is still rolling forward, that is, the small monttu has only slowed down the pace, even though it was quite deep. At the same time, we learned a good lesson that sometimes composure is a trump card. Yes, it's true that you learn best the hard way. Otherwise, the early summer was spent quite peacefully. We tried to enjoy everyday life, ate many breakfasts on the terrace, went to feel the nature with Sepo and booked a trip to Berlin for the end of the summer.
In July, we took a short vacation and had some decent sales for the summer collection. That's how July actually went, and the beginning of August was spent in Berlin. Berlin is a city especially dear to Eeva, and Riku fell in love with it after a quick visit for a few days. It was good to return home with stomachs full of döner. Towards the end of August, it started to happen. We finished the fall collection and started presenting it. We had decided to include different charity items in the fall collection and donate 3 euros from each shirt sold to a specific item. This was definitely one of our best decisions. People really liked it. In fact, as soon as the last individual shirts are sold, we get to donate a nice amount of money to important charities! So this collection was really significant when thinking about the development of RIVA Clothing. We made a lot of new people aware of us with our collection and at the same time we were able to do concrete good. It felt like, after a conflicting summer, we had finally found our own path.
The collection was received very warmly and when the online store opened, it exploded. Literally. Our pages were completely blocked and running really slow. At first, we wondered why there is no one in our online store and why there are no orders. When the pages started to roll after the first half hour, it was pretty speechless. A few sizes of the shirts had already sold out within the first hour. That moment has been remembered as one of the most wonderful moments during our entrepreneurial career. It felt like something had been done right! We had also set a playful "über-goal", if we exceeded it, we would book a well-deserved vacation trip. The border was crossed so far that, in fact, the day after tomorrow we are leaving for a week in New York - it didn't even come to that European trip of a few days, heh.
In the middle of September, Karma (or some similar force of nature) threw us a little challenge. We received a message from an association that our Norppa print is too similar to their logo. Well, we didn't start a bigger fight, instead we pulled the "Don't be a seal" shirt from sale. However, we had already ordered the shirts from our importer for an additional batch, so we had to come up with something new so that we wouldn't be in the red. We went back to previous Norppa sketches and ended up making a guy with a very different style than the previous print. So we got more "Don't be a seal" shirt, in a slightly different version, but fortunately this version also melted people's hearts. At the end of September, we got our hands on the charity collection Additional Lot and the clothes were also on sale at the Hygge2017 fair. In addition to all this, we tutored for twenty hours a week, which means that the hours for exercise or friends, for example, started to be tight.
In October, the fall collection continued to be sold and at the same time we were able to tell people about important charity items. One of the best things about the fall collection was when people came to tell us about their own experiences with charity topics and thanked us when we talked about them. Especially the mental health print touched many, as did Eeva's blog post on the subject. Thanks to everyone who contacted us in the meantime. <3 It was amazing for us that we were able to influence people's lives and make a positive impact. The autumn collection and its launch were therefore perfectly timed and we received a lot of praise for it. Thank you for this too!
Between October and December, we also polished the opper to return condition. We did a thesis for our own company, which was both a great opportunity, but also difficult at times. The guide was returned on time and the last issues related to graduation were taken care of in December.
Next, it was time to move on to the winter collection and its release. This time, the release of the collection was quite exciting, because there were big expectations after the fall collection. We decided to continue the charity theme by donating 2 euros from each shirt sold to Jyväskylä Hope:ry, which helps needy families. In our opinion, this was a very important item, especially around Christmas. Hope Ry gladly accepted the cooperation; we were also really relieved that we were able to tell about the purpose of the donations publicly - when it wasn't always like this. Forest animals in slightly different forms ended up in our prints this time. We took influences from last year's winter collection, which was asked for a long time. We updated the prints and made them look even more like us.
This time there was no trouble, but the opening of the online store went really well! Before Christmas, our clothes also went on sale at Forum's Ekoteko pop-up store, where people conveniently found our clothes on their way. Our retailer KURE in Oulu also had quite a Christmas party and it was a wonderful end to the year that went well there. December went well with sending packages, delivering additional lots for resale, and we went for a spin in Copenhagen to take a breather and get some inspiration. That's where it started to be in the package a year ago. We graduated just before Christmas with a commendable oppar's grade as tradenomists - we can say that during the Christmas holidays it was already appropriate to sigh a little with relief and joy.
The year 2017 included...
1.5 months of pop-up
1297 orders from the online store (THANK YOU)
1000 followers on Instagram (February 22, 2017)
2000 followers on Instagram (21.12.2017)
266 posts on Instagram
41,428 likes on Instagram
2,000 likes on Facebook (March 16, 2017)
3,000 likes on Facebook (April 10, 2017)
4,000 likes on Facebook (September 12, 2017)
5,000 likes on Facebook (November 6, 2017)
6000 likes on Facebook (15.12.2017)
49 nervous breakdowns in Eve
6 nervous breakdowns in Riku
615 "wait, I'm going to crush Seppo" moments
12 overdue invoices (we have a pretty bad memory...)
751 emails. Huh!
What will 2018 hold?
What all is coming up?
- Company move
- Migration of entrepreneurs
- More and more limited collections than last year (it's about to start!)
- New dealers
- Lots of Seppo pictures and shirts
- Happy and relaxed mood
- Improving the world one shirt at a time
HUH! Probably the longest text in our blog history. This time there was more to do than in a long time! However, this includes the whole of last year. Thank you customers for sticking with us last year, welcome to all the new guys and we can't wait to see the 2018 model of our first collection! ????
Eve & Riku