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howies

WINTER 2012


WHAT WE BELIEVE IN Our Way. We are howies, a small active clothing company based in Cardigan Bay on the west coast of Wales. We make men’s and women’s clothing for the sports we love – biking, running and the outdoors, as well as for our day to day lives. We believe in a thing called quality. We believe that making a product which lasts longer is better for the environment. And we believe in making our stuff in a low impact way. So all of our t-shirts, sweatshirts and jeans are made from organic cotton and no silly stuff. After all, that just seems like common sense to us. By the way, we also believe that tea should be made in a pot. But that’s just our way... One Man’s Junk. If you were to go into a clothing factory and have a look around, you’d see the huge amount of wastage that occurs during the manufacture of clothing for all those brands out there. There’s tons of the stuff – cotton off-cuts and scraps all over the factory floor. And you can probably hazard a guess as to what most of them do with it too... that’s right , they bin it and send it all to a landfill site. Good cotton going to waste for no reason. We wondered what could be done with that old junk material. We figured we should try to make something new with it. So we worked with the factory to fix this. Now we are able to take all the cotton waste from those other brands and we recycle it. Those scraps are mulched into something that resembles cotton wool, ready for re-spinning into a new recycled cotton yarn, which can be made into new garments. And interestingly, because it’s a mix of all different grades of cotton, it gives our recycled cotton pieces an irregular and washed out look and a really cosy soft hand feel. The irony is that most of the companies who are throwing their old cotton away actually have to use harsh chemicals and processes to achieve that look. All we do is sweep up and use what they throw away.

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BFJ A warm, cosy down filled jacket with a recycled polyester outer. Insulated removable hood, brushed tricot inside neck for comfort and warmth, two-way zip with storm flap to keep the cold out, external and internal pockets.

ÂŁ175.00

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www.howies.co.uk


WHERE WE STARTED 1995 We started back in June ‘95 from the living room floor of our flat. We designed, along with the help of a mad designer called Daisy Creswell, four T-shirts and launched them in a mountain biking magazine. The T-shirts cost ÂŁ30. The orders came in. We were in business.

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THE MID NINETIES 1996 By ‘96 a BMXer came to us called Simon, he had met a friend of ours in a queue at Goa airport. She told him to come and talk to us and so he did. He showed us a bunch of ideas which we liked. So we started doing some shirts for the BMXers. At this stage we were in about 10 shops. But each one kept telling us how well it was selling. We wanted to go to the Bike ‘96 show but we didn’t have enough money. So instead we had the idea about painting topless ladies with our T-shirt designs. At first no one thought it was a good idea. In fact everyone thought it was a really bad idea. But I decided to do it. The press loved it. The crowd loved it. The organizers went mad - they banned us. But the magazines just wrote and wrote about us.

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1997 In the beginning of ‘97 Clare and I went snowboarding to Meribel. There we met a guy called Jeff. He was doing a season out there and we began to talk to him about distribution for France. He said he would give it a go an d organized a Bordercross event. It was a big hit and howies started getting talked about over there. A few months later Jeff decided to come back to England. We took him on at howies and he began to look after the shops and the teams. He would go off every weekend with the teams and spread the word. He was larger than life in many ways and the teams loved him. In the summer of ‘97 we signed Matt Pritchard to the skate team. Jeff had pushed for him to be on the team but we couldn’t afford to do it. But we did it anyway. Matt was a real character. The first time I saw him skate was in Radlands. He was naked. He was skating with a bottle of Becks in one hand and at the same time he was being chased by the stewards. At the same time Jeff was adding other great riders to the team like Simon Skip and a young talented skater called Chris Oliver. It was the sweetest day. The sun shone all day and we just lounged by our homemade pool. As the riders came down the hill, we handed them ice cold drinks. It was the weekend that everyone from Steve Peat to Junior just hung out with us.


Hick Double pocket long sleeved shirt made from organic cotton brushed oxford check.

ÂŁ29.00

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RUN DON’T WALK 1998 By ‘98 we had to face the awful truth that howies was growing but it still a real struggle as it costs a lot of money to grow a business. It was also a real struggle for Clare and myself. We still had full time jobs and yet we were running a business part time. At this time Simon was now coming up every Wednesday and Jeff was being paid to do 3 days a week. We were now selling in about 30 shops. The magazines were starting to write about us a lot and our ads and our teams were getting us noticed. We did the bike 97 show in London and almost sold out. At the time we had an American in-turn in called Geanette who could single handily do everything. I remember coming back from work at 10 pm the night before the show and Geanette, Clare, Gillian (a free spirited New Zealander who saved howies form going under because she set up some systems to get us out of the mess we were in) and Jeff were all folding shirts till dawn. For a short while Flying Brian came in to help out with running of things. But it was hard for Flying because we couldn’t afford to pay him real money and what with the traveling he decided to get a proper job (i.e. one he didn’t love). 1999 In the beginning of 99 Jeff returned. He had missed doing howies. And wanted to get involved again. By then we had gone with Projects to do distribution in Britain (Matt and Andrew). So Jeff’s main role was to organize the teams which was what he was brilliant at. He organized the sleep in the field tour, which meant driving from Scotland down to Cornwall and sleeping wherever they stopped (broke down) that night. By ‘99 the hard work was starting to bear fruit. The howies brand seemed to mean just as much to Britain. Nike was 12th. We put our thoughts onto T-shirts in the belief that if enough people thought like us, they would sell. And sell they did. The challenge for us was always to make people think as well as to buy. (that is the essence of the howies attitude) Around this time, I managed to persuade Mark Simmons to join forsaking its values. With this in mind, we made the decision to pull out of the majority of the shops that were sold in. We were growing too fast for our own good. We needed to sit down and work out what we wanted to do with thing brand we cared so much about. We had to spend time working on our functional clothing range. Just like we had set to do from the beginning. We also had to spend time putting in place the infrastructures and systems to enable us to handle growth. And we also had to spend time finding the right people to employ to help us be a professionally run company.

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NO LOOKING BACK 2000 In the summer of 2000 howies moved out of our house and into some new offices across the road. Looking back it was hard to see how four people survived and worked in the space the size of a table tennis table. Around this time, we took on a lad named Ian. He was into skateboarding and he travelled into London every day from Flitwick. Ian was in charge of getting stuff sent out to shops and dealing with mail order sales. By that time, Jeff was becoming less involved in howies. As we found out later, he was planning to go off and start his own thing. It was what he always wanted to do. It was sad on a personal level because we had done so much together. Sure, we argued like anything, but I always knew that was because we both had the passion.

2001 In January 2001 we decided to sell our house in London and move back to Wales. We had been planning to do so for so long. But Stella, our little daughter, had made our minds up for us. We moved in April. We found a great house on the River Teifi and we bought ourselves a canoe. While we were moving, we found time to produce our first proper mail order catalogue. It took us a while to find a home for howies and in the end we took part of an industrial unit on a pretty soulless business park. It didn’t feel like a howies place but it was all we could get at the time. Clare and I rattled around in the new office/warehouse for a while until we met Nic. He was hitching a lift with his girlfriend Lisa and I stopped to pick them up. I offered Nic a couple of weeks work in the school holidays (he was only 16 then). Anyway he came to help us out and stayed for the whole summer. Ian (who was still working for us from his home in Flitwick) decided that he didn’t want to move down here to join us, so he quit and Nic begged us for his job. After being interviewed by Nic’s mum to see if we were suitable employers, Nic jacked in school and we took him on.


PD Polo Striped short sleeve polo shirt in soft organic cotton, collar and cuffs in plain rib, howies embroidery on chest in contrast colour.

ÂŁ17.00 13


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WINNIE THE BRAVE

Ok, so our 1973 Winnebago Brave was beautiful. That pretty face! That beautifully chromed flank! That killer veneered interior panelling! The Red Indian kitsch on the walls alone was worth its substantial weight in unleaded fuel. But there were downsides. Sure, we weren’t clogging up the roads with a slow crawling, white plastic motor home and communing with the middle-of-the-road deep within us. We were barreling through the Irish lanes with the accompanying soundtrack of a 5.9 litre Chrysler V8 and feeling like things were just as they should have been. What was missing though, were the country and western soundtrack (the radio hasn’t worked since Woody Guthrie popped his clogs) and a sense of security and wellbeing. The steering ratio on the Winnie was scarily slack, the column wobbling alarmingly over every pothole from Pembroke to Oughtdarra. What was worse was that the drum brakes’ slow compliance meant you had to drive like a track cyclist on a busy city street, anticipating junctions, tight bends and the erratic nature of Irish drivers’ lane selection. But wasn’t that part of the charm? Who wants a vehicle dreamt up in a corporate focus group, designed to within an inch of its life by marketeers? The huge American engine, which was located just under the driver’s right elbow, belched out a steady stream of noxious fumes and enough decibels to drown out the sound of the overpriced Euros disappearing down the drain with every kilometre. The engine note, meanwhile, was something approaching that of a dragster, and the leaf sprung ride was vomit inducing. The Texas-scaled refrigerator didn’t work and we had to fill the radiator with Radweld after the first forty miles. Most scarily of all, the Winnie’s brakes failed almost completely after a late night wander on the Burren and we had been brought down to earth by the reality of immanent collision after contemplating the spin of the earth on the mystic limestone scar. But despite all of the above we loved our Winnebago. We think though, that she should be retired to grow old gracefully and used for spare accommodation in the back yard, perhaps giving her a run-out each summer when the roads are dry and the sun is out. You’re meant to enjoy the Winnie rather than simply drive it. And you can do that wherever she parks. She’s just so cool.

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Millie Dress A three-quarter sleeve version of the Jess dress with graphic floral print along hem designed by illustrator Millie Marotta, button opening at neck, wear as dress or wear over jeans.

ÂŁ29.00

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MAPPING OUT OUR SUCCESS 2002 In January 2002 we sent out our prospectus and business plan to friends mainly in the hope of raising some money to grow our company. The response was very encouraging. We got a dozen or so investors, many of whom were parting with their savings (one even offered the deposit for a house he was planning to buy) to help us live our dream. In February, Pete came to join us to do all our graphic design work. What a relief. We’d still been relying on favours from friends, but now we had someone in the office working with us all the time. Towards the end of February Sy-Jenq came down to shoot the 2002 catalogue. We had the MTB team down as well. It was a manic weekend, freezing cold, but we still managed to get some good shots. In the summer we all drove to London for an exhibition of the point of sale material that Carter Wong Tomlin designed for us. A collection of reclaimed junk wardrobes were transformed into some some cool shop display units by some really talented artists and illustrators. These wardrobes went on to win a bucket-full of awards including D&AD, Creative Review, New York Art Directors Club etc...Towards the end

of the summer, things started to change. We were struggling a bit. We had grown considerably, but we couldn’t manage the workload. Nic’s accident had made him see sense and he decided to go back to school to do his A’Levels. Gav also left us. Life as a salesman was stopping him from living the life he loved. He wanted to chill a bit and do some riding and maybe some travelling as well. For a while it was just Clare, Pete and myself. Then Clare left to have our second child. We took on Paul, a laid-back surfer to handle the mail order sales. In October, things were proving too much. We felt that we weren’t doing things properly, we were making mistakes, we were short-staffed, over-worked and very under-paid. I was doing everything from emptying the bins, filing bits of paper and paying bills. It seemed like we were just standing still. We never had the time to move beyond the day-to-day stuff and concentrate on the ideas that would grow our company. Over the next few weeks I started talking to some people who I had met who I knew could make a real difference, about the prospect of them coming to work with us. In November our second child Tessa was born. She was over two weeks late and decided to arrive on the day I was due to be in London to open our Cut Up Bikes exhibition. Apparently it was a good evening. When Tessa was just 10 days old, Clare and I started the first of many weekend meetings with our potential new team. Together we would design a new business plan that would require a serious level of investment to grow our company further.

www.howies.co.uk


Marley A classic crew-neck jumper that looks like a sweat. With a lambswool face and an organic cotton back, which gives it a marl effect.

ÂŁ129.00

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THE JOURNEY CONTINUES 2003 The talks continued through the early part of 2003 and we eventually put a proposal together to the bank and we applied for a Welsh Development Agency grant. Meanwhile Sushma, one of the team members, already started working for us on the design and production of our range. Our 2003 catalogue (our best yet) came out in April and the phones haven’t stopped ringing since. It was late February / early March when Adolfo came down to shoot it and this time the sun shone and shone. The bank took a great deal of time to come back with a ‘no’ to us, and the WDA still hadn’t agreed to our grant, so we decided to take things into our own hands and get the team down to Wales anyway. We’d spent so long chasing money that we weren’t focusing on growing the business. So Andrew and Adrian took a leap of faith and started making a move to join the company. By August the team was here. Adrian had to move his family from Bristol, and leave a job he loved running Mud Dock. Since August we have been getting ourselves organised, putting systems in place and working on new ranges. Currently we are working on a new range for spring/summer. Helen came back on board for a few months to design the women’s stuff and Marcus, an ex-Paul Smith production person is helping us perfect our men’s jeans It is now October 2003 and winter is on its way. We’re in for another cold winter in this freezing warehouse. But we’re looking forward to spring. We are moving into a beautiful old warehouse on the banks of the Teifi in the centre of Cardigan town. We also plan to open a little shop and cafe in the building. In February next year, howies will be launched in Selfridges in London. We also plan to open a shop or two of our own.

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WE’RE ALMOST THERE 2004 We were still in Parc house, Parc Teifi, another winter without heating. By now Andrew and Adrian were making their presence felt. Both myself and Clare had given them a hospital pass in business terms. We knew little about running a business, except we knew what kind of business we wanted to be. In short we were in a pickle. It seemed like we were always on the back foot. But slowly we got a grip of things. We finally persuaded the WDA that we worthy of a grant. Then our accountant phoned to tell us that he couldn’t find a cheque for £22,500. He wanted to know what we had done with it. We were pretty keen to know too. The cheque was from one of our investors and partly explained why money was so tight. We eventually proved that it had been put into Barclays bank Cardigan branch. Almost 14 months after depositing the money, Barclays gave us the money back. A mistake had been made. It nearly brought us to our knees. We would never receive a letter saying sorry. Maybe big companies don’t feel that’s important. Anyway, we moved on. By then we had given up on Barclays wanting to support us, so we turned to the ethical bank Triodos who we had to submit a detailed business plan for a loan. We were still a risky bet but they decided that the people around the table could do the things they said they could. It was first time a bank had stared us in the eye and said we trust you. It was a big day for us. Things were turning our way. And that kind of trust you never forget. Then we heard from Gid the next week. He said he had left Paul Smith and was taking some time out before making a decision about what he wanted to do next. He offered to help us out while he had some spare time for no charge. It was offer we couldn’t refuse. Before I knew it we were both on a plane to Hong Kong. We would do the winter collection on the Tuesday and the Spring collection on the Wednesday as were so far behind. We had to take what we could find on the shelf. Those two days with Gideon saved our company. Both Clare and myself knew that the stars shone on us that week, and we wouldn’t forget it. The winter catalogue 04 came out and the product looked great. We had something to sell. Pretty important, as they say. The winter was our best sales ever. Suddenly everyone was excited that we could make clothing. The thing we had struggled with if we were being honest. I had learnt you need a great designer and you need great factories. In Hong Kong Gid and I talked about the future. I told him that I would love to get him into howies but we just couldn’t afford it. I also knew we couldn’t afford to not do it. The crunch came when Gid was offered the top job at a famous brand. I knew we couldn’t compete. But Gid said in a phone call that he would prefer to do howies. Then we came up with the idea of Gid doing howies 60% of his time and he would do other projects as wel to make up the rest. It was the perfect answer. We could now make clothes. A big, big day.

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DENIM...about time too We’ve read the emails from our female customers: “When on earth are you going to make a women’s selvedge jeans?”, “How come only guys get to wear howies selvedge?”, “Are us ladies not deserving of your precious premium denim?”. We get it. Sorry. You’re probably more geeky than the fellas about that kind of stuff. So here you go, these are our first women’s selvedge jeans. They share the same name as their male counterparts – the Kaizen (Japanese for continual improvement). They also share the same attention to detail – the way they are woven the old fashioned way on narrow shuttle looms, from our very own organic plantation denim, with our very own ecru and cyan straight edge on the outer leg seam. This denim is unique in that it is naturally irregular. These little irregularities become more visible as the jeans fade and as they age they will develop their very own look and feel. The older they get, the more you will love them. They are tough too, so will last longer than normal jeans.

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We’ve dyed them using natural indigo dye, a process rarely used these days due to the time it takes to make – 10 months, from planting the seeds through to the finished dye. The yarn is then rope dyed in small batches, using a mixture of different shades, to create a depth of colour that can only be achieved with the use of pure indigo. These Kaizens are a classic loose fit. You could liken them to that favourite pair of your boyfriend’s jeans, the ones that fit you better than him, the ones that once you put them on he will never get back. Like most selvedge jeans, they will shrink when you first wash them, so they are cut to allow for this – a little bigger in the waist and slightly longer in the leg. Most folk here prefer to wear them unwashed for as long as possible though, rolling the hem up to show off that selvedge edge in a jazzy turn-up. What we have here are jeans where every stitch, every detail, every little feature has been considered and then reconsidered. We just wish we’d made them ages ago.


Cassius Zip Hoody Organic cotton brushed-back heavy-weight sweat with a soft sueded finish.

ÂŁ52.00

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WORKING THE KINKS OUT 2005 The spring catalogue came out on time. The clothing arrived just in time and we were about to have our strongest sales ever. That Wednesday in Hong Kong sure paid dividends. Even though we had secured a loan and a grant, we were still under-funded. The best part of 2005 would be spent trying to look for investment. It fell to Andrew to do the business plan. It was a mammoth task. Even for someone like Andrew who has a capacity for work like no other human I have ever met. It was like pulling teeth for sure but eventually we got there. We had to sign a series of documents in Costa Coffee which was the easy bit. Andrew, a legend at howies, had done the hard bit. At last we had some working capital, not enough, but some to help us grow. As a result of the Finance Wales money we hired Mike Jones as Managing Director to help us manage the business side of things. Our sales in 2005 went from £850, 000 to just over £2 million. For Cardigan Bay’s 3rd biggest clothing company that was some leap. Somehow we managed to move building in that time as well. Not sure how we pulled that one off as well. 2006 It is always hard to predict what a business will sell in any given year. But in 2005 we had over bought, even though we had doubled our sales. It meant we would start off on the back foot again. Our Spring Catalogue was mostly carry over stock from the winter. But somehow we got through it. And the now the little book of hope summer catalogue has just gone out. We have a new website and Of course there are plenty things that we would like to do better, but this is where we are as of now. Each day we come in and see if we can do it better. That’s all we can do.

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NBL Light LS Cut to hug the body, perfect for high-intensity exercise, subtle rib construction, tiny holes in the fabric means that it wicks moisture, regulates temperature and stays odour free, itchfree. Z-que accredited Merino.

ÂŁ49.00

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C OTTON less than perfect is just perfect

When you were a kid did you ever have a favourite t-shirt? One that you wore and wore until it almost fell apart. One that you snuck out of the dirty washing basket when your Mum wasn’t looking. Maybe it was your lucky t-shirt, or one you wore when you went on your holiday. The more you wore it, the more ice-cream, ketchup and fizzy pop you spilled down it and the more it had to go in the wash. But it got softer and softer with each wash. It lost its box fresh look, it went a little out of shape, the colour and the print (if there was one) faded and you just loved it more and more. Remember what it was like? It was as soft as your favourite teddy, it was as comfy as your Nan’s lap and, when your Mum brought it in off the washing line, it just smelled of summer. Well, when we got our hands on our new seventy-sixer range of t-shirts, vests and polo shirts, we were pretty excited. We first put them into the range because they have an environmental story. They are made from scraps of waste cotton that are left on the floors of factories and usually end up in landfill. But it wasn’t until we had a sample in our hands that we realized how great they were. The irregularity in the fabric makes them feel extra soft, but it also makes them look like they have been worn before. Plus it makes the shape look a little less than perfect, and we loved that. In fact we got all nostalgic and started reminiscing about our childhood clothes. That’s why we called them the seventysixer. Because 1976, that long hot summer of shorts, t-shirts and tip-tops, is the one we remember best from when we were kids.


Slate River Made from a 2.5-layer nylon ripstop fabric, which is lightweight but very tough, waterproof, breathable and quick drying. For active use, slim fit but with room for layers, fully taped seams, draw cord at hem, adjusters around hood, rubber adjusters on sleeves, reflective 3M print on chest, long welded mesh pockets on either side for ventilation

ÂŁ55.00

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Humbug Cardi Striped button-through cardigan, made from very fine lambswool.

£24.50

Dottie Short sleeve top with smocking along the chest, button front, quirky print based on the colour blind test.

£15.99

Humbug Hat Cosy, hand-finished chunky knit lambswool beanie style hat featuring a classic howies stripe.

£5.00


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Poppit Cardi Button-through v-neck cardigan with a polka dot print. Soft and lightweight, made from a mix of wool and natural bamboo.

ÂŁ24.50

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JACKETS Rule number 1. Get you home alive. This jacket really is the bee’s knees, the badger’s nadgers. You see, when you want a jacket for biking, there are certain boxes that you need to tick. So the bike heads here made our designers a list of the exact specs they expected (we only sent the final design to the factory once we had them all covered): Breathable Warm Waterproof Vented Reflective Adjustable Comfortable to ride in Lots of pockets for stuff Looks good (even down the pub) No hood thanks Black Made from Schoeller C-Change™ membrane, which opens as body moisture levels rise. Excess heat can escape into the outside air, keeping you cool no matter how steep the hill. Also, when you are cooling down, the structure of the fabric closes, retaining the heat directly at the body. It also has Schoeller’s amazing Reflex™ fabric around the collar and front arm panels – a stealth like reflective material that appears black in daylight.

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OUR DREAM COME TO LIFE 2007 As the founders of a company, you are always worrying about the company you started. It’s your baby. You are the parent. You watch it try to walk. You pick it up when it falls. No one cares about it like you. No one frets like a parent. Our answer was we wanted we wanted to do howies well so we would inspire others to follow us; to show everyone there is another way to do business. That was the dream. So although we valued our independence, it was more important to us to do howies well. To become a good example. That point was an important one for us to understand. So in early 2006 both Clare and myself realised that to do howies well, to do the dream, we would need more funding and this time it would take millions of pounds. All our savings had gone into howies. We knew we couldn’t give howies any more money. We didn’t have any more to give. Even though we had been lucky to find some funding through Finance Wales, we both felt getting further Venture Capital would put too much pressure on us to grow and, maybe, force us to start cutting corners that we would have found hard to live with. The money was on offer if we wanted it, but neither of us did. Our accountant begged us to not do any deal. Some of our key management were dead set against us doing anything. Some of our shareholders were trying to get other shareholders to vote against any kind of deal with anyone. But my question to everyone was this: if we carry on growing like this, how will we pay for that growth? One of the companies on the list was only interested in owning 100% of the company. That wasn’t for us. So pretty quickly, we were down to two on the list. Next, I wrote to Jeff (CEO) at Timberland. They were my big surprise when I was researching the companies. I knew a lot about them but as I found out more, it just got better and better. So I sent a letter along with a catalogue. The letter was short: “Hi Jeff, is there something we could do together. Be great to have a cup of tea and a chat”. No more than that. I didn’t get a reply so I figured it wasn’t something they were interested in. Looking back, maybe my letter could have said a little more. So then we entered into talks with a company that wanted to invest in companies that wanted to change the world. They assembled an amazing team of people. Then they made us an offer that we turned down. Then they came back with an improved offer. At that point we signed a piece of paper to say that we would only have talks with them. That is when it got serious. They flew people over to look us over so to speak. And over a year we would draw up a plan. We would work at howies by day and then go home and start the video conferences. It was exhausting. All this work led to us all doing a presentation over in Washington DC. It was nerve

wracking. Their boardroom table was lifted into the building by a crane as it was so long. But before we left for America, my friend (Ben) texted me to say not to sign anything as Timberland wanted to speak to us urgently. I thought he was joking. But then he rang back that night saying he wasn’t joking. But I told him that we weren’t allowed to speak to anyone until the exclusive talks agreement ran out. Our presentation was on the Thursday. The exclusive agreement ran out on the Friday. It was interesting times. I remember nothing of it at all about what I said. But by all accounts it went well. The head guy, along with his partner, asked some good questions. And both myself and Clare were very impressed by them. We walked out of the building not knowing what they thought. We were told they would let us know in a week. At dinner that night, we were told that the top guy thought it was the best brand presentation he had ever seen and had decided he wanted to do the deal. Over time, if it went well, he would invest $25-30 million. I just sat there and looked at Clare. It was interesting times. The next morning, we had to tell the people that Timberland wanted to speak to us. When we got back, we were asked to sign the ‘Washington’ deal. But we declined. Nor would we sign another exclusive agreement with them. It was a very hard decision for two reasons: The people who we would have gone into business with had become our friends. That is always hard; The other hard thing was we didn’t know what Timberland were going to say. But in order to talk to them, we had to turn the offer on the table down. We made the decision to turn the offer down even if Timberland didn’t work out. The reason was the money was too fast: they wanted us to grow too fast too quick. The next day we had a conference call with Ken from Timberland who was very bright and down to earth. We got on well. Within 24 hours they made us an offer. The earth tax was maintained. Creative control of howies was maintained. Being based in Cardigan was maintained. And just last week, Gid our designer resigned. It was increasingly hard for him to keep doing howies from afar. As we are growing, we need more time and input from people. And Gid, wanted to put his family life first. That is easy for a company like us to understand. And I need to pay respect to Gid for saving us when he made me get on a plane when we had no clothes in our range. A problem for a clothing company. And secondly, to thank him for giving our clothing a voice. So when you see something from us, it feels right. That is the hardest thing to do. I will always be grateful to him for that. So that is where we are as of today. Trying to build the team that will help us become more howies.

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howies速

360 Industrial Park Blvd Crazyville, UK 29847-2164 800-123-4500 www.howies.co.uk

**************************AUTO**5-DIGIT 99004 JANE DOE OR CURRENT RESIDENT 1234 W CRAZY LN CHENEY, WA 99004-2505


Howies