Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bugaboo Threadworks...A Nostalgic look into the past.

Holy Crap. A long time ago in a basement not so far away, Bugaboo Threadworks was born. It's early days were filled with industrial sewing repairs, screwing up zippers in peoples clothing and making cool bouldering stuff for me friends.

As the biz developed more and more people came to me to place orders for random things from compression sacks to throw bags to dog packs and duffel bags.

It took three years for me to actually assemble a list of items that I would make for people and when that happened the orders started rolling in. It seems as though there was a little market for custom made, hand sewn in the Koots products.

I had so much help from so many people to develop a line of cool and functional products. They offered assistance with shop space, photography, design and layout for our catalogue.

We tested tonnes of stuff and either watched it hold up to the rigors of abuse or saw if fall apart in a pile of cordura and stitching. It was fantastic. People rolled through the shop, hung out, played music, offered input and bought stuff.

I was contacted by the folks at Gripped Magazine, in their first year of publication I believe to send in some products for review. I put a haulbag, chalkbag and a 40L daypack in the mail and two months later saw my gear in an industry magazine. It was so unbelievably cool.

The haulbag I heard ended up in Yosemite with a bunch of dirtbags, with the chalkbag and pack staying in Ontario as cragging tools. I was so happy to see gear of mine across the country.

As things unfolded my attention turned mostly to custom lightweight climbing and ski packs. I never really made any money on them after the loads of hours I spent tweaking ideas and the designs but it sure did create inspiration within me like I had never felt before.

Eventually I got the point where orders were exceeding my capable delivery schedules and I needed to make the choice of go big or bust. At the time we were thinking of a family, buying a house and requiring a steady cash flow, something which BTW did not always consistently offer.

We chose to close the business while we were ahead. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.

I still get asked regularly if I can repair stuff or make random things for people. "Do you still have a machine?" is asked about four times a month and I unfortunately say no.

Bugaboo Threadworks offered flexibility, constant creativity and seat of your pants problem solving. It was exciting, and adventurous. Scary and exhilarating.

These days I seem like I live on cruise control. The creativity in my life seems lost, routine has created complacency.

I need a new vision, something that will excite me and instill passion as I once had.

There are ideas...but do I take the plunge and the financial risk? I want nothing more.

Cover art for the BTW 2002 catalogue.

1 comment:

Gussy said...

My motto in life is "Live with no regrets" So if your going to have a regret about anything that your considering, make it that you went in, tried hard and came out smarter. I am sure that the previous experience with BTW has taught you lots that you can bring in to new adventures. I am totally sure that i would be there to help in any way possible, wether it be beer, computer help or building shit.

Remember your the badass! :P