TIME TO WEAR OUR HEART ON OUR SLEEVE. OR TORSO.
It's been a whirlwind year here at Boredwalk HQ, and in lieu of our regular email format our co-founder Meredith thought it might be fun to structure this missive like a family holiday letter updating you on all the things that have transpired in Boredwalkland over the course of 2021. What follows are the fruits of that directive!
Pipe down, Hanks! If I can sit through all five hours of Forrest Gump AND Castaway, YOU can read a few paragraphs of humorous asides!
2021 entered with a bit of a whimper and a bang. There was the post-election hangover, the January 6th insurrection, and the still-distant promise of Covid-19 vaccines.
Undeterred, Meredith and I began work on fleshing out an idea that took the form of Boredwalk's first attempt at publishing — The Grievance Journal. We initially had 1,000 copies produced, thinking it'd take about a year to sell that many. Two weeks later and we were sold out. Ruh-roh!
A quick replenishment order later and we were back in business. Never ones to rest on our laurels, we also found time to release some new shirt designs that quickly rose through the ranks and became some of our most popular pieces ever. Huzzah!
It wasn't all sunshine and rainbows, though. (Is it ever?) Growth usually means growing pains, and Boredwalk was in no way immune! We struggled to keep pace with demand, hired some people, lost some people, hired some more, lost some more, all while dodging respiratory droplets and doing our utmost to keep everyone at Boredwalk HQ safe and Covid-free.
Let's see...six paragraphs in, and zero mention of supply chains? Let's rectify that! Insulating Boredwalk — and by extension, Boredwalk customers like YOU — from the impact of supply chain break downs was a full-time job in and of itself in 2021. Last winter it was black hoodies. This past summer it was tank tops. Because who wears hoodies in cold weather and tank tops in warm weather?
This past fall it was kitchen towels. Oh right — this is a great opportunity to mention that we had some success transferring Meredith's very funny tweets onto stylish, absorbent dish towels in October, and our resulting 3-piece towel sets became a massive hit.* Again, huzzah...but only for as long as we had towels to print on! Thankfully our team was able to stay on top of the manufacturer and get plenty of blank towels in before the shortage became too dire.
*Please do NOT reply to this email asking us to print our towel designs on t-shirts. Like "fetch," it is never going to happen. We have more new tee designs coming soon, but our tweets are much too verbose to make sense on shirts. Exhibitionists aside, no one wants strangers staring at their chest for an excessive amount of time.
We are still working on filling some spots on our staff, but we really feel like 2022 could be Boredwalk's year if everything breaks right and nothing goes amiss! That's a thing that could happen, right? Right?!?
Considering I'm typing this four days into being felled by Omicron (don't worry, Meredith and I have been quarantining in isolation at home to avoid infecting the rest of the staff or sending Covid-filled tees, tanks, and hoodies to you and the rest of our fans), 2022 can only improve on how 2021 has ended.
So what's in store for Boredwalk in 2022? If we have our druthers, lots of fun stuff! Meredith and I just finished our roadmap development session on Wednesday and have plans to introduce fun new products including more books, more towel sets, new apparel designs, possibly new shirt styles, other new product categories, a resumption of regular Boredwalk podcast episodes, and new ways to experience Boredwalk.
It's a lot, and not all of it will come to fruition — reality likes to thwart us at every turn — but we'll be sharing the roadmap with the rest of the Boredwalk team over the next couple weeks to ensure everyone is on the same page and rowing in the same direction. Hopefully we don't go down with the ship!
Alright, Hanks — that wasn't so bad, was it? Anything you'd like to say as we wrap this up and send our readers on their merry way?
I'll take it!
Before I sign off and let you get to your A Christmas Story marathons and spiked nog and figgy pudding and yule logs and taking down of the Festivus pole, I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge and honor some of the people who helped make Boredwalk's 2021 successful.
A big shout out is in order for co-founder Meredith for her vision and determination, Operations Manager Marlene for being the glue that held this rickety dinghy together through some very treacherous seas, Production Supervisor Noemi for being a patient teacher to our newer production team members, Customer Service & Shipping Supervisor Robert for becoming an integral member of the team so quickly after coming aboard, Isabella for doing the same in the CS/Shipping department, and Adam, Ellie, and Chad in the Production Department for their flexibility and positive attitude as our small business faced a seemingly endless string of challenges and obstacles this holiday season.
Finally, thank YOU, dear reader, for being a part of this journey with us. It's only thanks to the continued support of folks like you that the cast of characters listed above — myself included — are gainfully employed. We appreciate the hell out of you, and look forward to continuing to entertain and amuse you in 2022 and beyond.
If you've already opened some of your gifts and received either cash or a handy Boredwalk e-Gift Card and are looking for some cozy, stylish threads, don't forget to take 10% off orders of $100 or more with the code YAY10. Also don't forget that orders of $75 or more ship for free within the US!
Alright! We'll be back in your inbox Monday with a new Boredwalk Community Q&A, some famous birthdays, a random holiday or two, and other assorted entertainment!
Here's to a calm weekend and a (hopefully) better year ahead,