One Year Of Cove
Hey there Cove family! Whether you are already a part of Cove's community, or this is your very first time stumbling across our brand, we're so happy to have you. It's Tom here, the founder of Cove and I simply cannot believe that this all started a whole year ago. What a year it has been. Since the outset, my ambition was to create a sustainable clothing brand that wasn't afraid to do things differently. It's been one hell of a journey!
I personally want to say thank you to my family, friends and each and every person alike for supporting me through this relatively terrifying adventure. Without your amazing support and belief in Cove, none of this would have been possible!
Here's a BTS overview of Cove's life to date!
The Big Idea
It was simple really. Be better than the rest in every possible way.
First and foremost, the ambition was to create truly sustainable products that people absolutely love. That was clearly the fundamental piece of the puzzle, however Cove was always going to be bigger than just sustainable clothing. In a world where we all need some more positivity, I set about creating a community ethos of breaking through barriers and being better than before.
Whilst back at University, I stumbled upon a fantastic family run manufacturer who were incredibly supportive of my idea and willing to help out.
We worked together to craft our first ever Cove 'Original Tee' and placed an order of 30 units (whilst I maxed my student overdraft!). It felt like the big idea was becoming somewhat of a reality although I had absolutely no idea what was in store...
Our First Photoshoot & New Website!
After receiving our first ever bulk order, we needed product photos to go up on our new website. After persuading my girlfriend, and bribing her housemates to model with hot chocolates, I dusted off my unused camera and botched together my first ever photoshoot. The following day Cove's new website went live!
Although it took a while sell the first t-shirts, having real products to sell and a growing online presence set solid foundations for what was to come. The next steps for growth was new products, content and investment. A staple sweatshirt was my next goal, however a global pandemic and a scam laden manufacturer had other ideas. With worldwide supply chains frozen and a legal settlement action to attempt to try and retrieve my invested capital, things suddenly took a turn for the worst.
However, in the spirit of our own brand ethics, we kept going, found a new supplier and placed an order for a summer range of t-shirts. We branched out into new colours as well as a men's and a women's range. By this point, one of my best friends from school had joined the team and things looked on the up. We were so excited to receive our first bulk delivery of our new stock, but a misunderstanding at our new local printers left us with 500 tees that weren't quite right. Back to square one!
Summer Time Progress
By Summer things were on the up! We finally received our perfect bulk order of our summer tees alongside our first ever graphic tee - 'Born To Be Outdoors' which proved to be a best seller! After weeks of planning and a 400-mile road trip, we linked up with the fantastic Grace Elizabeth and ran our first professional photoshoot. It was a really proud moment for me to see the work we had put in come to life and we were overwhelmed with how incredible Grace's photos were.
Soon after we began releasing the images across social media we hit 1k followers on Instagram - a target I had set for the end of the year. Thanks to our expanding audience and with the help of friends re-sharing, sales reached over £1k for the first time in a single month.
Refocus & New Products
Off the back of a successful summer t-shirt range, it was time to properly establish ourselves with new products. This was an absolutely crucial moment for us and one we could not afford to get wrong. Whilst the new t-shirt styles launched and sold well, we focused all of our attention on finalising our new design and sourcing the most sustainable manufacturers possible. Feeling confident about our new designs and prototypes we placed an anxious 5 figure and crossed our fingers it would all work out.
Despite the need for a monster 1,500 mile round-trip (that was only possible thanks to my two best mates), we made it to Godrevey for a big production shoot complete with several content creators, drones and a very cool classic VW camper-van. How we made it, with our stock and pulled it off I do not know but that is a story for another day! The whole team involved were fantastic and an absolutely joy to work with. Local photographer Callum smashed it whilst heading up the shoot and Matt impressed me so much we've ended up working in a new business together alongside Grace!
To make things even better, we were absolutely over the moon with the products themselves. Not only did they have a truly premium feel and a great fit but the colours were spot on. Things were finally on track!
In an effort to go a step further, we introduced a new initiative called BUY PLANT DONATE. Throughout this campaign, for every sale we will plant 10 trees and donate one of our products to charity. It is a huge commitment and one that certainly puts the community and planet before profit, but one to which we are absolutely committed.
Ending the Year on a High
Despite the challenges which 2020 posed, we were determined to end the year on a high. Immediately following the launch of the Autumn range, we began designing and curating our Winter range. Comprised of beanies, long awaited sweatshirts, joggers and even a sustainable water-bottle, this new range is our biggest and best yet. It looks as though comfy casual-wear is here to stay and the support so far for our range has been pretty overwhelming!
None of this could have been possible without the support of the entire community or my family and friends. For your support I am incredibly grateful. I am really proud of the, brand, community and ethos that we have managed to build together over the last year.
Here's to 2021.