Happy six year anniversary! Another crazy year of running this brand full-time. My 2 guest bedrooms, 2 hallways, and garage literally can't fit anything else. We have to stock some of our overflow inventory in the back of the shopping mall locations. This year was different in a good way, trying to balance work life and personal life with our newborn Violet, as the year flew by faster than any previous year. We slowly worked into a new work schedule after having a solid one set for a couple of years that worked for us personally. This year we had growth month over month, product variety, more significant collaborations, and more shows stateside. The amount of work I can get done in a business day would have taken me weeks to do years ago. So much has happened this year, so I'll have to break it up month by month.
December - Ovrdue collaboration, Car Drugs collaboration, Klean Exhibition [Myrtle Beach, SC], mega giveaway, Christmas giveaway
January - Errors collaboration, Discord launch, new years sale
February - Klean Exhibition [Charlotte, NC], valentines giveaway, we the north giveaway, graffiti style logo
March - Battlegang collaboration, Malice collaboration, Foundry shopping mall location move, St. Patrick's day sale
April - Gandamugang collaboration, Riverside [Chattanooga, TN], Lowchella [Edmond, OK], Freedom Scene [Cherokee, NC], 420 sale
May - Dasai collaboration, Season Opener [Calgary, AB], Driven Show [Calgary, AB], Tunerspirit Show [Calgary, AB], Slammedenuff [Charleston, NC]
June - Saskatoon shopping mall location, Driven Show [Edmonton, AB], skateboard drop, summer giveaway
July - SS22 collection, Slammed In The Smokies [Sevierville, TN], 4th of July sale
August - Out Of Luck collaboration, Circa 96 collaboration, Redline Sorority [Calgary, AB], Klean Exhibition [Savannah, GA], Illmotion [Calgary, AB], Save The Scene [Wilmington, OH], summer giveaway
September - Ovrdue collaboration, Kazoku Season Ender [Calgary, AB], labor day sale
October - Circa 96 collaboration, Premeet [Sevierville, TN], Slammedenuff [Gatlinburg, TN], Klean Exhibition [Myrtle Beach, SC]
November - FW22 collection, Klean Exhibition [Greenville, NC], Black Friday sale, mega giveaway
To start the business year in December, we worked on an anime collaboration with our good friend Ovrdue. I always wanted a mascot for the brand other than our main skull coffee design, Himari-Kai was created. We had 2 giveaways with a bunch of different brands and boothed Myrtle Beach, SC, for our final show of 2021. We then worked on another collaboration with Errors from Toronto, as I have been trying to do at least one collaboration piece per month. In January, we launched our Discord channel for supporters to have a space to get together and hang out. There are way too many of you to create just one group chat, so Discord was the perfect platform to make a full-size community that anyone can join and be active. I took a quick ski trip with my family in February to Sun Peaks, BC. Nice to get away from work, relax and refresh since it's so easy to get burnt out these days. We boothed Charlotte, NC, for our first show of 2022 and participated in 2 more giveaways. In March, Foundry found out they would be relocating in the shopping mall, so I helped them move their entire storefront. The new location is a bit smaller than the old one, but they gave me a whole wall, so it turned out to be better for us. Being smaller, it looked more full and cozy, so personally, I prefer the new location. We did a floor mat collaboration with Battlegang from Baltimore, MD, and a new collection with Malice from Orlando, FL. The weather got nice in April, so USA shows were back up and running at full force. Chattanooga, TN, Edmond, OK, and Cherokee, NC, were back to back to back weekends, making for a lot of planning and content coming back in. I have staff that run the booths in USA for us, so all we do up here is prep the merch, ship it down, make sure booth cars know where to meet up, and hope for a successful show day. In May, we had 3 local shows in Calgary, AB, also back to back to back weekends, and had our USA staff booth in Charleston, NC.
Dasai, based in Melbourne, Australia, asked us to be a part of their Mochi helmet collection. They put our logo onto small sticker sheets with other reputable brands in the scene so people could customize their helmets with our stickers. Saf Clothing Co opened a brick-and-mortar store in Regina, SK, so we wholesaled orders to her for resell. We then drove up to Edmonton, AB, for another show weekend. One of the world's biggest shopping malls is in Edmonton, so we always check it out after the show. Sullys asked us to make skateboards for their shop, so we did a limited run of authentic maple skate decks. It was fun doing a unique product that I would have never done without their guidance. In July, we had our first of two collections of the year, our Spring Summer 22 collection. 5 new hoodies, 5 new shirts, 10 new hats, 10 new accessories, and 5 new sticker designs. Our USA staff boothed another show in Sevierville, TN. August seems to be our busiest month for online sales, shows, and collaborations. Out Of Luck took over our Instagram page, and we made a camping chair, 5 shirts, and 5 hoodies. Circa 96 did a movie-style shirt, and we were on the design with a few other brands. We had 2 local shows in Calgary, AB, and 2 more in the USA with Savannah, GA, and Wilmington, OH. We took a few days off in September to fly to Vancouver for me and Cameo's wedding anniversary. Another much-needed refresh and restart after a crazy August.
We committed to Slammedenuff Gatlinburg for one of the biggest car shows in North America. Last year we had Violet around the same time, so this year, I promised my USA staff and internet friends that we would come to help run the booth and meet everyone. I shipped 10 boxes to them, and we made 200 show-exclusive shirts for the show. When it came to the show weekend, we took 4 check-in suitcases and stuffed them with 100 shirts each. All of our carry-ons were full of extra small goods and stickers. The flights to Gatlinburg were long, with a bunch of layovers. Calgary to Toronto, Toronto to Atlanta, Atlanta to Knoxville, Knoxville to Gatlinburg. We ended up flying with Luminous Tints there, who booked the same flights as us. After about 14 hours of travel, we finally made it to Gatlinburg on Thursday, 2 days before the show. We did a few touristy things like the suspension bridge and downtown before going to our mansion to meet some of our people. It's crazy to meet people in real life that you've been talking to for years online or over the phone but never met in real life face to face. The tattoos are indeed real and permanent. The next day we did a few more touristy things like Anakeesta, the world's largest knife store, gem mining, and a few local restaurants. Saturday, we got to the show at 8 am to set up. We got there a little late, so our staff had already set up our booth. The show itself was INSANE. 40,000 spectators and 500 of the cleanest stance cars from all over North America. We had a long lineup at the booth on both days, selling out of mostly everything. We had 8 people running around at the booth talking to people, getting sizes, working the card machine, taking in cash, or grabbing an item from the back. I signed 50+ autographs and took photos with some of my biggest supporters over the years. Without these internet friends, the brand would not be what it is today. After flying back home 14 hours the Monday, we took a few days off to recover. We will 100% be coming back next year; it was a movie.
I needed to prep for the second drop of the year, our Fall Winter 22 collection. 3 new jackets, 6 new hoodies, 2 new shirts, 12 new accessories, and 5 new sticker designs. Our USA staff finished the month off with 2 more shows in Myrtle Beach, SC, and Greenville, NC. After a highly successful FW22 drop, we're prepping for the annual Black Friday Cyber Monday sale. Always a historic weekend in sales and revenue for e-commerce since we only do a few sales yearly. Then the Christmas season comes around, and the shopping mall locations sell out of everything I stock. Soon we plan to do a giveaway for something unique, like a mini fridge, gaming console, or a set of wheels.
Overall, 2022 was the best year of my life. We watched Violet grow into a toddler, and Cameo quit her day job to help me run the brand. We had consistent online orders and purchase invoices for the 3 shopping mall locations. We met our staff and closest supporter in Gatlinburg, TN, finally putting together faces to names or Instagram handles. Various new and unique accessories were sold this year, including herb grinders, chopsticks, torch lighters, tote bags, and cutlery sets to name a few of our favorites. Making new products that you would never think we would do is half the fun of being in this industry. 30,000 orders, 3 retail locations, 33 countries, 23 vendor booths, 15 tattoos, and countless friends all over the world. I have no idea what's in store for 2023, but I can't wait. Thank you for sticking along and supporting me these past 6 years. I started this as a kid with an idea, and now I'm an adult with a kid. Every one of you has made a difference personally or business; I would not be where I am without all of you and your continued support. From our family to yours, thank you. 2016- forever.
- Brandon Yuen