An Open Letter to OLY Customers
As we move into our third year of business, we are taking time to reflect on how OLY has evolved from a small business I started whilst at University to the present day company it has become. In our first open letter, we would like to give you an insight into our recent progress, some of the trials and tribulations and how close we’ve come to achieving our mission statement.
With all businesses small and large, milestones represent progress, development and quantifiable success. For the OLY team, 2018 brought many opportunities and challenges whilst at the same time creating our most fulfilling year of business to date. As a young company we were expecting nothing less. As we’ve grown, so has our reach, our customer base, our responsibility and our identity.
Starting with the trials, 2018 was the year we almost lost OLY Clothing. Receiving a frivolous litigation letter from a large scale international PLC in early January was our first experience of how brutal the world of business can be. The aim was to force us to change our name and logo, thereby limiting the parameters in which we could operate. For 5 months we fought to keep our identity and the company alive. At any moment during this period we were one letter away from liquidation and the end of the OLY dream. Through unbeknown forces, a dash of luck and the goodwill of certain individuals, we managed to cling on by our fingertips and continue the mission. Seeing the results of our hard work almost slip away from us motivated us to do whatever it took keep OLY on track.
As I mentioned beforehand, there have been tribulations too.
We succeeded in distributing more than 3000 items of OLY clothing worldwide, reaching 11 more countries including Hong Kong, Russia, Canada and Mexico. We were excited and proud to see our clothing worn and photographed at 4 of the 7 Wonders of the World. 2018 also saw our first participation in events in Scotland and London.
We developed beneficial partnerships with like-minded groups and businesses,
including 2 National governing bodies in Northern Ireland Powerlifting and Northern Ireland Volleyball.
We also collaborated with an online nutritional food store, EatNakedNi and GoFYT– an incredibly useful platform which I personally believe could be the ‘Facebook’ of health and fitness.
Of particular importance to us is our involvement in ZGBTST – Zach Geddis Break The Silence Trust, a trust formed in the loving memory of Zach Geddis who sadly took his own life just over a year ago. The trust aims to raise awareness of suicide prevention.
Most recently, we reached new heights by setting up a partnership with the International Functional Fitness Federation, an international organisation aiming to make functional fitness an Olympic sport. Above all else, working with these bodies and groups allows us to pursue our mission statement of “Spreading the message of health fitness and wellness to as many people as possible” while aiding the growth and development of non-funded groups with similar goals through apparel sponsorship, platform exposure and creating opportunities through contact links and other methods.
We added 3 new individuals to our highly regarded elite athlete team and 3 more ambassadors to our family. We had 2 athletes on the CrossFit Regionals floor, 2 on the Commonwealth Games floor and 1 on the International Powerlifting floor, all of whom we supported through funding or sponsorship.
We recently brought onboard our first full-time executive Kevin Devitt whose role as Head of Marketing will energise the company and bring us closer to realising the possibilities of the OLY brand.
Wholesale and custom apparel milestones include supplying over half the CrossFit Gyms in Northern Ireland with apparel for their brand. This further spreads our message and creates valuable additional exposure.
Pursuit of the Mission Statement
This is unquestionably the most important factor in our business.
Many people are yet to see the full extent of what we have in store to spread the message of health, fitness and wellness. In fact, very few people realise OLY Clothing is 1 part of a 5-part initiative that, through this mission statement, aims to combat the issues related to sedentary lifestyle and chronic disease. This upcoming year we aspire to roll out our educational content. We hope to make health and fitness updates readily available through video and blog format which will be highly informative to the reader.
I’m hoping this open letter will give you an idea of where we’re at now as a company. We will continue to tirelessly push the boundaries on what a clothing company can do and be relentless in making OLY the best it can possibly be.
Lastly, thanks must be shared with you. None of this would be possible without your support. I consider it an absolute pleasure to be part of such a positive community and business environment. The people we have met and relationships we have formed will last a lifetime, and in the grand scheme of things, we’re only getting started!
I leave you with the company motto,
Small Victories, Repeated Daily.
Thank you for your time,
Louis Pearson – Founder & Director