Gosh, the only problem with starting a small business is you end up doing everything yourself, which explains why I have not updated this section for some time. As we are soon to be launching a new exciting design I thought this would be a nice time to catch up on where we have been and where we are going, which has been a fantastic journey so far and could not have happened without you, my customer.
For those of you who have not been with me from the start or heard my story at the various exhibitions over the last couple of years, I wanted to let you know where it all started for those of you who may be interested.
About four years ago a good friend of mine who runs William Morris Eyewear in the UK asked me if I would be interested in selling his frames in Spain. Although we did not pursue this it did give me the idea of selling sports sunglasses. After a lot of research, I wanted to find a pair of sunglasses that would suit runners since I was one!
After testing what must have been around 20-30 pairs and getting my club mates to pick the style they liked best, we settled on the originals. The only problem then was to get them manufactured I had to buy 300 pairs, which was all I could afford and only in one colour. Fortunately, I was able to persuade Brian a friend of mine to buy 300 pairs in another colour Orange and so the company was built on 300 black and 300 orange.
The image is from our first little Expo in Spain with the original logo!
In regard to the name, we settled on Nakedrunner as I am a barefoot runner, which turns out to be very memorable.
Me training for the Veleta (50km all up hill)
At the time living in Granada Spain although fantastic for the weather had some draw backs when it came to selling to the UK as it tended to take 4 days to ship to the UK. I am pleased to say that no one complained. I also was very lucky to be part of a great club "Puente Verde" (Green Bridge) who supported me with virtually every member of the club buying a pair of our sunglasses. I was easy to spot as I was the only barefoot English runner in Granada!
Not long after this, I realised that I needed to go to the UK to make the business a success, which turns out was the right thing to do if I wanted to make this happen.
In the UK I added a few extra colours and my first new style the Urban Elite and although not strictly sports sunglasses, they did look cool.
Unfortunately, in the beginning, I realised that sunglasses for runners were very seasonal and if I did not develop I would need to find another job during the winter. I must admit that I was not keen on the idea, but I was lucky at this point to have been left a small inheritance to get me through the quiet times.
So I decided to redevelop the brand so that it became relevant to all sports, which I have to give particular thanks to Justin at the Cernis Collective who came up with the ND:R branding and we took this to our very first Tri Exhibition in London to see what would happen.
Suddenly, we found that cyclists loved our products too and not just runners I then knew we had a winning brand. Since that first exhibition, I have done so many more and have met so many great people who have helped promote my brand for nothing in return. I have learned why people like our sunglasses and how I can improve on them, which brings me to the next chapter and probably the most exciting.
Before I move on I did want to give a mention to all the people who have helped promote my brand, you will know who you are, many have come over to meet me at quite a few shows.
Special thanks to all the Ambassadors especially the Athletes who we have given their name to the sunglasses, in particular, Kerry, Mick, Dominic and Richard. Also, Rory who has bought every pair I have sold plus combinations and a big thank you to Louise Minchin who without me realising bought from me a year ago for her race for GB and still wears them with pride.
The next frames to be launched at the end of December will be very special as they will incorporate everything that makes the originals special but with design tweaks that will enable them to cross over to all sports and the leisure markets and are the beginning of a new era!