The last 12 months have been manic, not only dealing with covid, lockdowns, team isolating, working from home, Zoom and Google Meets on the hour every hour but managing our 300% growth, moving studio and building a new website.
The biggest change of the year has been managing our growth. We are now 300% bigger than we were this time last year and now offer bags and accessories to our design and production services. We also offer website and marketing support to our startup clients so that there isn’t any dilution of brand DNA from concept to launch.
We have remained in the charming market town of Berkhamsted, located in the beautiful Chiltern Hills, yet only 35 minutes from London Euston.
Our new studio not only provides much more space for the additional team members but it’s also a much more creative space than the previous studio.
We now have a dedicated meeting space which some call the crystal maze and a dedicated bike park to store the N+1’s.
We have installed a shower as we encourage the team to run or ride to work and we are starting a weekly run club to aid the team’s mental health, team build and collaborate ideas outside of the confines of the studio.
As a runner, cyclist and creative, I understand the benefits outdoors exercise offers your mind and many of my best ideas and team meetings have been conducted when my lungs are pumping, and my heart rate is +180bpm.
Our new office details are -:
BLUE ASSOCIATES SPORTSWEAR LTD
GREENE FIELD ROAD
BAGS & ACCESSORIES
Part of the expansion was to increase the products we offer from Sports apparel to now include Sports bags, luggage and accessories. This expansion again provides continued brand language and DNA across all products rather than our clients having to source their bags and accessories through another supplier.
This additional service has been very well received by our existing clients and we are already working on some incredibly innovative rucksacks and accessories to accompany the sports apparel we have in development.
WEBSITE, SEO, ADVERTISING & SOCIALS
Another aspect of the expansion was to help manage the launch process for our startup clients. All of our clients require a website, social platforms, SEO and online advertising and we found that often this aspect was diluting the brand language and DNA as they were being created by agencies that don’t understand sportswear.
Bringing this in house to a team that live and breathe our client’s brand and product for at least 12 months through the design and development process guarantees we fully understand your brand.
We are also an active team that understands sport and what the athlete goes through, be it cycling, running, rugby or simply going to the gym. This knowledge of the brand and consumer gives us an advantage when we create websites, adverts and managing SEO. It’s 2nd nature to us as a team as we simply “GET IT” as we are the target consumer for many of our clients.
SUSTAINABLE FABRIC GUIDE
Our web shop has also expanded to include a detailed guide of the most popular sustainable and recycled fabric technologies. This guide is available from our shop and offers a comprehensive guide that includes -:
- Sustainable, Natural and Vegan fabrics
- Sustainable semi synthetic fabrics
- Vegan and Synthetic fabrics
Animal derived fabrics.
The downloadable guide provides key facts about each fabric, its environmental benefits, the processes involved to produce them and the simple advantages and disadvantages of each fabric type.
Now that we have our own in-house web developer, we thought it was time we updated our website, not only to increase the usability and experience but to increase the SEO so we continue to grow.
The new website has been condensed and filtered to be much more user friendly and hopefully demonstrates our ability to design and build great websites.
Harper, (the office dog) has a new chum, Nadge who goes to work in the office next to us. The two have made friends and think they put the world to right most days. It must be exhausting work as 90% of the time is spent recuperating.
All in all, the busiest year to date since we launched in 1997.
I remain incredibly proud of the team and the work they generate and while we are getting back to some kind of normal with face-to-face meetings and days where the whole team make it to the studio without the need to isolate, I would also like to thank our clients for their support over the last 12 months and look forward to developing some more great kit over the next 12 months.