Five years ago, Po Campo dropped off its first bags at a handful of Chicago stores. It felt like a huge achievement to get to that point, but that was only the beginning. Did we know what we were getting into when we launched our company? Definitely not. See our highlights (and some lowlights) below, and then join us at our Birthday Party on July 11.
2009 – Here We Go!
Our first delivery was to Roscoe Village Bikes, who has reordered every season hence. We still had our full-time jobs, so this was a quick drop-off over lunch break. Nothing makes you feel like you’re “in business” like having product for sale in a real store.
2010 – Gaining Momentum
Just one year later, we started exporting our stylish biking bags to the Netherlands, Germany and Japan, where we were soon to be spotted in the iconic department store Tokyo Hands. We’re featured in the New York Times and Susan Sarandon buys a bag.
2011 – Speed Bumps
Screech! The bags aren’t selling as well as hoped and a whole bunch of orders are cancelled. My founding partner decides to move on and I hunker down to figure out how to right Po Campo’s course. The year ends on an encouraging note and I *finally* quit my job.
2012 – The Learning Year
Lots of changes this year, from establishing our first warehouse, to hiring our first employees to experimenting with new product types. I call it my “learning year” because of all the lessons associated with taking on so many new things. Good lessons for a strong future!
2013 – Making a Difference
From spotting Po Campo bags almost daily in Chicago, to being invited to participate in Wilco’s music festival, to partnering with World Bicycle Relief to equip girls in Africa with bikes, I felt like we are finally starting to catch our stride.
2014 – Revving Up
Okay, this year is only half over but I can already tell it’ll be the best year yet. We have a successful Kickstarter campaign (155% funded!) under our belt and the awesome Bike Share Bag on the streets as an outcome. The press loves the bags, and us, and we’ve been featured in everything from the Chicago Tribune to the Huffington Post. There are lots of great products in the pipeline that we can’t wait to share with you, and it feels so good to be hitting the five year mark with such momentum.
Mostly, though, I want to thank you, or loyal supporters and fans, for your help to get us to this point. It wasn’t until I became a small business owner that I truly understood home important your support and encouragement is to the health of us little guys. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. We’re looking forward to another 5 great years together!
Lastly, for those in Chicago, please join us at our 5 year celebration!
July 11, 2014 from 6 to 8:30pm
at Heritage Bicycles, 2959 N. Lincoln Ave
RSVP on our Facebook Page