To our incredible community,
We hope you continue to remain healthy, safe and sound with your loved ones. I'm emailing to give you an update as to what we've been up to the past eight weeks as a small business.
Grab a cup of coffee, and let me tell you a story :)
Two years ago, we embarked on an incredible journey - of design, creativity and risk. Our community is so important to us so we've always encouraged an open line of communication. With that, comes tons of feedback, product ideas and everything in-between. Of all the product ideas that frequently passed our way, a boxing shoe designed with women in mind popped up everywhere - from Instagram comments, to DMs, to emails. Nine prototypes and many wear testing sessions later, the day finally came to reveal all the hard work.
We were ready to launch in March 2020, and our team had worked so incredibly hard several months prior to gear up for the launch. And then CV-19 happened.
We were, and still are, devastated in so many ways as to how this impacted not just the Society Nine community - from trainers, to our customers and gym owners. But more simply put, our literal and proverbial neighbors; our fellow human beings, far and wide. Safety, health and survival became our operating focus in March as well as giving back to the community. We wanted to use any and all resources we had as a small business to ensure that we could do all we could to help.
We quickly shifted our Society Nine Community Fund to be allocated towards donating to Feeding America and Meals on Wheels - since we started doing this mid-March, our monetary contributions have provided over 17,000 meals to date to those most vulnerable to food insecurity during the pandemic. $20 of every Society Nine tee and tank purchase goes towards both organizations.
We've pulled together volunteers in our local Society Nine community including some of us on the Society Nine team to sew masks for domestic violence shelters in our local community. The pandemic has accelerated an unanticipated rate of domestic violence cases in shelters across the country and we quickly wanted to provide comfort and some modicum of security - even if in just a small way, such as a mask which as we've all seen has become a product of luxury in of itself - to another vulnerable community that rarely gets covered in the media. We've donated almost 200 masks to date for adults and children.
We decided to launch the shoe after thoughtful consideration, and after speaking to the people we trusted most - our customers. After speaking to a random focus group of our most loyal customers in our database to ask them how they would feel if we launched a product in the middle of all this, we decided it was the right time. What mattered to us the most was that our customers felt heard, supported and included in this decision. Being mindful of optics was paramount in this decision.
As a team of four, we're incredibly passionate about what we do at Society Nine - but none of this would matter if you weren't here to be a part of this with us.
As of today, thanks to your Kickstarter pledges towards the Society Nine Eos High Top, we're already 71% of the way to our campaign goal of $35,000. This $35,000 ensures that we can finally pick up where we left off earlier this year - which was ready to go into final production and launch. We have all the raw materials ready to go, but we need this $35,000 to meet the deposit to put the shoe on the production line.
With Kickstarter, you do not receive funding unless you hit the goal - so for those of you who believe in us and what we do, and chose to pledge your hard earned dollars our way - thank you so very much. We are unbelievably grateful. We hope you'll consider sharing our campaign with your fellow training partners, fashionista sneakerhead friends and the strong women in your life who are looking for their own armor so that we can guarantee we meet that goal. As the first to rock the shoe, shipping is included (US only) in your pre-orders for the shoe. You can share the campaign here. We are so close to hitting that goal, and we are so appreciative of your social media blasts and word of mouth sharing.
Thank you for writing a future with us, and for enabling us to create a brand that goes beyond the fight in a gym or the ring - we fight for our communities too. We have been committed to that since day one of our existence, and we commit to you that will always be a part of our core values.
As a team, we'll be here for you if you need anything - a cheerleader, a supportive ear, a virtual hug. We'll stand by you and be in your corner for as long as we're around.
Take care, and sending the biggest (virtual) hugs.
Founder, Society Nine