April 29, 2019
Behind the Scenes: The Story Behind Our New Ultrex 6 Panels
Here’s a fun fact: we intended to bring these hats to you somewhere between one and two months ago. Unfortunately, as is apparent, things didn’t go to plan this time around. But before we get into that, let’s rewind to the first week of the year.
After taking a much needed week off after the holiday rush, Jake and I held a meeting in which we decided that for the first time ever, it was time to get really organized. Rather than dive headfirst into a full year with a general understanding of our goals but no specific roadmap, we put together a month by month plan that we hoped would get the brand firing on all cylinders. By mid-February, we were in great shape. We had these Ultrex hats planned, fabric on the way to our factory, and high expectations. Potentially too high.
Scratch that. Definitely too high.
After waiting for nearly two months for our samples to come back, we finally received them only to be frustrated by design choices made on the production floor. Luckily, Jake had already grown tired of waiting for our samples to arrive, causing him to dive deep into one of those “internet holes” he’ll venture down from time to time. This time, he was on the hunt for another hat factory that’s U.S. based and could offer similar pricing and quality, but with quicker or at least more consistent timelines. After identifying a handful of decent, but not perfect options, he eventually found the holy grail of hat factories, something I’ll admit to doubting existed.
Eager to see what this new factory was capable of, we tied them into a custom project we had underway at the time, and let them take a crack at a sample. In a matter of days, that "test" sample was delivered to us, and it looked amazing. Feeling pretty confident, we took a proverbial deep breath and sent them one of our hat samples to reference, as well as the supplies needed to create another. Then, UPS lost the shipment, expensive one-of-a-kind sample and all. To make matters worse, the package was missing for a about a week before either Jake, I, or the factory even realized it. Frustrated by a second stroke of misfortune, we filed a claim with UPS and sent a second round of supplies to the factory, hoping for the best.
Then, the best happened. First, this new factory was able to fuse a tricot mesh lining to the backside of the Ultrex fabric, something that we weren’t sure would be possible. Immediately the quality of the piece skyrocketed past our initial sample. With the addition of the tricot laminate, we’d found a way to both give the hat a moderate amount of structure while also creating an additional membrane to protect the Ultrex fabric from sweat and oil. About a week later, our high expectation we met when we received the sample in the mail. From there, it was easy to pull the trigger on a production order, finally pleased with the product we wanted to bring to market.
At this point you might be wondering why we’re telling you all of this. Chances are, you were expecting to read a sales pitch about these new hats, and not the story of their creation. Well, there are ultimately two reasons we settled on this approach. First, as you know, we’re a brand that prides ourselves in transparency and honesty. As such, we find no shame in sharing the struggle that went into producing these hats.
The second reason follows a similar train of thought: we want to share what it’s actually like to try something new. As we hope you’ll begin to notice in the weeks, months, and of course years to come, our goal is for Hemetic to become a brand that supports ambitious individuals in their endeavors. We have a lot planned on that front, but for now, we hope sharing simple but true stories such as this one will “lift the veil” so to speak, and show you that while there are challenges involved with nearly all endeavors, there’s no feeling quite like the one you get when you accomplish something difficult. It’s the feeling Jake and I got the moment we opened our delivery of these hats, and its one that we hope to experience countless more times in the future. As for you, well, we hope you’ll be bold enough to face your challenges too, no matter what they might be.
Oh, and one last thing. Huge shout out to our guy Pete Cirilli for helping us line up lifestyle shots of these hats! If you haven’t already, definitely check out the interview we did with him a couple years back, as well as his portfolio and Instagram account!
Until Next Time,