Post Sea Otter April 23 2012
Sea Otter was a really great event that I would definitely recommend for anyone as it had opportunities for the most serious competitive athletes and gear addicts to the most enthusiastic and curious kids and families. For Coyle it was our second tradeshow since starting a website and some sales. Like our first show in Portland we got a tremendous amount of really excited feedback. Its gratifying to hear so many people say that they are impressed by our work and, that much moreso, it is inspiring to have recieved thanks from several folks for "Doing something truly different" as one attendee said.
People really connected with the materials that are used and expressed both their surprise and then, their support. As in Portland we were not really ready to pull off a dialed in presentation of the product and lots of the lids were in somewhat varying states of finish, though, thanks to the wood itself, all of them looked their best. So, we learned more about what folks need to see and feel in a product that is so new to the market. This included realizing that explaining things like customization and fitting are not nearly as valuable as having examples of these things for people to review.
We were graciously visited by other, larger helmet manufacturers and their design engineers who "talked shop" with us about our experiences developing wood and cork as well as how best to approach testing and certification for a small company like Coyle. We sold some of our first "off the shelf" pieces to folks who were taking them as far abroad as Japan and folks who used them the next day in scheduled races. And we had professional bloggers and press attention from Germany, England, Australia, Japan, Canada and Domestically.
To the folks who made orders or on site purchases we want to say thanks for the support you showed by investing your well earned money in our product and, really moreso, for bringing a pioneering spirit and attitude to our booth and trusting your vision of what our work is and can be.