is exactly what I was thinking this time last year.
Hey awesome nerds! Tony here. I was reflecting this morning on the crazy year that Hero Within has experienced. In July 2016 our online store had just launched and our team hit San Diego Comic-Con with fire in our hearts. Being told that this was almost an impossible endeavor given the market for men's geek fashion, we were determined to stake our claim and help elevate the taste of fandom. 2016 was an exciting SDCC with many opportunities and partnerships birthing from our time there that helped launch us into the future. However, just weeks later, we ended up exhibiting at Chicago Comic Con (pictured above). Still off our high from San Diego, we were expecting a similar positive reception in the 'windy city'.
To say it was awful was a bit of an understatement. Disaster would be more appropriate. For example, we (Marlon and I) could count on one hand how many preorders we sold and two hands how many customers stopped by our booth that were really interested. It wasn't the fault of Chicago Comic Con and we were grateful to even have a space. But our presentation was off, it was the wrong season for jackets and we were not very engaging. On top of that, we were still selling preorders which brings inherent challenges of it's own. I went from feeling like we could take over the world to thinking this was the biggest mistake of my life. It was humbling to say the least. I left feeling dejected and started pondering if Hero Within really had a future.
Fast forward to today. It's been an amazing year with more stories than I have time to tell. A lot of challenges but even more tales of victory. Thankfully, each con we attended since Chicago was more successful than the last. Going to small shows to exhibiting at San Diego Comic-Con, we have learned so much as a company and have been grateful that we get to keep going. The team (Daniel, Charles, Mike, Kim, Angela, Erin, Ella and Marlon) have been nothing but inspirational. Their dedication and hard work have turned this vision into a company. I could not feel more lucky to have them.
The biggest thanks goes to you all. Thank you for not only ordering product but your social support has been the lifeline our Hero Within. Every tweet, share and shoutout takes us one step forward and helps us go to the next level. Without you all, we would have been out of business by the end of 2016. You are our heroes.
As a young company, we still face many challenges. The apparel business is a dance of two steps forward and one step back. However, big opportunities are ahead of us with some big announcements we can't wait to share. There are still many innovations for us to introduce and we need your help to make them a reality. We have a handful of cons for this year with Comic Con Palm Springs this weekend and we'll announce the rest soon. Stay tuned, subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social.
Tony B Kim
Founder & CEO
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