It all stated in August 2014
The idea of wooden fashion accessories started in August 2014, when we made our first pair of wooden bow ties just a day before our friend’s wedding.
The first pair was due to obvious time constraints and no experience in the field somewhat incomplete, compared to our current end-products. Nonetheless, me and my best friend stood out at the wedding. Our bow ties received a lot of praise and compliments.
Soon after, we started getting orders, which gave us new momentum and confirmed our creativity. Over time, our products evolved and became more complemented.
To further improve and emphasise our uniqueness in our products, we designed a special cardboard box, which gives the products added value and charm.
In the first year we made lots and lots of wooden accessories for our friends.
We got serious in September 2015, when we moved for 3 months to Fuerteventura, one of the Canary Islands. Along we brought some of our creations and put them up for sale at a local art and craft market.
Nearing the end of 2015 we returned to Slovenia, where we continued our journey. We registered personal supplementary work and began working more seriously.
Our personal contact with our customers helped us come up with the idea of simply changing the straps on our bow ties, instead of the entire product. This way one model could be worn with several colour and pattern combinations by simply changing the strap to match the outfit.
Fuerteventura art market
This was a big year for our brand. Since January we were preparing our campaign for the crowdfunding platform.
Finally, in March, the first Slovenian crowdfunding platform Adrifund (https://www.adrifund.com/) officially launched and we were one of the starting projects. After a month and a half of pledging period, we succeeded with our goal and successfully pledged 3604 €, which was at that time the biggest goal of the platform so far. We got 69 backers, to whom we are, even now, very grateful.
After the successful campaign we opened our company under the brand name Dendo Longboards and our true business tale begun. By the end of June, all the backers received their orders.
Later in the year we were invited to many national events as one of the successfully completed campaigns.
We started the new year with a big step. In early January, we bought a one way ticket to New Zealand. Our plan was to move to the land of Kiwis for half a year, but at the end we were there for the whole year (as much as our working holiday visa permitted). At first we were a bit scared, but really excited of the thought that many new adventures were awaiting us.
We arrived in NZ by the end of March and immediately fell in love with this beautiful country. Alongside many jobs that we had, we found time to participate to various art & craft markets and fairs all over New Zealand. The response of the customers was extremely positive and their good words about our products inspired us and gave us a big satisfaction.
In between our busy work schedule we had find time to visit one of many beautiful Pacific countries - Fiji. We went there for surfing and leisure and we were stunned by the beauty that this country and its people can offer.
Moving to New Zealand
New brand name: WOO-DEN
After a great year in New Zealand it was time to come back home, but before that, we stopped for a month in Indonesia. We’ve visited three of its many islands: Bali, Nusa Penida and Lombok. The surfing there is amazing… and the nature is even better!
We returned home in the end of April, with lots and lots of new experiences and ready to face new challenges. The first was already the day after our arrival in Slovenia, as I (Denis) went to the hospital for my ACL and ALL knee surgery, which I was waiting for almost three years. That is also the reason why we were a little bit “slow” with the development of our brand.
After three long months we are back on track with few changes. First and the most important is our new brand name WOO-DEN, which we think it will suit our brand better than the previous name (Dendo Longboards). A new big addition is also a new website, which we are very proud of, as it is entirely our creation.