2022 Round up!
Hey you! Firstly, a very belated happy new year to you. I hope you had a really lovely Christmas break and some well earned time off enjoying the people and animals in your life. I know this post is super late being posted in February, but to be honest January just absolutely flew away with me and I ran out of time to prioritise the 2022 round up. I didn't have very much time off over Christmas, but I did find time for some lovely longer rides which were total bliss. And in January we visited friends in Sweden which was magical!
2022 was a funny year, quite a challenging one for my personal life which as with any small business, does have it's effects, but if I could turn back the clock I wouldn't, because of how much it taught me, how much evaluation I did about myself, my life and the business. I love the saying "You think you've been buried, but you've actually been planted" and I think this very much resonates with the year for me. It was a year of self reflection and self growth, which is sometimes long and uncomfortable, but what it brings more than anything else is the most positive change and this has most certainly been the case.
Achievements to note from 2022 include the launch of our new colours of our Santos shirts, including the darker latte tri and our all white colour-way (which I was particularly excited about!).
We also updated our incredible high impact sports bras and renamed these the Keep it together bra. A fun take on what we tell ourselves when riding, and also what we expect our bras to do! These bras are made from the same fantastic high performance fabric made in Italy. The only changes we made is a slight adjustment to the back width of the racer back, and we brought out the Latte colour that's been very well received by you all this year.
Behind the scenes we started working with a brilliant new team in Portugal for that production whom were highly recommended by another sustainable and ethical brand i've previously worked with, and it was a lovely journey producing the product with them. I'm excited to build that relationship in the future when we can scale up our production.
We also introduced the Penny Pull On 2.0's. A slight adjustment from the 1.0's. Taking into account customer feedback, we adjusted the waist measurement to allow for extra hold so that pulling up when wearing was minimal, we widened the waistband and elastic to allow for thicker belts, we made them slightly less high waisted and we took some excess fabric out of the hip. We have also strengthened the centre seam too. I think these have become even closer to the most perfect pull up jodhpur. But of course with anything, certain shapes will fit certain people better or worse, so we'll always be working to improve with every new production run, but i'm really happy with where we're at.
We produced some of our best photoshoots yet. Our group shoot was incredibly fun and it was so great to bring a range of riders together and capture the community and friendship feeling that the equestrian world gives us. There's nothing like being around like minded people that you can share the highs and lows with, and with how often lots of us see our fellow equestrians, they often feel more like extended family.
Our shoot with Sophie Drewicz and long standing DVR supporter Tanya was phenomenal. I love working with people that are regular customers and already have a love for the products because they are the real representation of the DVR customer, and i'm lucky enough to find they're always great people too. I love that building DVR has connected me to so many of you like minded, strong, beautiful, fun, motivated and passionate people.
Shows for 2022 were our local favourites, Hickstead Derby and Hickstead Longines. But this year really was better than ever. We had a brand new location next to Joshua Jones and beautiful new stand design. I really wanted to make this 2022's stand better than ever and I feel like we achieved that. Tom and I up-cycled an old shelving unit into a fantastic new till desk using pallet wood and our amazing friend Phil cut the DVR logo out of more wood so that we could have the logo on the front.
I went for a large backdrop of the Penny Pull On DVR logo design behind the till desk which our amazing, trusted local printers produced for us. I feel this design detail is a staple for us and really represents us as a brand. Consciously designed and thought out to every last detail. We also added some dried flowers and plants to really make the stand feel like a shopping boutique experience.
We also launched our made to order loungewear. I knew lots of you had been missing us not having loungewear so I was super keen to make some available again. One thing we didn't get to do was a restock of the Samantha Sweatshirt that I know you are all waiting for. We did go into sampling stages with a UK manufacturer, but we had a rethink part way through and we're bringing them to you in a slightly different way instead now, which more will be revealed on soon. But I promise the wheels are in motion and it will be worth the wait.
One of the highlights of my year, as always, is seeing your photos and videos wearing the products. I especially love seeing our much older products still looking as good as ever and being thoroughly enjoyed by the wearers. In the photo above Nicole and her mum Lorna are in the first ever versions of the Dexter track-pants, and our first training base-layers. All well enjoyed and a good few years old, and if I do say so myself, still looking incredible! These fabrics really do show their worth the longer you have them.
I won't go into too much detail about the year ahead as i'll be sharing a lot more as the months go on, but what I can say is that it's quiet at the moment because i'm going through a big restructure and tidy up of the entire brand and how we do things. We're going to take things to another level in so many different ways this year. From attending more shows, to widening our wardrobe staple offering, to new even more sustainable and ethical production methods, to cleaner sharper imagery and website. There are going to be a lot of exciting things to look forward to.
I am sorry that you haven't seen a January sample sale but this is due to the amount going on behind the scenes which is taking time, but will be so worth it in the long run. You're all going to get a lot more from the brand you love! So as always, thank you for your ongoing support, your love and positive messages, and most importantly your belief in what this brand is and the changes we want to make in our industry and beyond. It's only possible because of you guys who want to support independent designers like me. It honestly means the world, and I have so much more to bring. If you're still here, thank you so much for reading.
Here's to 2023, I hope it's everything you want it to be.
All my love, Danielle xxx
Firstly, love that image of you on the trade stand at the end, so wholesome. Secondly, beyond excited to see all things DVR this year, including the Samantha sweatshirt when it comes. I just know it will be worth the wait.
Finally, wow what you achieved in 2022 when you’ve also had so much going on in your personal life, impressive to say the least!
Lovely round-up Danielle. Onwards & upwards in 2023 x
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