Were Taking a Break...
There’s something we wanted you to know… We’re taking a break.
Hello Followers, Fans, Customers, Friends and Family,
It is with deep regret we have decided to take a break from HAAR.
It really has been a wild ride with many ups and downs. After 6 years of working on HAAR in one capacity or another (be that during the evenings and weekends when we were working full-time at the day-jobs or more latterly when I (Darren) have been able to work full-time on the business), we have now decided this is the time to stop and assess what we’re doing and how we do it.
We are so proud of everything we achieved. I will never regret taking that leap of faith and going for it. Some people live their lives never stepping out of their comfort zone, or criticising those that do. I feel sorry for those people.
I have learnt so much. Not just about this industry, but every aspect of running a business, developing a Brand, Marketing, Strategy, Finances, and that’s before I mention designing garments, sourcing fabrics, and understanding the intrinsic details that make up a garment which I believe to this point, made HAAR so special.
If I was to criticise anything we did, It may sound counter-intuitive, but I believe we perhaps held ourselves to too much accountability (Hear me out). We wanted to do everything perfectly from the off. We were a small brand with huge ambitions, perhaps delusions of grandeur, to improve on everything we saw wrong with other fashion brands. While it is a bold and admirable endeavour, the truth is, that the world doesn’t reward this way of working, trying to be the best cat everything sets you up for failure. Many successful brands highlight what they do well and that which will give them Kudos, but fail to mention the not so admirable qualities of their operations. HAAR was different.
Our goal was to make the finest clothing, from the finest locally (as possible) sourced fabric, made in small batches with sustainability at the core of our practice, and working in an ethically sound way. All while doing this from our home location: Scotland. Our designs were very much HAAR; Navigating the area between classic and contemporary. Details were always a focus and quality never sacrificed.
Check, check, check on all accounts. We met every one of our goals. Unfortunately though, this sets you off at a disadvantage in the market. We were not the quickest with long lead times. Despite this, we carved out our own little niche and found our crowd who understood what we were doing. Another difficulty with our model was that our garment prices are reflective of all of the costs that were need to make a garment in a way we were satisfied with, and doing it in under one roof. Our pretty substantial collection (for a brand of our small scale) was both what kept our customers coming back and partly the cause of our downfall. We wanted an expansive offering, but this came at the cost of only being able to offer ‘made to order’ on 90% of our products.
I have honestly loved this thing we built from scratch, and I know that we’re all sad to see it end.
What happens next? Who knows. We might look at releasing in drops, crowd-funded items which are then constructed by a reputable external factory? Honestly, Im not sure what the future holds. Maybe we will be that cult brand that appeared for a flash of time and disappeared forever. Right now we just need to take a break and then to figure out what the next chapter holds for us.
So here we are, in many respects bowing out on a high. Our products are the best they have ever been and we haven’t resorted to drastic measures that fundamentally change what our customers know a HAAR product to be. Speaking for myself, HAAR will always be a topic of immense pride. Sometimes you eat the bear, other times the bear eats you.
Thank you so much for your encouragement, your kind words, your orders, your passing interest and your friendship that we have found along the way. Its an overused cliché, but it couldn’t have happened without you.
I want to give a special thanks to the insanely talented Irina Forman who is our Master-Tailor, Supremo, Extraordinaire. A wonderful human, who has been the backbone of this little fellowship. We are colleagues but also friends and I can’t thank her enough for everything she’s done. I’m sorry we couldn’t make it work. Now I know for a fact, that among our silent followers, lurk other brands and people who need an Irina in their business. She’s a free agent, now’s the time to poach her. You can direct message her here: @irinas_alterations. Patterns, Samples, Toiles, Finished products. There’s no end to her skill.
Lastly, All my love to my Wife and partner in crime Jessica, You are my world, and thank you for believing in this fool’s dream and doing so much to make it all happen. I’m so proud of you and our little Daughter.
Well, that’s it, time to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. We will leave the online store open for a little while as our end date is set as 10th April. After that we will leave up some of the bits we still have available from stock. Oh, and if anyone is looking for Sewing machines, or maybe some fabric, DM for details.
I guess I now need to find a new Job. Urgh, what a thought. Hit me up with opportunities if you have them.
Peace and Love,