After 6 years in Fishers we’ve decided it’s time for us to close our store. Our last day will be October 20th. There’s a number of reasons for our decision but the main issue is due to our building situation. We haven’t been able to renew our lease for a while now and running a retail store month to month isn’t fun at all. Without security in knowing how long we’ll be able to stay we can’t plan events, invest in updates to the store or fill out our inventory for fear we’ll be kicked out before we can sell-through. We know this brings up a lot of questions and we’re totally open to answering anything that you want to know. Here are some questions we’re already getting asked:
So why not just move to a new space in Fishers?
We did consider this but we’ve been wanting to focus more of our attention on our online store. It’s just inevitable (at least for us) that when you have a physical space it will get attention before your online store. We did try a 30 day pop-up store in LA last July and it has done really well, and it’s still open more than a year later. Whether we keep that space open or not, we are trying to make sure we are properly releasing our products online.
Why not do both?
At one point we were up to 24 employees and realized that we really value and enjoy having a smaller team. It’s just easier for us and a lot more fun. I think it adds value to our customers as well. We’ve got to be clever to be able to design and print as much as we do and maintain a small team, so we’re moving to a different strategy that can make that happen. We released over 100 new products in our store this past year and a good amount of them never made it online. So hopefully this new direction will fix that and we hope you’ll stay a part of this brand as it changes.
Why are your prices higher?
We’ve only had 2 complaints about our prices since raising them last year but I still want to address this so it’s out in the open. When we opened our store in LA we had to adjust our prices for the market we were in and compensate for the high rent we were paying. We never changed our prices in our Fishers store. Vardagen has been a long evolution of ideas and direction and clothing brands eventually come to forks in the road. One of those forks for us was deciding if we’d start selling to the masses at cheap prices through big box stores (we dabbled in this) or if we would sell direct to customers, and possibly more specialty stores (we dabbled in this as well). So after much dabbling we came to the conclusion that we feel a lot more motivated to work on something smaller and specialty because that was one of the reasons we started in the first place. Every Vardagen product is designed and developed by us and printed in our print shop. We carry all the overhead for that work but we think it’s worth it to produce the best graphic tees.
What about Sure Shot?
Our cold brew has be an overwhelming favorite since we started and we began distributing it to local specialty shops and grocery stores. We plan to grow this distribution channel and explore some other big opportunities with our cold brew. So you’ll still be able to get your favorite cold brew and hopefully it will be even more accessible to you!
So are you moving?
We plan to keep designing and printing in Indiana and we’ll make frequent trips to LA to keep things growing there. Expect to see more action soon on our website and social media channels. We’re also talking about doing random pop-up events in different cities and if we do that Indianapolis will definitely be one of them.
There are so many people that have jumped in and helped us create something unique and independent in our community. From the people that helped us initially build out our space, to the people that came to our events, to those that encouraged us, to those that bought from us, to those that supported our kickstarter, to our coffee regulars, to city people that have included us in Fishers events... we offer our sincere appreciation. We know we could not have done this without you. Keep investing in local businesses and the creatives around you! It’s our desire to keep giving you value in the years to come, so stay close friends!