It’s been a little over a year since we launched Duktig Brand. As we come up on the anniversary of our first shipment of Trainers, we thought we’d take a moment to give you all an update and let you in on some of the inner workings of our company.
We started with two employees working out of our own houses or apartments, which ranged from Connecticut, to Massachusetts, to North Carolina, to Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland. A year later, we now we have three employees and are still working out of our own houses or apartments.
We’ve sold more than 5,000 notebooks in the past year, countless session cards (though we did count each one by hand), pens, neck warmers and t shirts. More importantly, we have met some amazing people who work in the soccer world.
We’ve met coaches from every level including high school, recreation, club, ODP, DA, ECNL, college, overseas, and US Soccer. We’ve met trainers, players, directors and other small business owners who are all working to make the game better. It’s been incredible to see how much work coaches put into planning their sessions and learning from books, articles, videos, and most of all each other. We never thought that so many people would have the same desire that we had for a soccer specific notebook that looked more like something you would want to walk into a fancy coffee shop with….if you had to. And we certainly didn’t anticipate the overwhelming feeling of inspiration that we’ve taken from every person who has told us how our products have helped them.
The United Soccer Coaches Convention, made possible by Anthony DiCicco, was a fantastic opportunity for us to see first-hand how people are using their Trainers. Coaches and players would stop by our table to show us the insides of their books. Every single time our response was the same: “Whoa that’s so cool!”
And throughout this whole process, we have a had a lot of those “Whoa that’s so” cool moments.
“I was in the locker room at halftime for one of our games,” said Tiffany Weimer, former Boston Breakers player. “I look up at our coach Matt Beard and he’s holding the Trainer in his hand while he’s giving the halftime talk and I was like, whoa, that’s my product. Later in the season I told him it was cool of him to buy it from my company before he really knew me… and he said he didn’t even know it was my company at all.”
“I came back to UNC after my season in Iceland and saw my assistant coach Dino in the weight room," said Adelaide Gay. "He told me that he'd seen the coaches at NCFC using the Trainer and asked them about getting some for the UNC camp staff. They told him that it was one of his former players who started the company. That was a cool moment because I knew he appreciated them for what they were, not because it was me.”
The other part of starting this company that has been so cool has been seeing all the players using the products. We want to help coaches encourage players to be students of the game. We feel as though the gift of a notebook or planner is something that can change someone’s life forever and if it’s specific to their sport or passion, even better.
We’ve had a lot of people ask us recently “what do you guys want to do with the company?” We are only a year in and have so many ideas to grow. But for right now, we are soccer people. We love soccer people. We want to make the soccer world a better place. We think we can do that by creating products that help people achieve their goals. And we are striving to make Duktig Brand a soccer company that you can depend on.
There were two Tweets we saw recently from a couple of our favorite customers that, together, sum up what we would like our company to be about and what we hope to live up to.
One was by Bryan Gettman: “I like the products I use for soccer to be soccer products. Even better if it’s made by soccer people.”
The other was by Dawn Crow: “...the leader in making a plan become a reality.”
So, that’s what we’re going to do with the company.
There are lots of cool things in the works for the coming year, including the Trainer 2.0+ (now including a pen loop!), a customer rewards program (coming soon), professional sponsorships (coming soon), and hopefully a few new products.
We hope that in all of this, you all will take the lead, telling us what you need most, what we can improve, and especially all the great things you’re doing!
Whether you were one of our very first customers who took a chance on a brand new product before we even had a brand new product, or you’ve joined us in the last few months, thank you. Thank you for giving us a chance and for showing us that the next generation of players is in good hands.
Yours in football/soccer,
Tiffany and Adelaide, Co-founders, Duktig Brand