In our last blog, we ripped the band aid off and shared that we were restructuring, thus shutting down the retail side of Bombsheller. In this, our final blog, I wanted to share a bit more about the Bomb Squad- our incredible team and fans, that made Bombsheller what it is.
Please, allow me to brag for a moment.
If you’ve ever worked at a company during a transition, you know the final days are bizarre. Productivity takes a nosedive, office supplies start going missing, and suddenly everyone is being very honest about how unfunny your fwd>fwd>fwd> joke emails were. The last two weeks of Bombsheller, however, have been some of our most productive. The 40% of the team that are leaving have worked our asses off to make sure the remaining team is set up correctly. The 60% of the team that are staying have worked their asses off to make sure we have the assets we’ll need to go out and get some badass new jobs. There is no animosity or dividing of houses, and everyone decided to stay until the end. We’re still working as a unit, even as we mourn the end. That’s incredible, and a testament to the quality of characters I’ve had the pleasure of working with for the last six years.
We’ve decided to put the brand in cryo-freeze in case we have a chance to come back to it in the future; we’re all very hopeful. During this whirlwind of a time, independently, everyone that’s staying has conspiratorially pulled me aside to whisper that they have plans to relaunch the brand and bring us all back. I believe them. I know they’re gonna do great, because they’re incredible.
I was often asked, “what’s it like to work at Bombsheller?” It’s really hard. It’s amazing, stressful, frustrating, empowering, exhilarating, but above all it is terrifying. So often I was asked to step out of my comfort zone (writing this blog for example) but being asked to have The Audacity was the scariest part to me. Bombsheller is all about better for the sake of better; we love improving systems, and that takes a lot of audacity. The Audacity to try to improve an outdated industry. The Audacity to ask consumers to think about how their consumables were made. The Audacity to ask artists to take a chance on us. For me, The Audacity to walk onto a SDCC stage, sit among some very accomplished and adored people, and explain to a crowd why Bombsheller is amazing.
All terrifying moments, but all worth it. I’ve watched my coworkers take on The Audacity time and time again and run with it. We passed it around the company, taking turns to gas each other and our fans up. How do we improve fashion photography? Can we plan an after party with The Wicked + The Divine? Can we launch new products in a full size range? I’ve had adult men in ill-fitted suits shout me down for having The Audacity to offer ten sizes. The Audacity helped me stand straighter and stare them down. Now I see the team taking on The Audacity to successfully go lean while larger American Made companies are fleeing overseas. The Audacity! Again, I believe in them. I know they’re gonna do great. I haven’t seen them run from a challenge yet.
Now, please, allow me to continue to brag.
After announcing that we would close up retail after the 19th, our fans came through and ordered 3 months of Shells in one week. We had to dry our tears real quick and get to work cause y’all were buying up lifetime supplies of Shells. Thank you. You sent us countless love letters, DMs, and comments expressing how much this hurt. We know, it hurts for us too.
“I feel like i’m losing a friend”
I know. It feels like we are too.
Reading the outpour of love from our fans and friends made us feel seen and appreciated. We received a six page letter from a woman in Canada thanking us for giving her the confidence to be who she was and love herself and feel beautiful. That one made me ugly sob at my desk. I’m proud of the work that we did at Bombsheller. I always believed in it, but it’s hard not to have doubts and rehash old mistakes late at night when you’re staring down the barrel of unemployment.
You saw what we were trying to do. You believed in it, and in us, and you cheered us on. Thank you. We won’t nuke our social media- we worked hard on it. We’ll keep our mailing list alive in case we make a come back later. You can still tag your posts with #Bombsheller -I know I will- because even though we’re ending the public brand of Bombsheller, The Audacity lives on. We’ll Stay Badass on our end, and I know you will too.
You are a badass. Let me say it again in case you missed it the first time. YOU are a badass. You are beautiful the way you are. You are strong, resilient, and worthy of love. Yes, we should always be leveling up, but you, yourself, as you are today are amazing. Please don’t forget that. Have The Audacity to keep trying. Keep demanding that the clothing industry catches up with the wave that we’re on, ’cause we’re not letting the bare minimum slide anymore. We’re gonna keep trying to do better for the sake of better. We’ve had a taste of what it could be like, and now we’re not going back. Thank you for going on this wild ride with us.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.