Looking back on the year is always exciting for our team. Things move so quickly that it’s easy to forget all the exciting, fun things that have happened over the past 12 months.
The year’s end is a great way to reflect, show pride in what we’ve accomplished and get ready to make the upcoming year even better.
As we’ve grown from a scrappy startup to international brand, the people who have given us love and support are the reason why we’re able to do these exciting roundups every year. Our Shark Tank experience launched our mission into living rooms all over the world, but our customers are the ones who sustain us and contribute to our growth. We hope you see a part of yourself in some of these moments!
No matter how much we grow as a company, getting PiperWai into a new retail location will always be exciting for us – and our customers. This spring, we celebrated a rollout on Urban Outfitter’s website and in selected stores. Of course, we all had to run to our local Urban Outfitters to see PiperWai displayed in person. (What? We already mentioned the novelty won’t wear off for us!)
Whole Foods Mid-Atlantic
Our Whole Foods relationship began because one person believed in us. Our friend Jonathon at our local Philadelphia Whole Foods discovered PiperWai and petitioned to get it into the Whole Body section he manages. Thanks to Jonathon, PiperWai became a hit product and got the ball rolling with other Whole Foods locations! Since then, we’ve gradually been introduced to other Whole Foods locations in the Philadelphia and New York regions. This year, the retailer picked us up to be in all Mid-Atlantic locations. This is exciting for us and our customers, as they now have more access to PiperWai. We’re excited to continue to build our relationship with Whole Foods in 2019 and are thankful for all the support we’ve received.
Over the years, we’ve been in a lot of gift bags. By being featured in event gift bags, we’ve picked up lots of wonderful, new customers and used the power of word of mouth to introduce more people to our brand. This year had some major gifting opportunities for PiperWai. During awards season, we were featured in gift bags for the Golden Globes and SAG Awards! We weren’t sure what to expect, but a few weeks later, we started getting messages from some of the attendees about how much they enjoy PiperWai. This year, we’ve worked with Orange is the New Black cast members John and Nick and partnered with actress Asha Bromfield as one of our awesome brand ambassadors. This fall, we were one of the featured products at the TEDWomen Conference, a perfect match for this female-founded-and-led business!
We have brand ambassadors!
(Original lettering by artist and PW brand ambassador, A.E. Kieren.)
Over the past four years, we’ve seen how passionate our customers are and how valuable they are to us. Launching a brand ambassador program is a lot of work, and we’re proud of the small program we’ve started this year. The most rewarding part of introducing a program like this is keeping in touch with our most passionate supporters and becoming a part of their lives. It’s great catching up with them and working together to support a product we all love. Since we like to do things a little differently, we’ve connected with brand ambassadors that generously share their talents with us. From photographers (check out Elyse Jokinen and Sills Image Photography) to writers, artists and enthusiastic interns who won’t leave us alone (just kidding, we adore you), we are thankful for all our brand ambassadors’ talents, support and passions!
Since our beginning, the WELL Summit has been one of our biggest champions. We’ve been introduced to so many great, like-minded brands and have gained new, passionate customers from our presence at these events. This year, we committed to a yearlong partnership with WELL Summit, which gave us opportunities to sell product at the event, talk to more people about PiperWai, have our team members featured as event speakers and get some great editorial mentions in WELL Insiders, the brand’s wellness publication. If you attended any of the 2018 WELL Summit events, you definitely saw PiperWai.
Welcome to Australia
Since Shark Tank, we’ve had people all over the world asking when we will be in their country. These inquiries are always humbling and encourages us to seek out more international partnerships. For a while, our only international option was Canada… until this year. This fall, we onboarded Australia! Healthy Life picked up PiperWai to carry in 50 of their retail locations. We also partnered with Australian company ettitude on a successful, charcoal-themed giveaway for our followers. We look forward to growing our relationship with our Australian retailers and customers and hope to have more international distribution opportunities!
Entrefest (first time in Iowa!)
In May, Sarah was invited to speak at Entrefest, a conference for entrepreneurs. This meant the first time Team PiperWai visited Cedar Rapids, Iowa! Sarah spoke about our humble beginnings and how we managed to scale production and keep up with growth. She brought PiperWai’s resident Midwesterner, who was completely in her element and wasn’t made fun of for saying “pop.” What we learned about Cedar Rapids is it’s a welcoming place that’s in the midst of a huge boom. The city was devastated when a flood caused $6 billion in property damage in 2008, but spent the next 10 years rebuilding with a lot of support and a lot of hope. In 2018, its residents are rejuvenated by the city’s efforts to rebuild and are proud of what their city has become after tragedy. We went in not knowing what to expect and ended up inspired by the city everyone we met there.
Happy Fourth Anniversary PiperWai
It’s hard to believe four years have passed since we sold our first jar. Most of our team wasn’t around for the early, DIY days, so we spent a day in the same community kitchen where PiperWai was first handmade. The team went through the exact steps our co-founders did more than four years ago and, as a result, had a better understanding of our own product. Each PiperWai team member was able to take home a few jars that they helped make. Getting everyone together to celebrate our beginnings and subsequent success was a special moment we will never forget. Plus, it’s always cool to be proud about something you helped make!
Supporting AARC with Rodney McLeod
We’ve been upfront about how cancer support systems and research have been important to us since our beginnings. While antiperspirant does not directly cause cancer, it is still important for cancer patients and survivors to be conscious that they are putting only the cleanest ingredients on their skin during such a sensitive time. One of the organizations we continually support is the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), which has a mission to cure cancer through research, education, advocacy, funding, communication and collaboration. Like us, Philadelphia Eagles safety Rodney McLeod supports AACR and hosted a Halloween-themed fundraiser at a Philadelphia bowling alley. We love Halloween, the Eagles (aka Iggles), team bonding and organizations that work to kick cancer’s ass, so we were happy to attend and support the cause.
It was a big year and we’re excited to see what 2019 has in store. Our deodorant has taken us amazing places and introduced us to inspiring people. (We’re talking about you!) No matter how much we grow, we will always be grateful.