Arka was launched nearly five years ago. One of the first visits we ever made to a store was at the Beverly Center in Los Angeles. We were very green at the time. We weren't very sure which stores we belonged in, who our consumer would eventually be, so we tried our luck with whoever would give us a chance. At that time, Arka wasn't in any stores. Any distribution we had was at street fairs where we would sell directly to our customers with our shirts displayed under a canopy. So when one of our sales calls finally were answered we were happy to have this opportunity to showcase our product to a well known store located in a nice part of town.
To make a long story short, we walked in, showed our designs, gave our sales pitch as best as we could and were shot down in flames. In fact, we were told that we should choose a different industry because our designs weren't good enough and we weren't cut out for this business. We walked out of there a little deflated. As young men, hungry for validity, it was a tough pill to swallow. Although I may have been a little bit discouraged at those words, I vowed to work even harder. I promised that I would design to the best of my abilities so that I never heard those words again.
Nearly five years later, a store (located a couple doors down from the store that shut us down), which we've been selling well at for quite some time, asked us to build a custom display in their entrance. So we happily obliged and this is what we came up with:
The first stage was the creating a table top that would match the aesthetic of the store. We didn't want our display to look out of place.
We created shelving on top to give additional space for product and/or for our hats that will be coming soon. The metal welded letters give it some industrial styling with the backing of the wooden slats.
The final piece of branding was the Arkamedes neon sign with the white frame which we also custom made.
This is the finished product that we installed at Tradition
which is now currently stocked full of Arka's newest styles!
This isn't the first display we built for a store. We've done a few before, but this one in particular felt different because of what had happened when we first launched Arka. It was a reminder to me as to how far we've come as a brand. I learned a lot on that day five years ago. I realized that I learn more when I make mistakes. I learned that not everyone will like what we make and there is nothing wrong with that. I learned the difference between constructive criticism and just plain criticism. The industry we chose to work in doesn't really have sympathy to those who wont adapt to it, and I'm totally content with that.