Every so often it’s important to us to take a look back The Clink Room, and think about where we’ve come from and where were headed. With the launch of the new Clink shop behind us, it’s time for the 2014 State of the Room.

Last year, told us you wanted to see more caps in the Clink Shop. So we spent the past year overhauling the store loading it with more caps and unique designs. Now you view all the Clinker designs, Brandiose designs and Limited Edition designs by category. Plus there’s better images, and more views. We also added new Swag Bags with every order and if you’re a Size 8, there’s plenty in stock. You also asked for cheaper international shipping, and we found a way.

As we plan for the next year, we realize there’s some parts of The Clink Room you’ve grown to love, that have fallen by the wayside. While we’re always looking to the future, we don’t want to maintain The Clink Room’s original values and spirit. Clinker TJ said he misses the ritual countdown to a Clinker’s cap selling out : “6 left!” Others have said they miss the behind the scenes look at Brandiose’s latest work. We know we need to recapture what made Clink so special in the early years, and we want your opinion to help guide us…

1. What do you miss about The Clink Room?

2. What do you want to see more of? Less of?

3. What’s interesting? What’s gotta go?

4. What can we provide that would be a dream come true for you?

5. What would you do if you were in charge? Where do you want us to take The Clink Room?

State of the Room – Spring 2012

We want to thank all of you that threw your 3 cents into the mix. It really helps us to make what we’re doing better and, as always, we really appreciate everyone’s enthusiasm. This will be Clink v3.0 that we’re working on. (I wish I had screen shots of the first version.) Part of growing Clink has been trying to figure out what Clink isn’t as much as it has been figuring out what Clink is. For instance, initially we saw ourselves as more of a clothing brand. Now we see Clink as more of a designers guild that focuses on the art of the hat. If money was no object, I’d love to make a Threadless style site, where Clinkers submit their designs and the community votes on the concepts while we’re pumping out new hat styles. I think we’re moving towards a version of that and in a few years it could look exactly like that. But I do like that our process is different than a Threadless style forum. I wish we were faster, that we could post and crit more designs, and that we could produce all of the chosen designs right away, but we’re not there yet. We appreciate your patience and I we’ll be getting there soon enough.

Lets dive into it the rest of your ideas!

More Behind-The-Scenes! We totally agree. We are trying to do our best to create more in-depth behind-the-scenes content. Some of these projects that we feature now are older and we don’t have photos etc. to help flesh out the story. But we’re aware that we’re missing some key storytelling tools (video would be one of those tools) and we’re working on adding them to current projects.

Unveiling new teams! Jason and I have been talking about how to make Clink the place for up to date Brandiose news. The problem is that Clink is mostly a Casey job and unveilings are mostly a Jason job. So the two hands of Brandiose need to be better coordinated. We love the idea of having the Official On-Field hat of a newly unveiled team the day of the unveiling. Pensacola was an experiment in that and it worked out great. Hopefully you’ll see more of that.

More behind-the-scenes of Brandiose! Right now, Jason and I don’t work in the same place. So it’s kind of tough to document how we do our day-to-day in a coherent way. But that will be changing next year. We’ll have our own Brandiose HQ and we’ll be documenting it’s creation for you guys to check out. I’m super excited.

More video! I agree more video. At one point we really tried to use video as often as possible to document our process and everything going on with Clink. But it’s very time consuming. As we grow, we will bring other people in to help us document what we’re doing. I hope to have a lot more video in the future.

More Editions! I would love to have more of everything, Collaboration hats, Editions and Official On-Fields. But we really love doing the Collaboration hats. Since we have a fixed budget to produce hats, we’d rather use that budget to make Collaboration hats and Official On-Fields. We want to rethink what we call the Editions, but we haven’t figured out what that’s going to look like. But don’t worry, cork undervisors are here to stay!

Tees! I would love to do tees or other apparel, but we haven’t had a great track record with anything other than hats. Also, tees have so many different fits, they get wrinkled, they take up a lot of room for us to store. I’m a little burnt by tees. Maybe next year, when we have more space, but for now I’m thinking we’re just a hat company.

Searching by available size! This is the greatest idea ever! Thank you, we’re doing it.

A book! This is one of Jason’s future pet projects. I think you could see a book from Brandiose in a couple years.

Restocking! We’re going to start restocking some styles. But again, the more we spend on restocking the less we have to spend on new styles. But we hear you. Long live the Sea Devils!

Clinkers-Round-the-World! I love the idea of a Clinkers-Round-the-World map. We also want to update our photo sharing options add a Twitter feed, Instagram and/or Facebook updates to the blog front page.

Clinker Accounts! Is this really something you guys would want? We’re hesitant because of the all the things that could go wrong. Security, lost data, etc. It makes us nervous. But maybe there’s a middle ground. Lets us sleep on this one.

Clinker Forum! We really like this idea, but again, it would require accounts and security. Do you guys think it would foster more of a community than the current comments section does?

In summation, ahem, you guys are the greatest. Know we’re peddling this thing as fast as possible. Keep Clinkin’. If we missed something that you’d like us to comment on, shout it out in the comments and we’ll try our best to respond.

Q & A

Jason and I are gearing up to make a bunch of improvements to The Clink Room. Clink 3.0! We’ve got a bunch of our own ideas of what we’d like to change but we want to know what you guys would want?

What’s missing? What needs to be streamlined? What’s feeling stale? What do you love!? We want your money-is-no-object ideas too. Let’s shoot for the moon and then let our accountant bring us back to Earth. RIght? Right! Shout-out your idea in the comments. You will be heard!

Kick this weekend’s ass everyone!

State of the Room – Q & A

We thought you’d like that. Glad everyone’s excited. Lets address some of your comments.

We think it’s a classic touch. It reminds Jason and I of our childhood, going to the Padres games in our bean and cheese “SD” New Eras, girls in bikinis, flip-flops, and barbecuing in Jack Murphy’s parking lot.

Part of what will make this whole thing work will be that we come to some kind of standard “canvas” to put your designs on. The more we customize each hat, the more set-up and approvals we have to go through. If we’re going to get as many designs made as we can, as fast as we can, the more systematic we have to make it.

That being said, we can discuss the standard elements. This is the standard as we have it now. Clink logo on the back, green under-visor, and pencil over the ear. You might have noticed that we’ve eliminated the Taco Shop, Skate Shop, and Reject League logos. We want people to see these hats and know what brand they’re apart of.

What we can discuss is the green under-visor, could be black? We can also go with the pencil over the ear or eliminate it? Slowly, as we grow our order numbers, we’ll be adding tags, maybe a print under the bill. But for now those are our elements we can choose from. Tell us what you think in the comments.

We were thinking about mixing it up, a few Skate Shop League hats here, a few Reject League hats there. What do you guys think?

Because we were in limbo there for a while about New Era producing the hats, we’ll have a few months delay on the next Collaboration drop. We’ll have some other hats in the meantime. But Kevin’s Taco Bull’s, the last Taco Shop hat, will probably be 3-4 months out. From then on, we’ll be at a steady pace, promise.

Some of you suggested that we should order the hat with “Clink” big on the front. One step ahead of you.

Thanks again to everyone who picked up a Clink Patch Logo tee. We’ve said it before, all revenue is put back into Clink. We started this whole thing with a small investment from Daddy Plan B. And so far it’s completely self-sustaining thanks to the enthusiasm and purchases from you. Have we told you that we love you lately?

Summer 2010 – State of the Room

A lot has happened behind-the-scenes over the last month or so. We thought we’d give you guys an update on everything…State of the Room style.

• Our t-shirt experiment has been great so far! Thanks to everyone who grabbed one.

• We’ve released 3 tees as of today, and we’ve used 3 different manufacturers for each. They’ve all offered great quality.

• With this most recent Clink branded tee we’ve finally landed on a manufacturer that will produce all our tees into the future. The quality is great, the tees are organic, and the manufacturer is licensed by Major and Minor League Baseball. This means we’ll now offer tees featuring designs of our teams from around the country (along side your designs!) and they’ll all have the same markings, cut, fit, etc.

• We’d love to hear what you think of these new Clink tees. How do they fit? How is the sizing? Would anyone want a XXXL?

For the Chupacbras and the Pollos Terrible, we collaborated with Elm Company to produce the hats. The response has been incredible and Elm Company has made a great hat. All the bells and whistles that we’ve added made the hats iconic and fun.

However, there have been some things that have not worked for you guys…

• We haven’t been able to offer size 8s.

• The fit has confused some (in comparison with the New Era fit). After all, New Era’s fit is the one that everyone has become accustom to.

• All of our other hat offerings (Official-Onfield and the Editions) are made by New Era and using a different manufacturer is confusing, since we’re the guys that design official-onfield hats for Major and Minor League Baseball. This feedback has been the loudest.

All that being said, Elm Company is a great manufacturer. If you guys are thinking of starting your own brand we highly recommend them.

From here on out, New Era will be producing all our hats starting with Kevin’s Taco Bulls, and continuing onto Josh’s Wallbats, Bill’s Chicklets, and on and on. We’re glad to be working with New Era, they make an incredible product, and it’ll be fun to see what they do with the designs.

Partnering with New Era means a few things are changing with the collaborations:

• The best news is everyone’s hat will be ordered and produced twice as fast as before! We plan on having all the hats ordered in the next few months. This includes all 16 designs from both the Skate Shop League and Rejects League.

• We will initially start each design out with 72 hats instead of 144. This means that instead of a $250 royalty for the first order, you’ll be receiving an initial $125 royalty. This also means that you’ll receive 5 hats instead of the original 10.

• If your hat sells like dynamite, then of course we’ll reorder in a new colorway. And you’ll receive another $125 royalty and an additional 5 hats – just like you’d receive your 5% net retail sales royalty on any product that features your design.

• New Era’s lower 72 piece minimum for these designs means we can get products available in the online store faster. As we grow, we’ll increase the numbers of the initial orders. But for now, 72 initial pieces will keep the gears grinding as quickly as possible. This means more sell-outs, more collaborations, and more designers!

• Our goal is to drop a product every Monday by mid-next year. We’re on track to accomplish that. And the lower 72 piece initial order allows us to do that.

• We’ll be able to offer size 8s! Jason and I hate to have left those size-8ers out of the last 2 drops. Kills us. But we’re back with size 8s on the drops from here on out. Even a custom ordered size 8 1/2!

• The collaboration hats are going to look a little different as well. Crossed pencil-C logo on the back, green under-visor, and the trademark pencil over the ear on all collaboration hats.

• And of course we will be offering the quality and fit that New Era has become famous for.

If you guys have any questions, please ask them in the comments and we’ll respond in tomorrow’s post. Get it, get it!