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The power of community

  • Posted by howies
  • 30 October 2008


The naysayers said the internet wouldn't change anything
But the cynics and the black clouds got it wrong
The power no longer rests with the individual
This is an open sourced collaborative new world
When they say phone a friend, they call you
When they ask the audience, you press the button
You are the wisdom of crowds
You are the community
The community has the imagination of millions
The lone inventor has just himself
It used to be that questions looked for answers
Now solutions go in search of questions
You will find a better set of words to go here
You are the editor now
Tim Berners-Lee built the web
But it was you that gave it its purpose
When you talk, governments listen
You will be the change in climate change
You build encyclopedias now
Your blogs are the new newspapers
You are the television company
You are the media
You review the books, the films and the bands
You create the celebrities
You build the corporations
And yes, it scares them
You are the power
You are the revolution
You are top dog now
The chief banana.


  • Posted by howies
  • 30 October 2008





 Red Squirrels

 Grey Squirrels


 Waste Paper





 Good Ideas

 Bad Ideas



 Tea Pots

 Tea Bags








Dear Spam

  • Posted by howies
  • 30 October 2008


Dear Spam,
I don't want any Viagra. Maybe try me again in about 10 years time.
I don't want any Prozac. Maybe try me again in 5 years time.
Of course, I am sorry to hear about the terrible accident in Nigeria but even so I don't want millions of your dollars put into my bank account.
I understand it is a very kind and noble gesture but maybe someone needs your money more than me.
I dont want to update my Pay-pal account. I don't have a Pay-pal account.
My E-bay account doesn't need updating for the same reason.
Nor do I want to update my Lloyds bank account details, my Nat West bank account details, my HSBC bank account details, my Nationwide savings account details, or my First Direct account details, because I don't have accounts with any of them. 
It's great to receive e-mails. 
I just wish 99% of the ones that I get weren't from you.

End of Push

  • Posted by howies
  • 30 October 2008


We don't know what our best selling t-shirts are going to be. We don't know what our worst selling ones will be either. And here's the deal, we will never know.

That's because you decide what we sell. So when we buy our t-shirts, we have to take a guess. We have to push. And guess what, guessing isn't a great way to run a business. Invariably, you end up with too much of something and not enough of something else. That's why I have always wanted to have a small Eco T-shirt print shop right here in Cardigan. So we can just make to order. I like that.

So from now on, we are going to keep a stock of standard colour blanks, and then when you order one, we print one. Less guessing. And therefore less waste too. And having the print shop on our doorstep will help us to be topical again. We can get creative again. We can play around with different designs and colours again. Just like we did in the early days. And we can do small runs for your clubs and societies and we can change designs on our website whenever we want. Maybe one week we will do Retro shirts or limited editions. And then a whole bunch of new different designs the week after. Yeehah.

But the best thing is that we won't make something until we know we can sell it. It's time for our business to find another way to do business. It's time to quit 'pushing' and learn how to 'pull' instead.

Keep an eye on the website for new T-shirts. There will be different ones on the website compared to the catalogue. And we will be constantly changing them too.


Paul didn't want me to write this piece.
I guess no one likes discussing their medical conditions in public.
But Paul's is so unique, I thought I'd share it with you.
You see I have noticed something that medical science has missed.
And that is the strong correlation between good swell days and
Paul not feeling well.
In fact, the bigger the swell, the worse he feels.
And sadly on those days, he is just not well enough to make it in to work.
We are at a loss to explain it, as is he.
We can only put it down to some unknown syndrome.
It's like he knows there are some good waves out there but he knows that
he has to come into work. So it's as if his body just rejects work.
So on those days he ends up having to take a day off sick, watching the waves
from his bedroom window. I just feel sorry for Paul.
I hope they will find a cure one day. Cos' he's missing some great surf.

Little Big Voice Lectures

  • Posted by howies
  • 30 October 2008


Our sports have taught us to love being out there and to respect the environment that provides our playground. They also give us the motivation to try and do something to protect it.

Who knows better than a surfer about a polluted sea? Who knows better than a mountain biker about clear-cutting forests? Who knows better than a snowboarder about climate change? Even a skateboarder studies rainfall on a daily basis.

But being able to ride a bike or a surf board well requires a different set of skills to being able to use the media to obtain publicity for your cause.

If we want to change things, we need to learn some new skills.  We need to learn how to use the media to give the small guy a big voice.

To find out more go to: litlle big voice lectures

17 coffee cups big

  • Posted by howies
  • 30 October 2008


There’s no denying it, no point in running away from it or trying to halt it, in fact, it’s completely out of our control, but our little business isn’t so little anymore.
The suits would call it ‘progressive growth’. The truth is, we take more orders in a day now than we took in a whole week a few years back. It’s not a bad thing, we are after all in the business of shifting organic cotton. The more people wear it, the better.
I’ve been here a while you see – usually with my head down, working away, too busy with my own shit to really pay close attention. It’s only when you stop and look up that you actually notice the little differences. It’s a noisier place to work these days, the phones are always ringing and the card machines rattle away tirelessly.When the postman comes to pick up the mail-order parcels he drives a bigger van nowadays.
There are more dirty cups in the sink: there used to be one for David, one for Clare and one for me, this morning I counted seventeen. The true indicator though is that when I walk down the street I see more and more people wearing my little drawings on their t-shirts. That never gets tiring.
Starting small has taught us to walk in tiny shoes, leave small footprints, to look after our own, to value every customer, respect every employees’ opinion and never take anything or anybody for granted.
No matter how many coffee cups there are out there in the kitchen, it’s always about the same thing. To get better at what we do and not bigger at what we do.
Now will someone please put the kettle on?
Pete Davies

These Are The Days. They Always Were.

  • Posted by howies
  • 30 October 2008


Some of us live in the past.
Always talking about back then.
Some of us live in the future.
Always planning what we are going to do.
And, then there are those,
who neither look behind or ahead,
but just enjoy the moment of right now.

The Favour Bank

  • Posted by howies
  • 30 October 2008


When you start a business, the standard banks don't want to know you.Apart from one. It's called the favour bank. It's the alternative kind of bank. It doesn't have any money to lend. It doesn't have any branches. It doesn't want to make a profit from you. It has only one rule. The rule is that one day you have repay the favour, not in money or gifts. But in other ways. Like you returning the favour. You do something for person who did something for you. Simple, huh. But at the end of the day, nice. Or it could be simple as saying a thank you.

The favour bank accepts that kind of repayment. The favour bank is a favourite of lots and lots of small businesses. In the early days, you have to borrow from it. Quite heavily at times. Ours was no exception. In fact for a while we were one of the Favour Banks best customers.

You see, when we first started out we had no money. We asked illustrators, designers, and friends for lots of favours.We asked riders, photographers, ramp builders, magazine editors. In fact you name it, we got favours to help do it.They believed in us. They believed this little company wanted to do something. They wanted us to win. To the extent, even if we couldn't repay them one day, they still wanted to help us. They designed stuff, helped us in oh so many ways, because they wanted to help us build our brand.

So now the time has come to pay them back. It's time to say our thank you's. So how will we do that? Well, by collating all those who helped us and then by writing about them in our next catalogue. And then by telling you a bit about them and what they did for us. And hopefully that will help them in some way. That way we can keep our promise to The Favour bank.

We will always be in their debt.

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