Ten weeks ago, I gained my first glimpse of Britain for 5 months, as my British Airways flight dropped out of the clouds on final approach to London City Airport. I gazed out of the window, thinking about what I’d achieved in those 5 months away; a 14,000 mile road trip across 22 countries, from the UK to Singapore. It had been quite a challenge to turn such a big dream into reality, but I knew the future would be even more challenging, as once I was back in Devon I would be leaving my old life behind to launch a new company – Dewerstone.
A few minutes before landing, descending over the Thames, the plane’s tiny window framed the port of Dagenham. A tanker vessel was moored the molasses terminal where I’d occasionally worked during my previous life as a marine surveyor – a life I’d walked away from to realise the next dream; the dream that is Dewerstone. Things would never be the same again and as the planes wheels touched the tarmac runway I wondered what I’d gotten myself into. I was comfortable with the challenge of surveying a ship, of setting off on an adventurous road trip or committing to a challenging climb. But this was something totally different and daunting.
Fast forward to the present day and once again I’m in a position to reflect on recent achievements. In 10 weeks, almost from a standing start, we’ve managed to build Dewerstone up into a professional, well respected lifestyle brand. We’ve designed and produced a core range of clothing and set up a print shop on Dartmoor capable of meeting the highest demands. We’ve forged sponsorship links with some of the UK’s leading athletes and have seen our products stocked in some of the country’s leading outdoor retailers. We’ve learned a hundred different skills which the business demands, from screenprinting and graphic design to strategic planning and product photography. And we’ve found that the challenges don’t decrease as the business grows; there’s always something new on the horizon to overcome. Resting on our laurels isn’t an option, and that’s what keeps every day fresh and interesting here in Dewerstone HQ.
The word ‘challenge’ in many ways sums up why I was willing to walk away from a successful career to launch Dewerstone, as not only does the new company throw up new challenges on a daily basis, but it also enables me – and other members of the Dewerstone team - to challenge ourselves further in the activities which inspire us. Activities like climbing, running, mountaineering, skiing, kayaking and travel. I look forward to using the freedom which committing to Dewerstone full-time has gifted me to push myself in those aspects of the outdoors which really inspire me, setting myself further challenges and hopefully achieving them.
And I’ll be running a weekly blog here, to tell our story as we face up to these challenges.
I hope you enjoy the journey.