2019. It's been a year. We welcomed our daughter into the world and had to say goodbye to my father just a few short days later. We've built some amazing bikes and awesome wheels and had to deal with an increasing number of people who have messed us about. I guess all this is part of the swings and roundabouts of life, but it has made us sit down (during a bub nap, when we are allowed to be sweary adults again) and make some decisions about what we are going to pursue, offer and, most importantly, what we are going to stop doing in 2020 and beyond. So here it all is!
Custom bikes - Obviously, one of our main activities, but we are going to change things up. We don't like having an order book. It means customers have to wait, we have extra pressure and we just don't think that it makes for the best bikes, because we would be trying to plough through each one as fast as possible. Instead, we are going to choose the projects that we want to be a part of and schedule a build time. It's that simple. If you come to us with an idea that isn't what we are about, we'll be honest and suggest a builder we think might be more suitable. We want to enjoy and be genuinely invested in every bike we put out, not just brazing for the mortgage.
Design work - We've been fortunate enough to have been asked to complete some cool design projects for a number of people, including respected peers within our own industry (hi Sven!) and plenty outside of it. We have been told that people come back to us because we don't charge "London prices" and we are going to offer design services a little more openly as of January 2020. Always at Norfolk prices too.
Wheel builds - Some of you might not know, but we started as August Wheelworks. We've built custom wheels for thousands of customers, including well-known bike shops, race teams and other framebuilders. There was a time that you couldn't go to Bespoked without seeing our valve stickers on every other stand and we are still building today. We will no longer service new customers' wheels that we haven't built ourselves, but are always happy to take a look at your #Augustbuiltwheels or quote for a shiny new set. We have a Morizumi spoke cutting machine and can supply custom-cut spokes.
Bespoke fabrication - Stems, racks, coffee tampers etc are all already on offer but after a year of making custom bike stands, light hangers, garmin mounts, record weights and a host of other weird and wonderful things (you're welcome for the wreath hanger for our front door Amy!), we are ready for everyone to get in touch when they have an idea that they want turning into a physical item. The weirder, the better!
Free advice - JUST KIDDING! We are going to remain a company that aims to be profiable and not give step-by-step instructions for everything we design and make. So please, please stop asking on Instagram! I feed my family with what I do so forgive me if I'm not in the market for sharing secrets and undermining what makes August unique.
So that's about it. Our Instagram account will continue to be a highlight reel of what we are up to, but not a comprehensive insight. There's bound to be an insane balance bike being built at some point, videos of us out on the Bullitt and the odd rant, but hey, that's us. It's August's five year anniversary in 2020 and we have some brilliant bikes already booked in, so stick around and thank you for all your support this year.
Number of coffees drunk today: 3 (as of 11:30am)
Nappies changed (by Amy): 4 and counting...
Trays of flapjack baked and eaten: 1
Bits of swarf picked out of feet: 2
Crap Christmas songs heard on the radio: ALL OF THEM!