April 8th, 2014
Andrew and I have been searching for a logo icon to go with the Mosko name. We wanted something from Central America, since “Mosko” comes from the Mosquito Coast, plus we wanted it to be from the natural world (i.e. not engines or racing). We finally decided on this cool little Central American lizard called a Basilisk… also called the “Jesus” lizard because they literally walk on water. Check out the Basilisk on youtube.
Here’s some examples of how it will look:
On the pannier:
On the jacket:
We’ve started building our mailing list in anticipation of having some products to sell in the next few months. As an incentive to subscribe, we’re offering a Free P-38 Can Opener. The first shipment went out two weeks ago and the second shipment went out yesterday. Andrew and I have packed up literally hundreds of these things so far.
Part of our motivation is to learn more about who is reading our blog/thread and where they’re located. Here are some stats from the subscriptions so far:
International Vs Domestic
US Subscribers by Time Zone
Advrider.com Membership %
The only US states where we do not have any subscribers so far are:
If you have any moto friends in those states… please send them our P-38 Link!
A few weeks ago I was showing our bag designs to a friend. As I described the various features he asked: “If you’re not going to sell these through retailers, how will you explain all this to a customer?” Andrew and I stewed on that for a bit, plus looked at some other websites, and we decided that videos are the answer. So last week we holed up in the garage and cranked out a series of 129 narrated video clips detailing various angles and features of the bags. We then edited them into several short videos which are now posted on the product pages in the GEAR section of our website.
With videos we can communicate a lot of information without fancy programming or photography. At some point in the future I’m sure we’ll have a real website with professional pics and polished mouseovers, but that stuff is expensive and we’re saving our cash for the product itself. For now, we’ll keep it homegrown.
We’re waiting on final factory costs so we can place an opening PO and set prices. So far we’ve been working off some early cost estimates the factory sent us last year. We expect to have revised costs any day now, and we’re anxious to see them.
Schedule-wise, the latest is that we’ll have production/test samples of everything by May 1, and the production run should be done in the first week in June. Assuming we hit that schedule, we’ll air-freight some inventory to fill pre-orders, and the rest will arrive by water in late June/early July. Later than we originally hoped but still in the selling season and not too bad considering when we started.
In early May we have a testing and photography trip to Moab. Then we head straight from there to Flagstaff for Overland Expo, and it’ll be a busy summer after that.
On the Apparel front (for Spring 2015) the big topic right now is fabric selection. We received some 3-layer waterproof/breathable swatches from the factory and, while some would potentially work on some parts of our garments, we felt like we needed to broaden our search.
We posted a while back about some different options including Gore-Tex and Toray. The moto market is already saturated with garments using Gore, all of which are extremely expensive. A lot of what drives the cost is Gore’s impressive marketing, much more so than the technical characteristics of the fabric itself. Gore is great, but there are other great fabrics out there as well. Plus Gore has a reputation for being very difficult to work with.
We decided to focus our energy on Toray. So we reached out to our friends at Trew Gear, who use Toray in their technical ski/snowboard outerwear. They had a big library of Toray fabric samples for us to look at.
We found a really cool 3-layer with a kevlar weave (for abrasion) that we like a lot. We contacted Toray directly for additional swatches.
Trew also uses SuperFabric. This is a really cool high-tech fabric with hard ceramic armor plates attached in a tight pattern, allowing the fabric to stay lightweight and flexible while providing superior abrasion/tear resistance. We like the look of this stuff, so we ordered some swatches of that as well.
In other news: it’s a beautiful week in the Pacific Northwest and the dirt is prime. Time to dust off the bikes and get out there.