Most wool brands similar to ours have these compelling founder stories of a truly inspirational athlete who fell in love with wool and started a merino wool company. At Core Merino, we love these type of founding stories as we think we need more athletes who totally dig wool and toot and shout out about wool to all the people they can reach. Selling a brand like Core Merino would be indeed a little easier if we also had this type of a story, but that just ain’t so. Core Merino started out a little bit differently.
As you may know, Core Merino is a brand owned by the company BKB. BKB is South Africa’s largest wool broker handling the majority of South African woolgrowers’ wool clip. Over the years BKB also developed into other businesses including grain, sugar, and real estate. However, BKB’s big love for wool always has and always will continue.
In 2011, a group of BKB staff members observed two things: a dominance of synthetic fibres in the sport and outdoor apparel industry as well as the success of international merino wool companies who promoted, for example, New Zealand or Australian merino wool. Knowing the high quality of South African merino wool and seeing a gap in the market of a South African merino wool apparel brand, BKB started its own merino wool apparel brand called Core Merino. The only issue was, BKB knew everything there is to know about wool but very little about running an apparel retail brand. This meant that Core Merino had high-quality merino wool products for which we tried out different strategies and tactics to find the right spot in the market for our products.
When we were discussing internally our brand and our founding story we were thinking for one second if we could just shave off our beginnings and just tell it as it is now. But then we realised that maybe there is something to be learned from our story.
Isn’t the zig-zag, the stumbling, and the trial and error just how life in general and business in particular is? When does something start out perfectly in life? When are we not faced with adversity or making the wrong decisions and going back to square one?
For example, when we start out training for a marathon, it takes some time for us to find the right training schedule or we may have some weeks when we don’t get to train enough, get injured, or demotivated. In order for us to achieve our ambitious goals, we need to push through these difficult times and learn from our errors until we succeed.
That’s our story and part of our core which has made us stronger and helps us succeed in reaching our goals of serving you and the environment.