I want to follow up on The Vertical Supply Chain ...

I want to follow up on The Vertical Supply Chain post to clear the air of the false claims and guesses made about the reasons for moving production to Toray’s facility and to give more insight to why I made this decision so you may better understand.

Before this change, KUIU’s fabrics from Toray had a 9 month lead-time because Primeflex fabrics use Toray’s highest grade of yarn which is limited due to the quality standards for Primflex.

Once finished, the fabrics have to be shipped to Vancouver, which takes 21 days for ocean freight and a week to clear customs and arrive at the factory.

I set up production in Vancouver because Tamoda is a smaller factory with lower minimums, which I needed to start KUIU and I needed the flexibility of lower minimums to fill in product while we grew.

Tamoda produces a quality product but is limited in the volumes it can output due to their size. If space in the factory is available, Tamoda takes 60 to 90 days to cut and sew a run of a product.

This created a 12 month lead-time, best case, from the time I placed a purchase order to delivery to our warehouse.

The long lead times and limited factory space created over 2500 back orders this summer. We were not able put product on-line. Customers were canceling preorders and were upset they could not get gear in time for hunting season. I had to make a change, KUIU had out grown our supply chain.

Some have suggested Kifaru and Mystery Ranch have made domestic production work, why can’t KUIU? These are both fantastic brands with great products, but these companies make product to order and do most of their sewing in house. KUIU is a different business model. Sewing in house is something we are not set up to do or manage.

I did not want to just make a change to any factory. If lowering production cost was the goal, as so many have suggested, Toray’s facility is a bad choice. They are not a low cost supplier.

I went to Toray to see how we could change the entire supply chain. Being a forward thinking company they were willing to help. With no strings attached.

There will not be a reduction in quality or KUIU products becoming “More China junk” as many are claiming. I encourage any of you making this claim to research Toray. They are a World Leading company in several business categories that include Nano-technology and Chemistry, Industrial Chemicals, Medical, Carbon Fiber and Textiles. They did not become successful in these businesses by cutting corners in quality.

Toray makes the fiber, yarn, DWR, seamtape and heat bonding glue that goes into our products. They know how to build gear using Toray products better than a cut and sew factory in the USA, Canada, Vancouver or anywhere in the world for that matter. Our product quality will only increase, not decrease as so many have claimed.

What excites me most about this move is the ability for the hunting industry to finally lead. An industry that has made poor quality products driven by price for so many years.

Sitka was my first step in making this change, but the retailers created limitations of what we could build because of their lack of ability to add value to the purchase and sell high priced performance products.

When Gore bought Sitka, I left to create a new business platform, which allows me to build unlimited products for this industry. I had to eliminate the retailer so I could work with companies like Toray and technologies like carbon fiber. To make less than the best and most innovative products in the world is simply not who I am or why KUIU exists.

The move to working with Toray is absolutely in line with this. We have reinvented the traditional supply chain reducing lead-time to less than 6 months.  The technology and advancements Toray brings to the table is second to NONE.

This year alone we will introduce new technology that will reinvent insulation and dramatically increase the performance of our waterproof/breathable laminates. Plus, we will introduce several new fabric technologies that will further reduce the weight of our layering system all while increasing performance. None of this could have happened without Toray.

Toray will not run KUIU or tell me what to make. Or has any interest in owning a hunting brand as many have suggested.

KUIU is the fastest growing customer of Toray’s textile division. They see KUIU’s business model as innovative and positioned to introduce new cutting edge technologies. We will all get the benefits of this relationship.

No jobs were lost by moving production to Toray as so many have claimed. Tamoda is still very busy and doing just fine.

We will add jobs here in the USA at KUIU and at our warehouse. If  your concern of loosing jobs are the reason not to support KUIU, then you should support KUIU now more than ever.

I built Sitka and now KUIU to create a significant change in the quality and performance of the gear we wear for hunting in the mountains. This is an industry, culture and lifestyle I love and respect.  To claim anything else of me or KUIU is simply not true.

Sincerely,

Jason

 

This article has 139 comment(s)

  1. David Casaceli Reply

    Rock on. Thanks for standing up for yourself and the brand.

    Your products have spoken for themselves in the past, I’m confident they will continue to do so.

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thanks for the comment David!

      • Joe Polunc Reply

        Jason recognized the shortcomings from the sew house needed to be corrected. Failing this, he would have lost market share and momentum. He did what every owner would have to do – solve the problem!
        Unfortunately assembling the products was not an option here in the USA. Its reality that has been with us for many years.
        Jason has solved the lead time issue and will undoubtedly move the brand forward.
        This is what the free market is all about.

        • Jason Hairston Reply

          Thanks Joe, well said!

          Jason

  2. Chris Harmston Reply

    I have worked as a professional quality engineer and manager for nearly 30 years and have seen exactly what Jason is talking about in many different companies from semiconductor chips, medical devices, software, and especially in the outdoor industry. I have extensive recreational and professional experience in the mountaineering arena and agree with Jason’s analysis and direction in moving the supply chain overall.

    The quality of what I have used from Kuiu actually exceeds anything I have seen or used in the mountaineering world. What Jason is doing does come with risks for sure. But from an assessment of the quality of the items I have purchased I would certainly continue my purchases into the future. Lead time is a critical quality indicator and one which has as great of potential to loose customers as product which does not work.

    Chris Harmston (Director of Quality and Regulatory Affairs for three medical device companies and former Quality Manager of Black Diamond Equipment).

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Hi Chris,

      I really appreciate you taking the time to comment and giving your input and professional perspective.

      Jason

    • Andrew Reply

      This should be quoted on the website! To have someone like Chris say that is HUGE!

  3. Will Jenkins Reply

    GREAT Follow Up! You did a great job of clearing things up and address the concerns of some of your customers. I’m very excited to see the new technology that KUIU is bringing to the market!

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thank you Will.

      J

  4. Harlan Giles Reply

    Thanks Jason. I am glad to see the growth of KUIU and the products that you are producing. I will continue to be a supporter as the products have already more than proven themselves to me. For those that spread false statements, good luck with finding equally quality gear… In regards to the “China junk”, I pose the question of just how many have ALL their hunting gear that is made in the US.

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thanks Harlan!

  5. Shane Close Reply

    Sweet! I’m excited to see all the new stuff! Maybe I should have held off on the whole lineup of Verde for this new gear? I guess I know what I’ll be asking for for Christmas!

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Hi Shane,

      Never hold off! We will always be introducing new technologies and designs at KUIU.

      J

      • Shane Close Reply

        You’re just saying that so I’ll buy more stuff! 😉 I didn’t. I ordered the whole lineup in Verde except the guide pants which will come soon enough. I decided to spend the extra money on a Wes Wallace Royal!

        • Jason Hairston Reply

          You are going to love that bow! Great choice!!!

          • Shane Close

            Thanks! I hope so. I love my Mentor from him. Now time for the Royal. 😀 What’s your setup on your Royal? (If you don’t mind me asking)

  6. rick Reply

    how is this move going to affect KUIU’s prices?

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      It will not affect KUIU prices.

  7. Julien Reply

    Thanks Jason !
    As I said earlier, I will continue to support KUIU because this brand is still different from all the other one !
    If you can offer other a small size, it would be awesome.
    Julien

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thanks Julien. Noted on the Small Size.

      J

  8. Matt Reply

    Good update Jason. I look forward to seeing what is next. Thanks.

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thanks Matt!

  9. Jordan Seitz Reply

    Well written clarification for those who misunderstood, and for those of us who are excited about the future for KUIU.

    I spent my early years hunting and dreaming about a camo clothing line that was equivalent to all my Mtn Hardwear, Marmot, OR, etc…you’ve done this twice now. With the recent improvements to your supply chain, I believe you will continue to impress and surpass!

    Thank you,

    Jordan

    Side-note…with access to more technology…any thoughts on creating an ultralight camo windshirt under 5 ounces (similar to the Marmot Ion….or better yet, the old Outdoor Research 1/2 zip Ion)?!

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Hi Jordan,

      Yes we are working on this with some new fabric technologies Toray has created that are amazing! I will keep you posted.

      J

  10. David Reply

    Good for you Jason but I truely believe you made the right choice.

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thanks for the support David!

  11. Will Ramos Reply

    Thanks for the update. Unfortunately you can’t please everyone. You have to do what you know is the right decision.

    Now lets hear about those boots!

    God bless.

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      I will post a boot report later this week. Yes they are awesome!

  12. Justin Starck Reply

    Sorry if I missed this, but are the non-Toray items going to be sewn in a Toray facility? Ibex does alot of their Merino in the U.S.; I don’t know if it is their own facility or if that might be an option for KUIU.

    For the outerwear, the move seems like a clear choice to me.

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Hi Justin,

      I will be giving more details about a vertical program I set up with The Merino Company and the launch of a new Merino product next week.

      Jason

  13. J.R. Young Reply

    Right on Jason, people can play internet hero all they want but it’s not their investment at risk. I’m excited to see what’s next.

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thanks J.R.!

  14. Michael Reply

    Thanks for the update Jason. I’m looking forward to the future of the company and excited to see a hunting line leading the way with gear, not picking up the scraps from the outdoor lines. To the people that are upset read the “made in” from some of the most respected tect compines. They state we choose the best location for the highest quality. This is what Kuiu is doing and I respect Jason for telling us.

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thank you Michael!!

  15. T Downing Reply

    I appreciate your honesty and transparency on your upgrade to Toray. “It is what it is.” There is an underlining tone to your comments. You seem adamant that this is the most efficient and productive solution to the increased demand. I respect that decision. More importantly, I respect you.

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thank you T Downing for your continued support of KUIU. I really appreciate it.

  16. Greg Reply

    I backed you on the first supply-chain email, and you only reaffirmed that with this one.

    Can’t wait to see what you have coming down the pipeline.

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thank you Greg!

  17. JOAN CATALA Reply

    KUIU is the best gear I have ever tried and believe me I have tried a lot. It has been wonderfull and perfect and I am sure will continue like that with the hard work ae you allways doing. Thanks Jason!

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thanks Joan!!

  18. JT Reply

    Well said, Jason. Keep it up…this is a great move for your company and, ultimately, us (the consumers). For those who don’t know about Toray and its cutting edge performance fabrics and quality are simply uninformed. They are a first rate company. I, for one, am excited about this move for KUIU and am looking forward to the new products for next year’s hunt. Now if I can only draw my limited entry elk and speed goat tags in Wyo I will be in business!!

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thanks JT for the comment!

  19. Marc Fong Reply

    Well said. Stick to your guns. The emphasis on efficiently manufacturing world class hunting gear changes the paradigm. A business with 2500 back orders and a 12 month lead time does not make for a successful business model.The consequential bad will engendered by continuing delays would soil your brand. I tried to go online to order Kuiu products fouror five times and frankly got frustrated trying. Will swing by the shop Thursday to see what’s in stock.

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thank you Marc!! Please call ahead and make sure we have your sizes here. See you tomorrow.

      J

  20. Ben Reply

    This is a true American story of success in a global economy. What is KUIU doing to help preserve the hunting rights worldwide for it’s customers that have helped them reach such great success? Thanks

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thank you Ben!

  21. Kevin Dill Reply

    I never personally worried about where KUIU was manufactured, and the North American component added zero per cent toward my decision (or not) to buy a KUIU product. Non-USA is non-USA in terms of production, and I’ve never felt that Canada or the United States had a leg up on Asia when it comes to technical garment production. My continuing and only reasons to buy KUIU will be: 1) availability of: 2) great hunting garments that meet my personal needs.

    If KUIU becomes bigger…better…stronger…faster…all I can say is job well done.

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thanks Kevin! I really appreciate you taking the time to comment.

      J

  22. Kyle Reply

    There will always be haters. Good follow up Jason!

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thanks Kyle!!

  23. JB Reply

    Haters gonna hate — but no one can deny Jason’s commitment to transparency and direct customer feedback/participation in his goal to build the world’s best technical hunting gear. I applaud and appreciate his honesty with sharing ‘hard decision’ details about what he needs to do in order to serve the industry and remain viable as a brand.

    Putting all factors/reasons aside, sadly for America, the BEST QUALITY technical outerwear manufacturers are located in China/Vietnam. It would take years and millions to establish that level of sophistication in production in the U.S. – and I’m pretty sure doing so is not part of Kuiu’s core mission.

    If this community wants KJUS or Patagonia quality hunting gear on demand, when we want it, while also supporting the growth of a small American business working to be best in class in the industry–support Jason’s need to do what he needs to do. I think we will all benefit ongoing.

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Well Said JB!

  24. Derek Marks Reply

    Jason,

    For me it’s the product… As long as you produce a superior product and have fantastic customer service, I have no doubts that I am in it for the long-haul. Now…can we talk about a women’s product line so I can get my wife out with me ;-)…or at least get her some of the more civilian colored stuff for everyday use??

    Thanks.

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thanks Derek. Noted on the womens line.

  25. Cameron Reply

    Jason,

    You mentioned new technologies in insulation and waterproof laminate. Can you tell me if by 2013 the new rain gear will be out? I am also assuming the new insulation is some type of waterproof down? It will be nice to have 34 of everything in stock! 😉

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Hi Cameron I will make announcements on these developments and others here on the blog but cannot comment at this time.

      J

  26. Jerry V Reply

    Thanks Jason for the explaination, it’s understandable.

    I have to admit, I can’t find anything wrong with the Verde I’ve ordered so far: pants, jacket & all of the 185 Merino. The fit & quality are still as good as the Vias…..so far. Also, I do like the Verde camo for here in the Oregon Coast range.

    Hopefully the quality won’t slip as other companies have let happen when moving the production to China.

    JV

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thanks for the comment Jerry!

  27. Rod Reply

    Great follow up Jason. Keep the product line innovative and expanding. Once you consume most of Torays production line – then they can build a cut and sew factory here in the US 🙂

    Bottom line is going to be filling orders with quality product – you have to have both to be succesful! Your previous model wasnt allowing you to fill orders. For those who didnt do the math 2500 orders * $500 average order price – thats 1.25 million in revenue lost….

    Keep up the great work – and Yes, My wife would love a womans line, Ready by July next year would be just in time for her birthday – Hint, Hint!

    Rod

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Hi Rod, thanks for the math. Pretty darn close! I really appreciate your support.

      J

  28. alan Reply

    great post! we, the customers, for the most part, don’t have any idea about taking a brand to market, the growing pains, and dealing with global supply and manufacturing. i’m sure i don’t. but i do know that with my small business, there are decisions that have to be made that many outside of the particular industry wouldn’t understand. and while i think everyone would want more jobs in the u.s., at this time it’s just not always possible. but vent your frustration when you cast your ballot at the polls, not toward jason and kuiu.

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thanks Alan!

  29. Alex Hoover Reply

    Good job articulating your position and your vision.

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      I appreciate you taking the time to comment Alex.

  30. ChadH Reply

    Jason, Thanks for all of your effort in communicating with your customers. Most companies don’t do that to anywhere near this degree. It speaks volumes about your commitment to us and the future of the hunting industry. I barley post anymore on the site, but read most of the threads (at least as much of them as I can take when they are like the last few days). I can only imagine how you feel most times. Honestly, it was obvious some of the most recent posts where so far from reality that they writters seemed foolish to me and many others. I am really glad you spoke out, but want you to know your commitment to us (your customers) has earned KUIU a TON of slack and respect (at least from me). I love the gear I own from KUIU more than any other gear I have, and I have a lot of it… to much. Anyway, thanks for your forward thinking and leadership in the industry and now, go “play” some more. 😉

    Chad

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thanks Chad for taking the time to comment. I do appreciate all the support!!!

      Jason

  31. Tom Ryle Reply

    Where else in the world – in any industry – will you find a CEO with such transparancy AND in direct communication with his customer base? Unheard of. Why? Because traditional businesses operate primarily from a stance of fear, keeping innovations, business models, supplier/vendor lists, etc. close to their chest.

    That a company such as KUIU is so ‘on the table’ with everything only demonstrates its proactive position of leadership and purpose.

    You can go to business school and get an MBA in traditional old-school business or you can watch a new business model learn, grow, and succceed right hear at KUIU.com!

    Congrats to your continued success, Jason. Onward!

    -Tom

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thanks Tom! I cannot tell you how much your comment means to me and my work! I appreciate it my friend.

      J

  32. Carli Reply

    Jason – great follow up! I am the wife of one of your loyal customers. I am excited for the changes in lead time and innovation this move is going to make for Kuiu. For one, I don’t want to have to place an order a year before Christmas or his birthday to buy him things off his Kuiu wishlist. 🙂 And I am going to play off of Derek Marks’ comment above….How about a women’s line? It doesn’t have to be the full lineup of gear, but even a few key pieces to start would be amazing. I tag along on hunts, and would like to start hunting myself, but there is not much in the way of women’s gear. Currently I wear some of his gear, a few of my own gear, but then make up the rest with backpacking gear (marmot, OR, etc). As one can imagine, it’s not the best setup. Just a thought from a hunter’s wife….
    CB

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Hi Carli! Thanks for taking the time to write such nice comment. I am still trying to figure out this men’s hunting clothing thing. But your wishes are well noted. Thank you for the support!

      Jason

  33. Ken Allen Reply

    I just got home from a backcountry hunt with two friends and all of us use KUIU gear. In casual camp conversation I asked what they thought about KUIU moving production to China to imporove lead times. Both of them said that they weren’t aware of the change, shrugged thier shoulders, nodded thier heads as if to say what about it, and didn’t seem to care – that was the end of the conversation. I have a feeling that is more common than not with most of your customers and the future customers that you will attract. At this point you have made a business decision that you feel is best for your company and have thoroughly exlained it – I am sure that if you could make it work to have a completely US made product that you would be all over it – at this point unfortunately you can’t. Onward and upward to the newest innovations.
    Ken Allen

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thank you Ken, I appreciate it!

      J

  34. heron163 Reply

    Jason – you make a great product and I know Toray makes superior fabrics that are right up there with the other class leaders. Your reasons for choosing what you do with KUIU are ultimately your business… My only bitch (and a minor one) is the fit of the new verde stuff made in China. I read that you have measured the old vias stuff against verde and say they are true to size but this is not the case with my items. My old vias layered perfectly and fit true to size. My 36″ verde attack pants fit like a 33″ and the DCS jacket feels like a wetsuit… there is no way I can layer this stuff. Are the size standards the same or is it something else?

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Get in touch with Customer Service and we will get you taken care of. It sounds like we may have mislabeled a few items. This happens from time to time as you can imagine.

  35. CoryS Reply

    Jason…I will echo heron 163 sentiments exactly. I have a couple thousand dollars worth of PERFECT fitting VIAS stuff. Ordered up my Verde and the sizes are completely different in everything. My 40 pants measure under 38, my XXL Guide Jacket is too small without a shirt and I can wear the old guide jacket with a spin drift comfortably underneath it. To top it off I moved DOWN a size in the new shirts. IMO the new sizes are horribly tiered, inconsistent and all over the board. The old stuff layers perfectly. My question is this due to customer requests? or the new sew shop?

    By the way, I’ve always stood by your new move. Some people “get it”, the one’s that don’t may very well never get it no matter how many blog posts you put up. Such is life…Carry on producing the greatest hunting gear ever made. (just try to come to a consistant sizing model)

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Cory as I mentioned in an earlier post we increased the sizing in our Merino wool to account for shinkage from dryers. Our care labels suggested air drying but we had people who were throwing them in the dryer and complaining about the fit after. So, we increased the sizing a half size.

  36. Jason Hairston Reply

    If your fit seems different please call customer service so we can make an exchange. It sounds like we may have a mislabel or sent you the wrong size. I went through inventory yesterday and measured and tried on Guide DCS Jackets and Attack Pants and did not find anything that was way off in our fits.

    J

  37. JC Reply

    Thank you for the succinct explanation. That should settle all the misinformation, rumor and innuendo. I hope.

    And I feel sorry for all the guys here that have committed to end their consumer relationship with you. Sounds like they will really be missing out in the future!

    John

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thanks John.

      J

  38. Eric Bergey Reply

    Great post. Thank you for your honesty and transparency. That is why I am a KUIU customer! Unfortunately, you cannot please everyone. Now, let’s stop worrying about where it’s assembled and get those design juices flowing again! I am looking forward to more innovations this year! Bring on the best gear available, hands down!

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thanks Eric!!

  39. CoryS Reply

    Thank Jason…I am sending the pants back today. They almost HAVE to be mislabeled. I understand the shirt thing and am fine with it, however, with the Jacket and Pants I really have no options if these are the current sizes as I a maxed out and I am really not that big a guy…6’2 – 230.

    Fortunately I bought the Verde as an early season treestand option and will continue to use the Vias for my Mountain Hunts. So, I am able to “get by” with the smaller sizing on the jacket. Just a little frustrating having to send stuff back and figure out what my “new” size is. So are you saying the Guide Jacket sizing didn’t change? Because mine is MUCH smaller than the original…

    Your customer service has been impeccable by the way. Keep up the great work.

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thanks Cory we will get you taken care of.

      J

  40. Michael Reply

    Jason
    Thanks very much! Anyway you could get into the Military customer? Just kidding..They could use it but the bureaucracy would not allow it..
    Respectfully
    Michael

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thanks Michael.

  41. Brad Reply

    I would envision with these new lead times and product availability the smalls and tall crowd will be served, As well as a women product line. One Kuiu blogger here did refer to these clothes as lulu lemon for men…. I can’t disagree!

    I’m a western guy and don’t camo…. It is a verb now… that’s what brought me to Kuiu, awesome subdued solids in a athletic cut, and not missing out on any technical advantage that Arcteryx and others have had for years except the loud colors and PRICE!!

    I’m very confident that they’ll be more solid colors, other than just having burnt olive, comming from this move in production….. Hint hint.. Man I miss that frost Grey!

    • Brad Reply

      One question though, is this not an exclusive agreement with Toray to be able to use their production facilities in China? Would this not hurt you in bringing the most innovative materials to kuiu as they come out in the future as companies always find new “game changers”, or can you bring in competing materials into your line?

      Westcomb, an independent vancouver outdoor clothing manufacturer can have an eVent, shoeller, neoshell products to better suit their customers needs and requirements. How would or could this work in the new Kuiu business model?

      • Jason Hairston Reply

        Hi Brad,

        Who said this is an exclusive Toray agreement I can work with any fabric supplier in the world. Toray is going to produce their goods.

        I have tested eVent, Schoeller & Neoshell and they do not perform better than Toray’s fabrics in each category. Below is a break down of each from my research and testing:

        eVent is PTFE. Yes it breaths very well but it does not stretch and is very noisy and has the same rating of Toray’s laminate that we use.
        Shoeller produces some very nice fabrics but they use a lot of lycra that makes their fabrics heavy and retain water once wet.
        Neoshell is a Polartec product and they do not print on their fabrics. Neo shell breaths well but only had a 10K waterproof rating which is fine for snow sports or hiking but for hunting you can get pressure of brush or alders to push water back though a 10k rating.

        If there is a new technology or fabric that comes to market we will test it and if we like it we can use it and produce it. We have access to many factory choices out side of Toray’s for these products.

        Jason

  42. Jim Reply

    Thanks Jason for taking the time to follow up on your supply chain business decision. I appreciate the open communication and your willingness to take feedback.

    So far, my Kuiu gear has worked great and made a difference in my hunts. I just now placed another order.

    Also, wanted to let you know your team has been outstanding in terms of positive, responsive and engaged customer service. Something I haven’t always experienced from outdoor gear manufacturers. Hope your business continues to grow.

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thanks Jim, I will pass along you kudos to our team. We really work hard to provide the service our customers deserve!

      Jason

  43. Will Ellison Reply

    Great follow up Jason!!

    Will the remaining 2013 new products be available for at least preorder by Christmas?

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Hi Will,

      Some will some will not because they will still be in development. I will let you know.

      J

  44. Seth Reply

    My Kuiu Guide jacket, attack pants, merino hat & collar and my guide gloves have taken me through 2 bow seasons, 1 gun season & are primed and ready for gun season starting this Saturday here in NW MT. All of the items have performed extremely well, fit well and remained tough through countless bushwhacks. I won’t try any other. Can’t wait for the 2200 Day packs.

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Hi Seth,

      I will have an up date for you shortly on the new day pack. It has been through some rigorous testing this summer and fall and we will have the next prototype back soon.

      J

  45. Tim Reply

    Well I guess only time will tell. Maybe I’m just upset because I found some great gear and yup I didn’t jump right on the band wagon, waited for it to be proven. Guess I can wait to see how this turns out. Definitely will keep my preorder canceled for now, maybe next spring I will rethink ordering again.

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Hi Tim,

      What concerns you about KUIU? Let me know as I would love to have you as a customer.

      Jason

      • Tim Reply

        I have yet to buy anything made or assembled in China that had long term durability. I have faith in the material since I already own a bunch but I don’t have faith in the long term quality of the sewers in China, I personally have just too many items fall apart after 2 years of use, to only have to spend more money to replace. I’ll sit back for now and wait for more long term reviews before I spend this much on items built in China. There are other options currently that I also own that in the mean time will get my next order (I only wear solids).

        I truely do hope that what you say is true and I’m not reading a bunch of reviews a year from now about items coming apart. That is my biggest concern and one that can really only be changed with time.

        • Jason Hairston Reply

          Tim as I stated in my blog I am not about building price driven products that cut corners. Please do your homework on Toray if you are concerned and do not trust the KUIU brand or myself. I hope I can earn your business someday. It is important to me. Thank you for taking the time to comment and express your concerns.

          Jason

  46. todd conley Reply

    Stick to your guns. Stay transparent with your customers. Grow only as fast as you can afford to. Keep producing a great product. Your well on your way. I cant believe i pay as much as i do for your stuff but i love it.
    Thanks
    t

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thanks Todd for your support!

  47. Brady Miller Reply

    Great post on the follow up, Jason. I have seen the forum threads blow up about the last blog post on lots of websites. Keep pushing the envelope by making the best technical hunting line out there. Looking forward to seeing KUIU advance. I believe this move is a great one! With continued technical innovations that could possibly make me more apt to handle any conditions the mountains throw at me…it’s a win…win in my eyes.

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thanks Brady for your words of encouragement! I really appreciate it.

      Jason

  48. Corey Smith Reply

    Nice write up. You have create two successful business. I think you know what’s best for your Business !! And we all can see your passionate for it !!

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thank you Corey!!

  49. Mike P Reply

    Jason,

    Good rebuttal to all the naysayers.

    I would be willing to bet that a good share of the guys complaining about the move to China also complained about not being able to order their size of gear due to low inventory. They are the kind of guys that are only happy when they have something to complain about.

    Secondly most of them are likely not business owners and have no idea what it is like to manage a company…they probably couldn’t organize a picnic!

    The guys complaining that do have businesses likely do not buy all their work materials in the USA (can almost guarantee that)but seem to have a huge issue with you doing it…(insert rolling eye man)

    Guys going off about “made in america” need to realize its 2012 not 1912…its a global economy and this is part of the reason that the US is in trouble and being passed by other countries… its time to live in the now and actually work on the “American Dream” instead of bitching about other countries “Taking Over”…The American Dream is based on bringing forth new ideas, materials and processes, which is what yourself and your brand are doing!!!…come on guys, stop bitching and whining and get out and do something about it.

    The other thing is that KUIU was not made in America to begin with so what’s the friggin difference if its China or Canada (I’m Canadian and don’t give a flying fig if it was sewn here, I just want high quality gear…but that does raise the question from the last Blog post about all those poor little old ladies who hand stitched KUIU garments..that was classic :))

    Rant over…

    Cheers,

    Mike P

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thanks Mike! I always appreciate your unwavering support. I am working on setting up a warehouse in Canada. We have to figure out the inventory management of the backend which we are working on. I am committed to having product in Canada sometime next year.

      Jason

  50. JR Reply

    Based on forum posts it seems there is an issue with sizing on the stuff from the new factory? Maybe not an issue but different from the past at least… Is it known that the sizing will be different moving forward?

  51. Val Marquez Reply

    I used a wool coat while scouting deer the other day, I was soaked with sweat with it on and cold when I removed it. The next day I changed to my Spindrif coat and Guides vest. Wow! I was never hot or cold and the KUIU gear is so light and the fit is excellent.

    KUIU isn’t just for hardcore mountain hunters is works well on Mainne’s hardwood ridges and swamps.

    Keep up the great work,

    Val

  52. Steve Reply

    I just found your product, love the design, I ordered the attack pants today. I also operate my own business with production in Asia and our factory is so high tech and advanced. I travel to Asia and our facility and product quality is so high we can’t do it in the USA. Sorry folks, but that is just the way the world is at this time.

  53. Vito Reply

    I have a great deal of respect for you and the foundation that you have built. Keep up the outstanding job. You ARE the leader in this field and many are going to try to follow. The foundation,culture and passion you have built can never be duplicated ….I will continue to support kuiu and spread the good word through out the hunting community. I very proud to be a customer of your company

  54. Frank Fieweger Reply

    Jason,

    Keep doing what you do, brother. I’ve never followed a line so closely or had a man be so open and interactive about his business and what/why he is doing what he’s doing.

    I love your stuff. I will continue to support you and Kuiu. Just got my VERDE pants the other week…….so excited, and can’t wait until the top shows up….no matter how long it takes.

    Frank

  55. cory Reply

    I really like what you said about us dealers,,,lol …Thanks …yes I was with you from day 1 with sitka and now you say WE cant help you grow….so YOU can save the consumer 30-40% what BS…Thanks

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      I am not sure what you mean by your comment? Help me better understand so we can discuss.

      Jason

      • cory Reply

        Sitka was my first step in making this change, but the retailers created limitations of what we could build because of their lack of ability to add value to the purchase and sell high priced performance products.

        We had no problem sell Sitka..What LACK of Ability did I have? WE Dealers helped you grow..And we can now to But you dont seem think we dealers are able to sell high priced camo..

        I under stand not all dealer are the same but to say all dealers created limitations? open a few dealers with protection areas say 50 miles. I was one of the first dealers to open in Oregon and now every shop around me has Sitka…they flooded the market so now Im looking for a new line …but you wont let us help you grow?

        • B Reply

          Corey – you clearly don’t understand this business model. Why sell to a dealer? You will mark it up 30-40% and WE the consumer eat that margin. Explain to me what value you can provide to me the consumer.

          Consumers know as much or more about all products these days and box stores provide limited value…matter of fact zero value.

          Your coments are laughable. And for the record, Sitka’s sales numbers suck in Oregon.

        • Jason Hairston Reply

          Hi Corey,

          I would rather give our customers the 40% to 50% margin for doing their research and buying KUIU. I agree there are still some great dealers and I am sure you are one of them who add value but those are far and few between this day and age.

          Jason

  56. Vladimir Reply

    Jason,

    is there a chance you ship orders to international customers(Non-Americans) directly from China?
    thus would free us from double postage expences(forth and back over the pond) and US customs duty.
    TIA
    Vladimir

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Vladimir,

      Where do you live?

      Jason

      • Vladimir Reply

        Moscow, Russia

  57. Allen Harvey Reply

    Reality is that businesses have to evolve and change. If not they get runover by companies willing to change. Sounds to me like Jason has put a lot of thought and research into this change.

    This change shows Jason’s commitment to us hunters, as he felt that his lack of product aviablity was unacceptable to him. He is taking the steps to correct those problems. Every company has growing pains. I am glad to see Jason is handling those growing pains in a timely and educated manner.

    Kuiu will continue to have my 100% support and confidence. Keep up the great work Jason.

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thanks Allen! I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your comment.

      Jason

  58. Gregory S. Jackson Reply

    Jason,

    Thank you for taking the time to keep us updated. I must admit that your willingness to be so transparent is all of this is beyond me. And then you take the time to respond to the comments -do you every see your family or sleep !!!
    I love your products. I will keep buying them as I can.
    And I will continue to spread the word to all of my friends and associates about the products and your business model. And I am honored to be a part of your inner circle…
    As always, you have an advocate in Castle Rock, CO.

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thanks Greg! My wife sitting next to me in bed is asking the same question right now:)! I try and respond to every comment because I feel truly honored that someone cares enough to comment about what I wrote. I really appreciate all the support here on the blog and for KUIU. I know we have the best customer base of any brand in the world! Just go look at any other blog or company forum and find a group of people who care more about a brand and sport! It is awesome.

      J

  59. Ben Armstrong Reply

    Thanks for the followup, Jason.

    I’ve spent thousands on your gear and it’s likely I’ll spend more. I’ll be honest, though, my enthusiasm for KUIU was tempered by your announcement. Here’s why.

    I’ve followed your path from Sitka to where you are now and anxiously awaiting the great gear you’ve brought to the market. I can’t remember if you ever said as much or it was just implied, or maybe I just dreamed it in my head, but part of the allure of Kuiu was doing things the ‘little guy’ way. It was the hands-on feel and following the manufacturing and design all the way up to my door. A big part of that was the fact that your stuff WASN’T made in China. My perception of the marketing was that you sold us on the “made in north america” labels and quality. That leads to pride in ownership and it makes me feel better every time I put it on.

    Whether they are better or not, I value my stuff that’s made locally more than I do the overseas stuff. China is our biggest global competitor and if I have a chance to buy something made somewhere else, I’ll do it. I stay away from Walmart for that very reason. Yes, my phone and a bunch of other crap is chinese, but if I have two products in front of me and I have a choice, I’ll take the non-chinese version every time.

    Even if your guys in China are the best in their country, now you’ve got the stigma. Made in China.

    I wish you nothing but success, and as long as you’ve got the best gear on the market, I’ll probably keep buying it. But…as soon as a competitor comes along that makes their stuff domestically of equal or better quality, I’ll be making the switch, even if it means paying more.

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Ben I get where you are coming from. Completely. However, I know overtime with the products we are able to bring to this market over the next few years will make clear how important this move was to KUIU regardless of where our products are made.

  60. mike Reply

    jason,you continue to create the best i can find,stand tall my friend,i’m with you.

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      I will Mike! Thanks for your support!

      Jason

  61. Don Reply

    I must be missing something here. Primeflex from Toray has a 9-month lead-time regardless of where the end work is done. How does having Toray manage the rest of the manufacturing reduce lead-time for the end product to less than 6-months when Primeflex takes 9-months to make?

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Hi Don great question. Because Toray is managing the entire process they are giving KUIU priority on raw material procurement, space in the mill for spinning yarn and weaving fabric, dying fabric and printing fabric and in the cut and sew factory. This allows our lead times to be cut in half for a finished product.

      • Don Reply

        Cool … thanks for the explanation!

  62. Matt Reply

    Jason, I am running my first software startup and remember some of the pushback and grief I had when people found out our core developers were in India. The reality is the world is flat and there are some things that are just better done outside the US now and these functions will probably never come “back” to the states. In most industries that frees us up to do the higher skilled work here and to continue to invent and enhance.

    Keep your head up, most have no clue what it is really like to build a new business and you have a great thing going. I’m too busy with work to fit in a hunt out west this year, but when I do it will be in KUIU gear. And, I’m glad that your supply chain will be ready for me…

  63. David Reply

    Jason

    I rarely comment on these sort of things, but I have to take my hat off to you for your transparency regarding your operation. I have been buying your gear since you started making it and will continue to do so as long as it remains of the same high quality regardless of where it is assembled. I guess all those who seem upset about this would be happier if you set up your own mill and shop right there in CA and would have to charge 10x what they pay now because your high cost of operation and low volumes. I have run my own business for for nearly 30 years and truely understand what you are up against, I too am introducing a new product and can appreciate how challenging it is. Keep making good gear at fair prices and you will do fine.

    DJG

  64. Antmo23 Reply

    I love my Kuiu gear. I don’t have a lot of it, but I cherish everything I have. I don’t care where it’s made, but if you’re going to have more of it available when I need it, sounds good to me! I’m kinda pissed at you right now, I had FINALLY talked my girlfriend into buying me a spindrift, and now you have something that’ll blow it out of the water coming soon… Lol, I showed her your video and she said ” good thing I didn’t buy you that spindrift yet.” lol, keep up the good work, you’ll be hearing from my CC soon…

  65. Sean Reply

    There is NOTHING like Kuiu on the market, not wild things, crye precision, Sitka… I don’t understand why people are so pissy about this, the fabrics for this gear comes from over seas anyways! I am a inner circle member and will continue my excessive spending(ha ha) as well as telling everyone I know about how good this stuff is. The day I feel Kuiu is just more of the same, then I will switch, but if this company keeps moving forward and making innovative/quality gear I am sticking around!

  66. Chris Reply

    Hi Jason

    Appreciate you being upfront and honest given what I am sure was a difficult decision for your company. I am looking at ordering some new clothes but one thing that would be helpful is an idea of what is going to be rolling out in the next six months so that I can order it all at once. Also what you are looking at for timing would be great as well.

    Keep up the great work and stay true to what you set out to do.

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Hi Chris,

      Thank you for the comment. It was actually a very easy decision to work more closely with a leading company like Toray. Those who are against it I hope will see the innovations KUIU brings to market and will someday realize how valuable this move was to KUIU and the hunting industry.

      In regards to new products and concepts, I will announce them here on the blog first. However I cannot give out a laundry list of new concepts and products coming to market 6 months in advance. Some products and technologies I will and can others will be held a bit longer for competitive reasons. Just stay tuned to the blog. We do have quite a bit in the pipeline.

      Jason

  67. Trevor Reply

    This was going to happen, no doubt about it. KUIU is not packs, shirts, boots, pants, etc. KUIU is a business model that is simply adapting a proven outline since the early day of vertical integration be it steel, real estate, Apple Macs, etc.

    Was having this exact conversation with sourcing, evaluating, funding, managing and selling houses with my team last week. Jason, I have followed the blog from pretty much the start, and own some pieces, but to be honest, I fell in love with the business plan. I have enjoyed following along as the company has grown, and seeing the good and bad come with your growth from a concept into a brand. Got done reading Seth Godin’s “Tribes” the other day and KUIU was the first thing that popped into my mind. If you haven’t read it, I’m sure that you will enjoy it. This had little to do with the subject, but I think it is good that folks are as passionate about KUIU as they are.

    Keep true to your mission and all will be well, sounds like quality control will continue to improve even as growth happens, a rare feat indeed.

    Trevor

    • Jason Hairston Reply

      Thanks Trevor! I am a HUGE fan of Seth Goodin and have used his work to create KUIU.

      J

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