I'm a little behind here on this year-in-review thing. Much like great golf, mindful writing can only come from relaxed timing. This year was one of great effort, achievement, warmth, and struggle. In as much as I loved the first year of Matchstick's existence, so too did I need a wind down period to contemplate 2021.
Now the new year is upon us, and the orders continue to come in. I'm still tying things up on our business side, but as I look at the bevy of marks all wrapped in the inventory shelves, I can't help but try to force perspective into what your support has meant to me.
Matchstick was supposed to be a lark. An artistic outlet for a former creative, failed time and again by the free market for personal golf accessories. As detailed before, I spent months searching for the right mark to replace the Jones Sports Co. "Birdie" I had lost some months prior, and without a viable option, I decided the only reasonable choice was to make my own.
Here we are some seven months after launch to the public, and the results are staggering.
In less than a year Matchstick has sold hundreds of ball marks, shipped across the globe to countries like Japan, Thailand, Ireland, England, Australia, Canada, Germany, Puerto Rico, South Korea, Sweden, and Portugal. We've had more than 800 orders and sold thousands of marks, including custom work — some of which has not even been released yet.
All that said, I'm personally overwhelmed. As a creator, be it writing, art, photography, or video, we're all inclined to be hypercritical of what we produce. Something could always be a little better, a concept strengthened if only we had more time. But the response that you have had to this little idea of mine has been staggering.
At this moment, I'm looking at a shelves full of inventory. Some new, some unreleased, some overrun from custom work. There's stickers lumped together, then our original releases. Down below there's unpackaged stock for Spring 2022. I see it all and realize that there's so much good going to happen in 2022, and it's all because of your support.
Matchstick started as a simple idea. In a golf market crowded with über expensive accessories at the top and flooded with low-tier product at the bottom, was there room for a ball mark company that overdelivered in quality at a reasonable price? Could you give someone an experience they'd remember for the same price as competitors who were just throwing marks in the mail? Would a custom mailer, stickers, a handwritten note, custom marks, intimate photography and video, and clever packaging matter?
The answer has been a resounding yes.
With that question acknowledged, Matchstick's 2022 looks much different than I anticipated when I began drawing marks a year ago (or even when we launched in the summer). Moving forward, Matchstick will look to expand in several areas including:
Upping our content: We are currently working on concepts for additional content with some choice golf influencers. Matchstick will be both sponsoring and producing additional golf content that, like the company itself, will aim to fill a market need we see in the golf content sphere while providing a high production quality.
Collaborations: Matchstick is currently in process with several companies to collaborate on marks for 2022. We're absolutely thrilled to be working through the concepts with the companies we currently have on board, the first of which should be announced and available for sale in the spring of 2022. If you're looking to collaborate on a mark, reach out to us. We always want to do new, cool shit.
More custom work: We've been spending most of our winter break working on custom work for individual or corporate clients, and we think this is a real opportunity for regular folks to have something unique as a gift for bachelor parties, golf trips, company retreats, etc. The work we've done for people already is always so well-received because of the thought we put into our presentation and design, which really just gets the juices going. When people are surprised and excited, that's what makes my day.
New releases: Yes, we've been hanging out for most of the winter since Thanksgiving. That's not to say we don't have many marks already planned for release in 2022. We do have marks already concepted and even produced for both Spring and Summer of 2022. We're hoping to alternate between regular releases and collaborative releases throughout the year.
These are the four pillars of our business that we're focusing on for 2022. As a small operation, it's a hefty task to take on some of these challenges but it's the passion that drives us forward and there's plenty of that to go around.
As I look forward to this upcoming year I can't forget the impact of those who have helped Matchstick get here. There's too many to mention, and some who may not want that kind of spotlight. But you know who you are and it's only by the grace of others that we may rise up to our potential. And of course, all thanks to you, our customers, who have supported us and shown us support with your purchases, your likes, and your enthusiasm. Thank you so much for being here with us during our first calendar year and we can't wait to show you what's next.