November 24, 2016

I get asked this question a lot.....but first let me say that foreign rider was started to be a company and not a brand. 

I have been making technical apparel since 1993 when I launched a line of apparel for cyclists and triathletes. Then in 2001, I launched Dunning Golf and we were the very first company to manufacture a full range of golf clothing exclusively of performance fabrics. Our first few trade shows were horrific and we pretty much got laughed at as I was told "this is a cotton industry". Pretty much all of my fabrics and product ideas have been replicated by some of our competitors who are very big brands.....I like to think we were always ahead of the curve with innovation and also being able to identify where the game was heading. Now 15 years later, Dunning Golf is in over 1500 of the finest pro shops and resorts around the world with a true global presence.

Not bad for a project I started in my house on my own and literally introducing a category everyone laughed at. 

Now I have come full circle and and building this company with cotton and natural fabrics.

I consider myself to be pretty knowledgeable in synthetic performance fabrics and construction as I have been doing this for close to 25 years.

Cotton and natural fibres are now a significant part of my daily life and the foreign rider company. When I finish a long ride or even a round of golf, I reach for cotton for comfort as I have been wearing synthetics for 2 - 5 plus hours.

Since launching foreign rider I have heard form a number of customers who consistently tell me they like what we stand for as a company. What do we believe in and stand for as a company?

We stand for products that are built to last and timeless in design so they will stay out of landfills. We believe you should build your wardrobe around essentials that will improve over time. We believe these principles will guide our company through a journey of sustainability.

We believe in ethical production which means we handpick partners who give us full access to the manufacturing team and floor. We believe in a very hands on approach to manufacturing to deliver consistent fit and quality.

I have listened to a lot of consultants who consider themselves branding experts and it seems none of them have actually built a company. Branding is smoke and mirrors if the company does not have culture. Most companies don't have culture and try and survive on branding and their marketing efforts.

Those days are over.

Today's consumer is so well educated on the companies they want to be involved with. You can't fake it anymore or you will get left behind. You don't need big advertising campaigns or overblown marketing budgets. Today's consumer invests in the product they are buying, but more importantly, the people involved in the company...at every level. These people build culture. The culture of the company is what sets your strategy in running your company every day. 

What you stand for and who you are is more important than what you sell. Yes, the product has to truly be great, but the company is what sticks around and builds a loyal customer following. 

The foreign rider company took me over 30 years to build it's culture. It's a company built around everything I have learned over my career in both the music and apparel industries, but more importantly studying business. Business today is being built around people and culture. If your company and its culture is truly real, the customer finds you today. 

I am building this company through a handful of retail partners around the world that are owner operated and run by people who believe in each company they are offering to their customers. In addition, we will have our online presence and also planning on opening a few fr. studio shops.

I am very proud to be Canadian and I want the foreign rider company to be reflection of the country I love. That is why I have chosen to work with Canadian factories where we can execute our designs at a world class level.

Please feel free to reach out to me anytime at ralph@foreignrider.com

 

 

 

 

 

 



Leave a comment