Was 2020 really that bad for our company and HEMA? Summary of the year

The pandemic routine of 2020 became hard and exhausting for everyone. However, it seems that we got used to the new situation (and not just us) – instead of looking for more drawbacks, we tried to focus on the bright side. Are you curious what was going here and what changed during the last year? Or maybe you would like to know our future plans? So keep reading. 😉 

We were pleasantly surprised 

Due to the pandemic, HEMA activity moved from clubs and gyms to backyards and parks. Some of you started to put more emphasis on solo training – learning thrusts, increasing accuracy, strength and stamina. And we have to admit we are impressed about the fact how many of you instead of quitting HEMA started to look for different ways of training. 

And here arrived online lessons on Zoom or Teams. A few HEMA tournaments were carried out this way. Still, the longing for “real” tournaments and workshops is real. You know what we mean. But the scholars also didn’t mess around! With some extra free time, HEMA researchers were able to make more translations or transcriptions of former treatises, which gave us some extra publications on historical fencing.

We had clear sales targets, but…

The beginning of the year was record-high for us regarding sale. But the situation became much worse in the second quarter of the year, when lockdown arose in many countries – when sport clubs were closed and governments put limits on relocating – we have noted a significant drop in sales. This tendency started to change around half of the year. This is because many of you came back to HEMA online. In the third quarter, the situation somehow stabilized. In October we even realised the sales plan for this month. The end of the year brought new restrictions and promises of normality in 2021, on which we took with a grain of salt.

We moved to the new headquarter

After all, 2020 was also the year of many positive changes. One of the most important ones was moving to the newly constructed headquarter. It involved a great logistic challenge – from that moment all departments are in one place, so moving wasn’t easy. Earlier we were scattered, which had an impact on order processing and generated extra costs of transport.

The new headquarter is much bigger, so we could invest in new machines and devices. The aforementioned actions let us decrease the amount of leftovers, which is important for us. Now, thanks to the new equipment, we are able to cut out fabric in a more ergonomic and precise way. And from the scraps we can upcycle high quality goods at attractive prices, like our eco bags.

Apart from the big hall we also built a large storehouse, which can contain a lot of goods – this allows us to produce a bigger stock. This way, we can realize regular orders practically at hand. Together with the centralization of our departments, it had a positive influence on improving the processes in our company. We have increased the processing volumes, upgraded the quality of our goods, broadened our offer with several products, shortened the time of order realization, and lowered the fixed costs.

New gear in SPES Histfenc webshop

  1. “Dragonfly” Level 2 HEMA Pants (January) 
  2. Sword holder (February) 
  3. HEMA Plastron Level 2 (February) 
  4. HEMA Padded Skirt Level 2 (February) 
  5. “Swordsman” Leather Gloves (May) 
  6. HEMA Buckler (May) 
  7. Kerchief Mask (May)
  8. “Cadet” Level 2 HEMA Jacket (June) 
  9. “Red Lobster Limited” Level 2 HEMA Gloves (June) 
  10. “SPES Blue” One-Handed Sword (September) 
  11. Medieval Court Gloves (September) 
  12. Landsknecht – HEMA Jacket – limited edition (November) 
  13. Landsknecht – HEMA Pants – limited edition (November) 
  14. “Black Lobster Limited” Level 2 HEMA Gloves (November) 
  15. “AP” Future Soldier 350N – limited edition (November)

Bestsellers of 2020 

The most popular gear in the previous year were the AP jackets (AP 350N and AP Light) and the Officer jacket in both versions. Equally popular were our heavies – Lobster gloves. With regard to the new products, you liked the “Dragonfly” pants, HEMA plastron and padded skirt Level 2, the fancy Cadet jacket, and the limited edition of our SPES heavier – “Red Lobster”.

More sales…

Our sales section got a good kick-start. You gladly bought our goods in custom sizes and unique versions at attractive prices, even with small flaws, which do not affect their usage.

…and even more limited editions!

The section with the limited editions of our gear has also expanded. You will find there unique equipment available in limited numbers only in our webshop. One of the examples is the AP Future Soldier, which was presented at the end of 2020. 

We have developed our HEMA blog

Just like scholars mentioned before, we also were keeping ourselves busy. The Histfenc blog was finally given some regularity in publication, so you could find out what we were working on. You can find here the posts on our custom orders, new gear and limited editions. We would also like to share our knowledge on historical fencing (with a focus on safety matters in HEMA), so soon you can expect some more articles on this topic.

We started our Instagram account

Since last year, among Facebook, you can also follow us on Instagram.

What are the plans for 2021?

This year we would like to start a new production line. There are also plans to make some new products, like for example fencing gloves. We also want to introduce the upgraded versions of our goods. Some of them will get the 800N version. As we have some more time after improving the process of production, we will be able to make some more custom projects for customers who want to check solutions not available in our regular offer. There are also plans on making a professional photo studio.

We also care for lowering the costs of our business and reducing the amount of leftovers. This is why we are aiming to create the special Eco Line. We will try to use the fabrics and materials to the greatest extent. So we would like to make a range of new products made from the remains. Our plan is to lower the leftovers by 50% by 2025 (in comparison with 2020). More on our green policy you will find HERE.

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