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Coconut buttons for the Island Way of Living...
A Dutch entrepreneur launches an online clothing brand
Once upon a time there was a chic clothing line for men and an adventurous entrepreneur. That sounds like a fairytale, but in reality it was very hard work The clothing line was called Oxley's Fashion and was focused on online sales of a more expensive segment of men's clothing. After three years selling shirts, ties and cufflinks from different brands over his own web store, he decided it was time for a new men's clothing line. A line with a wink to the beach and the sea. The brand to be, had to represent the message The Island way of Living.
Johan: "I knew that I was not doing everything in a logical order but I also knew that the brand should be more than just clothing. It had to be an adventure, a way of life that everyone appeals to. And I found this life during my stay at Key West Florida. There I heard of the existence of John Elderman, a man with a great desire to discover the world and it’s hidden secrets.
Elderman found in 1963, while diving off the coast of the Florida Keys, the remains of a mammoth on a shoal named Ninefoot. Now I had the name, the logo and the adventure. And the rest is history.
Johan Oudeman experienced "The Caribbean Way of Life" on Curacao and used marketing talent, fashion background, internet knowledge and a lot of creativity to combine the three elements, name, logo and adventure, in an Island Way of Living. A credo which should be leading in creating his own brand. Ninefoot island casuals.
On May 13, Johan's birthday, the website went online and the same day the first order was placed.
Nowadays the clothing line consists of Polo Shirts, T-Shirts, Casual Shirts, Rugby Shirts, Sweats, Knitwear and Jackets. All clothing is designed by Johan Oudeman himself and made in Portugal where a Portuguese agent ensures that Ninefoot's high demands are made by the factories. Doorwerth, a small village in the Netherlands, is the company’s nerve center. Here is the warehouse, shipping & handling, pr department and internet design. Johan: “Everything we can do, we do ourselves. In this way, we keep costs low, which enables us to make multiple collections a year.”
The self-designed website is an important part of the Ninefoot feeling. "The Ninefoot community is still small but is growing rapidly. When you buy a shirt from Ninefoot, you get more than a piece of textiles, you buy the island way of living feeling, complete with coconut buttons and labels. We are also very proud on our collaboration with the Portuguese factories. From the five factories we work with, three have a female management and in a country like Portugal child labor is of course prohibited. That production in Portugal is a bit more expensive then in countries like China, Pakistan and India, is a price we gladly pay.”
Our focus on sales is of course the Dutch and English speaking countries in Europe. But thanks to internet, I see a lot of opportunities in the USA and Australia. By using more intensively social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr, we are spreading the island way of living feeling rapidly all over the world. Ninefoot is giving me an immense pleasure in work and it is great to see and meet people wearing our shirts.”
Ninefoot? A Dutch entrepreneur on an adventurous journey
Ninefoot is a "way of life"
He has been around the block for quite a while now. Having successfully launched an online clothing store for several years, it was time to introduce his own clothing brand. Not just a brand but a label with a story and above all clothes with a soul. Founder Johan Oudeman tells.
"Ninefoot island casuals tells the incredible story of adventurer J.P. Elderman and thanks its name to a shoal near Key West, where Elderman found the remains of a mammoth. The name Ninefoot must also be a symbol of the life that this adventurer has led. Excitement, adventurous, relaxed, are just a few characteristics of his life. And these qualities are exactly the foundation Ninefoot was build on."
"Ninefoot is more than clothes, it's a way of life. A life in which plain and good food, a nice drink and plenty of friends to share it with have high priority. A way of life which became the Ninefoot state of mind and that's exactly the identity we give to our clothes.”
"Ninefoot has no boundaries. We use the internet (www.ninefoot.com) and social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr, to spread the philosophy of the island way of living all over the world. And with spreading the philosophy, sales is growing each year. We have all the ingredients for success. A beautiful line of shirts and jackets, an identity which is recognizable to everyone, and a powerful name which is emphasized by our unique logo, the mammoth.”
Ninefoot island casuals is a 100% Dutch clothing brand that is sold all over the world. That's something to be proud of!
Paddeling for eternal glory!
Because it’s not only about the 300 participants, it’s all about families and friends who come together to the island to enjoy the sun, sea, food and drinks. Ninefoot island casuals feels like home on this beautiful island!
Also this year, the annual 12 mile race will be full of excitement and fun, and again Paddle Boarders, Kayakers and Canoes will fight for that coveted cup and the eternal glory!
Sport with a Caribbean Flavour…
Each year, Ninefoot island casuals arrives at the most prestigious water games of the Florida Key’s . The Key West Paddleboard Classic. Completely in the style of its island way of living, this event is one of the many great things this island has to offer.
The Key West Paddleboard Classic is more than just a sporting race of fanatic paddle boarders who measure their strengths in Key West.
Dutch clothing brand on cover Esquire
The Power of a Good Logo
A modest Dutch clothing brand, Ninefoot island casuals, suddenly appeared on the cover of the renowned American magazine Esquire. In an interesting article the magazine shows that, in most cases, clothing brands with an animal as a logo are significantly more recognizable and often more successful than other brands.
To substantiate the article, some examples of successful clothing brands like Lacoste, Aebercrombie, Hollister, and upcoming brands like Vineyard Vines and yes, Ninefoot island casuals are given.
Reason enough to ask some questions to its founder, Johan Oudeman. In a comment, he said he was pleasantly surprised by the article but most of all about the fact that the Ninefoot Logo, a mammoth, was also placed on the cover of the magazine.
In the article readers were asked to place the name of the brand with the corresponding logo. With a smile on his face, Ninefoot's founder tells that 99% of the predominantly American readers did not know what Ninefoot island casuals is all about. Let alone that they cannot make the connection between a Mammoth and such an exotic name.
So, still much work is needed to spread the intriguing story of Ninefoot, it’s mammoth logo and philosophy .
Paddeling in the Bayous of Tarpon!
What does a Dutch clothing brand do in a Florida Bayou?
Tarpon Springs It’s no wonder Ninefoot island casuals is so excited about Key West's Annual Paddle Classic. The relaxed atmosphere of this island and its people make sure that it is a pleasure to be a part of this event. That the Paddle Classic would be copied elsewhere was just a matter of time. Tarpon Springs, a small town in Florida is for a number of years now organizing its own Paddle competitions, The Tarpon Springs Paddle Cup.
And of course a brand like Ninefoot island casuals has to be a part of it.
Located on the Florida coast with several bayous that end up in the Gulf of Mexico, Tarpon Springs makes a perfect location for various water sports such as paddling. The beautiful weather, the beaches and a kitchen with Greek, Spanish and French influences complement the philosophy behind the Ninefoot brand that has been processed in the Ninefoot way of living.
It is no wonder that you will find many participants here in a Ninefoot Polo or T-Shirt. Just like more and more men in the Netherlands, the Paddlers of America are getting more and more fond about Ninefoot and its philosophy.