The State of Panda Nation
Five years ago, I started Inverted Gear. It seems like yesterday I was ordering polybags and halfsheet labels on Amazon so I could ship the first batch of panda gis from my mom’s basement. A lot has changed since then. First of all, I met my wife and business partner, Hillary. I didn’t know how much I needed her until she saw our original design files that were sent to the factory. Here is a side by side for comparison, so you can perhaps get a sense of the potential she saw on the brand.
With Hillary’s help, Inverted Gear has grown into something incredible.
I’m still amazed when I scroll through social media and get to experience panda sightings. Whether it’s a video or a picture of a seminar somewhere overseas, if you look hard enough you are sure to find a panda somewhere. I am very grateful for this. With the ever-growing amount of options out there, the fact that people keep choosing us means a lot to me and to Hillary.
In order to thank you for your support, we have worked hard over the last few years to bring you more content than ever. I have assembled what I consider the best BJJ writers out there in one team. Marshal Carper, Matt Kirtley, Daniel Bertina, Val Worthington, and TP grant—also weekly features from yours truly and the occasional post from Hillary when she gets time away from all the design work.
Also we are working hard to start bringing you more video content from both our sponsored athletes and us. We’ve been especially proud of our White Belt Wednesday videos. The best part about my job is getting to talk to people about jiu-jitsu, and these videos are a fun way for us to interact with new jiu-jiteiros around the world and hopefully help their training, even if it’s just a little bit. We have some cool projects in the works that we cannot wait to share with you as well.
On the gear side of things, we’ve been busy too. We will have quite a few announcements on the upcoming weeks.
As much as we’re looking to do new things, there’s a lot that won’t change. We plan to continue our support of Tap Cancer Out and all the great work they do. We also plan to continue our support of grappling events in general. We have been able to sponsor the last two Polaris events, we sponsored the last JiuJitsu.net Challenge (Keenan Cornelius vs. Sean Roberts), and we are pleased to announce we will be sponsoring Marianas open this year.
Finally, we are working hard to bring Inverted Gear to Europe permanently. Our friends across the pond have been patient so far, but we know that high shipping costs and rising taxes can be frustrating, so we have a European distribution hub in the works, so that we can directly serve European pandas the way we serve American pandas. Our aim is to have this completed by the end of the year.
Everything we have done over the last 5 years has been possible due to your support. Thank you again for believing in our vision. We look forward to bringing you highest quality gear possible, great content, and let’s not forget that really cool Panda logo.
Thank you, Panda Nation. You are some of the greatest people I’ve ever met.