Who is behind ParkourStore.com?
We are Rene (20) and Valentin (21), two Freerunners from Frankfurt. Rene has been training for 8 years, Valentin a bit less. Parkour is our passion and our life revolves around it, as it does for a lot of you too. Almost all of our friends are in the parkour scene, and our day is constructed around our training. When not training or further improving the website we are in university studying Economics in Frankfurt (Rene) and Media programming in Stuttgart (Valentin). We are not alone though: Special thanks go to Jan, Moritz and Ute who help with IT, Instagram and Taxes, and all the others who are there when we need it the most!
Why did we make the Parkourstore?
For years we have watched the parkour scene grow and develop. The market is still very small, and a retailer in Germany/Europe is unprofitable. Because of this, there hasn’t been one yet. Why should we invest all of our financial wealth in a store, where we know it won’t be enough for living off of and if we aren’t even sure if our concept will work? There are many reasons for that. One, for both of us the textile industry is a semi-profession, another is that both of us have always have dreamt of a job that is the equivalent of the passion. We love the Parkour scene how it is, but if it carries on growing like it is now, it won’t only be interesting for athletes, but also for companies, that want to invade the growing market and invest in it. Before this becomes a concerning problem we want to create a project that comes from the community itself, and doesn’t ruin what we stand for. We hope that this project will someday give us the profit that we need to pay our rent etc.
Why isn’t the Market very Profitable yet?
This question is quite a popular subject for us, because if you’ve never had anything to do with Production and Sale, it’s understandable that you might ask that. Well….. parkour clothing was popular within the true freerunners/traceures that train almost daily, but not within the ”kids” that train once a week in a gym or so. The result is, the clothes can’t be mass produced, and have to be made in small amounts and not only is the product expensive but also the storage and shipping.
There is a difference between taking a Fruit of the Loom shirt and printing something on it, for like a bachelor party or a ”Class of 2017” shirt, and making your own brand. Alle brands that we retail, produce their own product. so it’s hard to come up with a low cost. We have made a deal with the brands that we retail, where the brands profit of it.
What do you mean with “Non-Profit?
Non-profit means, that we don’t earn any money off the store ourselves. It does not mean that the Store does not make any profit out of selling the clothes, but every penny we make flows back into the Store and into our Community projects (atm. Jams and Contest).
Why do we do that?
Pretty much everyone who hears of that the first time asks that. Well, one reason is that we can’t make much profit in the next time anyways, and before we safe money off the store to get it ourselves, we rather build a proper store with it. Moreover we just like the idea of doing something because we like to do it, and not because we get money for it. We have other projects that provide us with some money (and enabled us to fund this store). And last, but not least: As cheap and cheesy it may sound – When we at first started some of these other projects, we suddenly had much more money than we were used to have, but on the other had had much less time and were forced to do something we didn’t really like. At that time we realized that money is needed for some things, but its nothing that will make you happy. Its what you doing what makes you happy.
At the moment we are both studying and don’t need too much money for our living. In a few years, if the store goes really well than, we might need to take a little money per hour of work we put into the project to supply family and stuff, but thats not for the next few years.
Our plan for 2017 is to get the store running with our us having to supply it with more and more money out of other projects and to get a more continuous assortment.
What are your Plans for the Future?
To be honest, we don’t know. What we do know is that we want to further continue this project and that we want to continue working with the community. We also know that in a few years when we are done studying, it has to be at list a little bit profitable, because to much effort and time has been and will be put into this, for it to ”only” be a hobby when we need to supply more At the beginning we will/have use(d) ”Jam help”, ”Jam finder”, and the ”Photographer-competition” (and of course the shop) to start projects from which everyone can profit from. How? We can show you. We read all the feedback we get and try to improve based on it, so write to our email with your recommendations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even though we would rather see this as type of fun project, we still are salesmen and therefore need to stick to the necessary “guidelines“. We have been thorough on our “brainstorming“, and the results are as follows:
- Focus of the project is the benefit to the community
- All money that is earned flows back into store and community
- For all CO2 emissions, that we cause through shipping etc. , we justify our actions by paying a sufficient amount of money to myclimate.org
- We try to work with social projects as much as possible (eg. Collabs with Disabledfactories and so on)
- We try to sell products from regional companies (eg. KletterRetter and Blackroll)
This project would not have been possible without the support the community has given us. We thank Jan Larwig and Georg Großkopf, who helped us when we had problems with the webdesign, and we also thank our assistant for Server administration, Jan Mehrtens (answer, damn it!). A huge thanks also to our product testers and models Luca Beaufort, Julius Klein, Jovan Uljarevic, Silke Solfrank, and Sebastian Speck. Thank you Lukas Volkwein for color correcting the photographs. Also a special thank you to Rene’s mother who saved us from Financial catastrophe, with her knowledge in accounting and taxes. ☺