25 years of cyber-Wear
Celebrating cyber-Wear's 25th anniversary. Reason enough to reminisce a bit about the past and share milestones from these 25 years that have become part of our history.
01) How it all began...
How it all began, or as some might ask, "What gave you the idea of selling ballpoint pens?
Actually, I was determined to avoid telling these stories beginning with "Once upon a time." But let's face it, every good fairy tale starts like this and our cyber story is no different: our development over these 25 years has taken a fairy-tale course.
It was a cold, wet Wednesday morning sometime in September 1992. One of those mornings when at our age there were only two types of student: those who were glad that the long vacation and the attendant boredom were over, and those who couldn't wait for the first day of school to be over as quickly as possible. I belonged rather to the second group. After all, the weather was still good enough to go and play tennis. Either way, it may have been a rainy September day, but my memory may be wrong and it was actually perfect summer weather. We sat in our classroom ready for the upcoming year, the 9th grade, waiting with some anticipation for our new class teacher, who traditionally always had any new classmates in tow as well. No sooner had the fight for seats in the back row of the classroom died down than the door opened and in walked our teacher, together with a new guy. Our class teacher was still the same, but the new guy was a new classmate and my first thought was "Please not HIM", immediately followed by "Damn, there's a seat free next to me". The new guy was the big brother of a fellow student from a parallel class and one who was also on the school's hockey team. He was one of the older and cooler ones who at practice always treated us with some condescension.
Okay, I thought to myself, I'll just have to put up with him during this final school year, because of course this irritating character sat himself down next to me and that was the start of this story. For whatever reason, and neither Roman nor I can explain it to this day, suspicion (to put it mildly) turned into friendship, friendship into blind trust and ultimately became the basis of cyber-Wear. Since that first day hardly a day has gone by when we don't communicate with each other in some way.
02) The deal with our German teacher
We were both pretty good at German, and I'm not talking about grammar - that was neither Roman's nor my strength. But we were able to analyse texts and debate with the best. So we negotiated a kind of deal with our German teacher, who said, "As long as you get good grades and keep your mouths shut in the back row and don't bother anyone, you can do whatever you want." And that's how it turned out.
We sat in the back row, it was the height of Chiemsee fashion and big, loud prints. Between Roman and me sat another classmate and friend who was good at drawing, and to our right another classmate from a Turkish family. And so it came about that we started messing around and decided to develop our own fashion brand. After a lot of back and forth we came up with our first design, based on Chiemsee, and named the brand Vangölu after a lake in Turkey. We then printed a handful of T-shirts, just as many as our pocket money would allow, and tried to sell them to our classmates. The resulting interest and success were - well, let's be honest ... virtually non-existent.
But the idea was there and we knew that it would be cool to do something with clothing. So we kept tinkering, developed new designs in the most bizarre versions and bravely showed them off to everyone, but really everyone: classmates, teachers, family, friends, etc. In our euphoria we were then already dreaming of great success, which, however, took a little longer to materialise. But one thing was already certain at this stage, the brand and later company name: "cyber". At that time without the "Wear", but more about that later. Our first small success was an order for 100 T-shirts, which we developed and printed together with a hip-hop friend from Heidelberg, and which Roman would sell at a hip hop contest.
From this idea, we then came up with the idea of selling graduation T-shirts and everything related to the topic of graduation to our older classmates in Grade 13. The second business idea was born! We designed graduation logos, produced T-shirts, sweaters and almost everything that could be printed on. With the results we travelled from school to school by tram or bicycle and offered our services. Surprisingly, this worked really well. But at the same time, since it was a very temporary seasonal business, we had to think about what we could offer to people during the remaining months.
And so the next thing we did was call on acquaintances of our parents, including the owners of a plumbing company or an insurance agency, local clubs, construction companies and others. The five of us developed logos and printed T-shirts, sweaters etc. for employees.
03) Everything cyber
Since we had always tackled everything diligently, the time had come to register our business. After Roman's father had kindly explained to us where and how to do this, we rode to the town hall on our mountain bikes and explained to the lady in the office what we were planning.
She was visibly irritated at the beginning and became more so as the conversation went on. The two of us, one 18 and the other still 17, sat in the town hall and filled out the necessary forms. When it came to the name of the company we looked at her with enthusiasm and answered unanimously: "Cyber". She looked at us and simply said, "That's not possible, what on earth is that supposed to be?" We tried to explain to her that everything was cyber at the time - cyber space, cyber future, everything was cyber and so were we. She simply repeated: "That's out of the question". A company name should say what the purpose of the company is. She then suggested something like "Weiss und Baumgaertner Fashions."
After what felt like 100 suggestions from her and just as many rejections on our part, we made one last attempt and tentatively suggested "cyber-Wear". She - by now really exasperated - agreed and finally registered this name. cyber-Wear was born - almost.
The signatures were still missing and the lady asked for our identity cards, only to find out that I, at the age of 17, was not yet allowed to found a company. So Roman ended up founding cyber-Wear on his own. We didn't care, we were happy and satisfied, had registered our company and could now really get down to business.