We have failed.
Well, maybe we’re being a little harsh on ourselves. Not “failed” in the sense of our original goal of creating a unique and original website. We think we’re nailing it and we get lots of random emails and comments from readers applauding what we’re doing and that is so damn cool. However we have failed this far in getting enough industry support to keep us going full-steam ahead. We totally don’t blame anyone but ourselves. We’re not good salespeople, we don’t speak the right sales-speak, and spending too much time riding and shooting photos didn’t give us the skills to sell what we have created. Supporting and creating content is totally fun, trying to sell ad space and establish partnerships is less-fun. That’s the honest truth.
That being said it’s important for us to recognise the absolutely magical support that Specialized, Shimano, and Yeti have provided us thus far. They each have taken a gamble on something new, something different, and something small and speaks volumes about who they are themselves. However 2 1/2 years and an empty personal bank account later we have reached the point where we need more support to continue what we are doing – and that’s where the Eskapee Collective was born. We want you to help Eskapee.
We reached out to our support network and friends and the idea of Kickstarter’s and Patreon type things were floated around but those things didn’t tick our boxes. Why? We just didn’t feel like it met the brand, culture, and conversations that we have created between Eskapee and our audience and we really wanted to come up with something that was more inclusive and made people feel part of something – and actually part of something not simply lip-service. And that’s our biggest goal with the Eskapee Collective – making sure each and every member truly belongs to something and can have their equal say to what we do. That’s unique and more akin to a Co-Op rather than a simple subscription service and on top of all the cool stuff we’re offering members, we going to give you a vote – a vote that will empower you to help Eskapee.
We also wanted to give a little something back and the Eskapee Collective will also establish a new Eskapee Trail Fund and mental health fund which will both be funded at 5% (each) of any Collective contributions. Finally, we think that openness and honestly is a good trait of a business and if you have a look at the Eskapee Collective FAQ page you’ll see exactly where your money will be going.
It’s a harsh reality that Eskapee costs a lot of money to run and part of that cost is being true to our contributors and pay them all. We don’t repost free content – we make content. It’s the content creators who make Eskapee (and the internet) what it is and we truly believe they need to be better supported and rewarded. We also haven’t turned out backs on seeking more partnerships however and think that a mix of income sources is the right balance for the future of Eskapee.
So if you believe in Eskapee, believe in our approach to original content creation then please become a member of the Eskapee Collective. Not only will you help continue what we have started but you will also be part of our family – a very special part. We know that the world is full of financial pressures and totally understand that even $8 a month is a lot of money but we truly believe in making you part of Eskapee and making you belong to some something that’s a little more and another MTB website.