In difficult, crisis-ridden times like these, a big chunk of people play it safe or contemplate pulling their blanket over their heads and staying tucked under their duvets until it's all over. But the truly inspired and driven don't let anything get in their way. Neither crisis nor deceit. Kudos to Nico Winzinger and her story.
The Woodybunch label started off as the final paper for my studies in Communication Designs. I was always travelling a lot and wanted to do something with fashion and design. The ethos behind the brand is a strong connection to nature, love for details, free life and gypsy living. We want to show a certain simplicity and ease of living and support snowboarders, skaters and artists who are living along these lines with our clothes.
Although I have to say it’s wasn’t all cakes and butterflies, quite the opposite actually. After the first failure with a Turkish manufacturer who wasn’t really willing to deal with a female business partner, we moved production to Portugal and got ripped off even worse. Twice actually, despite legally sound contracts. Bankrupt and disillusioned, this seemed like the end of our dreams. And it was for my business partners.
Bankrupt and disillusioned, this seemed like the end of our dreams. And it was for my business partners.
But my commitment and my love for what we were doing was stronger and with the right people by my side at the exact right time, I went to get another credit on my own. After this whole nightmare, I went on a soul search deep inside of me, asking myself what it really is that I want from life and went back to where it had all started: I want to travel, I want to design and I want to create fashion.
So I went back to Bali, my little oasis for surfing, piece of mind, and yoga. In one of my previous trips there I had already found an amazing little production facility run by an Austrian. He had just taken another girl on board, who surfs too, and somehow talking to them and telling them the whole story of what had happened before, just felt really good and comfortable. Since the proper formal set up with lawyers, contracts, etc. hadn’t worked at all the last time and is not how I want to live my life either, I figured I had no other option than trust. And so I took the plunge, drew a couple of millions of rhupias out of my bank account and put all my trust in their hands.
And it worked! Also because they were very understanding that I needed to continually ask a lot of questions in the beginning. So in the end it turned out exactly how I had always dreamed of and imagined it: easy communication and understanding from both sides and partners. And for the first time since 2008, I actually received the goods I had paid for!
Support your local dealer & support a local brand! :)
I started snowboarding when I was 13 and about five years ago, I also got into surfing. I also still have a VW bus today that I travel around with and sometimes even sell clothes out of the trunk. It’s called the "Rolling Gypsy Store" and bookable for skate, surf or art-related events. Like for example the Äesthetiker Crew’s charity event in Saalbach Hinterglemm in Austria last year, the Lake of Charity. The purpose behind it was to collect money for underprivileged people in this region and we donated 5 euros of every sale to this cause.
That’s the beauty of such a small company: you get to do and see everything yourself. I pack up online orders and take them to the post office myself, our bags are made from paper and are stamped by hand.
If my heart is not in it, it wouldn’t work. And as soon as my heart is not it in anymore, I would stop.
Like what you saw & want for more? Follow Nico, the Woodybunch tribes & the adventures of the stationary and the traveling Gypsy store on:
@woodybunch on instagram
Or pop by the shop and have a Chai with Nico
every Wednesday-Friday from 12noon-7pm & Saturday 12noon-4pm
WOODYBUNCH GYPSY STORE