[2019] A Real Life tale

To tell 2019 I have to start with a “Once upon a time” as this year was filled with so many ups and downs, with suspense and surprises. As every tale, it concludes with a moral.

Innovation and sustainability

When planning 2019, I had wanted to organise TOKAY on 2 words: Innovation and sustainability.

On innovation, we achieved quite a lot for a single person team: Launching a feet measurement app, releasing the TOKAY Flight, and of course our Ultimate dedicated Flip-flop, gem of the year.

In 2019 TOKAY also released the Ambassadors program, giving the opportunity to players who had been supporting the project from the early stages to integrate TOKAY more officially. It also included news players who wanted to advocate for the brand they liked. Dear ambassadors, if you read this, thank you for your support!

Sustainability wasn’t such an easy matter to assess. While I could lead some actions that will have a positive effect on TOKAY’s environmental impact – such as reorganising the supply chain – sustainability requires to lead proper studies to evaluate those impacts before drawing conclusions. Those studies are underway, publishing the results on 2020. 

Not an easy start

Early 2019, I realised TOKAY wasn’t doing well, the launch of the company had required more resources than expected. As I had no experience in administration, it took me a while to realise it and take proper actions, the project was about to crash.

To this, added the stealth of the remaining stock. A few months before receiving the TOKAY Flight, most of the pairs from the first model were stolen from my van. The production was also delayed…. I had to cancel last minute my attendance to Tom’s Tourney: sorry again guys, see you next decade 😉

Those news hit me hard, as I was seeing the project tearing apart. I had to face the reality and started sketching a new plan: opening the company’s capital to welcome new investors and set up a better followup of TOKAY finances.

A Crazy summer

The TOKAY Flight arrived just in time for Windmill. Well, a small quantity of them, brought into the luggage of my production partners, the day before Windmill. The little detail is that they arrived to Milan, so I had to drive 15h to Amsterdam to be on time. 

They received a warm welcome from the community, and the intensity of the European Ultimate summer didn’t give me much time to think about anything else, with 2 week long tournaments: the adult and youth European Ultimate Championships in July and August. Adding to this the Club Championship and Master, I guess the European Ultimate Federation staff and partners didn’t get much time to think about anything else either. Congrats for surviving this summer!

The EUROSTARS were also a blast, not only for their victories during the tour, but also for the support I received from the team. Can’t wait to see you all girls next summer!

In October I pushed the travels further and crossed the ocean to Attend Lobster Pot, a College tournament in Portland, Maine. As it was my first trip to present TOKAY in the USA, I made the most of it and gave a bigger tour that end the weekend after at the Boston BUDA fall league. The whole trip was full of insights to help TOKAY develop in North America!

But let’s not get ahead on 2020. This trip in the USA marked the end of the traveling season, and I have spent the end of the year on more boring conventional tasks.

A real life moral

This story is a happy ending one, but the ordeals TOKAY and I have been through this year taught me a lot.

When facing those hard situations, I started working on my mental health, learning how to take care of myself so I kept enjoying what I was doing and wouldn’t lose sight of what is worth in life.

Whatever the situation is, you need people on your side. From my partners to my family I wouldn’t have done anything without them. Out of 2019, my best memories come from the times I’ve spent on the fields and from the people I’ve met.

So I hope you had a great holiday time with the people you love. For 2020, I wish you the best time with those people, and the rest will come along.

On to 2020!

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