SilverAnt - 2023 A Year in Review
As we bid farewell to 2023, I find myself reflecting on a year brimming with gratitude and growth at SilverAnt Outdoors. It has been a year marked by milestones and the continued support and enthusiasm of our incredible community, customers, and partners. Your trust and dedication have propelled us to new heights, and for that, I extend my heartfelt thanks.
I recently read an inspirational bicycle company CEO write a similar review summarising their year. It influenced me and over the festive weekend, I decided to do the same and write this SilverAnt - 2023 A Year in Review.
The past 5 years building SilverAnt has been one of the most rewarding roles of my life and 2023 has been the cherry on the cake. Below is a short summary of the events that shaped SilverAnt’s year.
Building Bridges Across Continents
In May 2023 I flew the short distance from Hong Kong to Japan to catch up with the SilverAnt Japan team. This was my second trip to Japan and on this trip, I was fortunate enough to see both the vibrant city of Osaka as well as the beautiful Kyoto.
The main aim of this trip was to support the Japan team’s exhibition at Outdoor Park Osaka. I wrote a small article about this earlier in the year.
The exhibition was a huge success thanks to the Japanese team’s hard work and attention to detail. Every trip I make to Japan reaffirms my love of the people and the culture. Asia has been my home for almost a decade and to see SilverAnt not only growing but thriving in China, Japan, and South Korea is very special!
Also building upon the prior year’s hard work and success, the Japanese team celebrated another two triumphant crowdfunding campaigns. In January 2024 we have our most exciting forthcoming release—a crystallized Sake bottle and cups set.
On the topic of crowdfunding campaigns, in 2023 we also were fortunate enough to meet our South Korean partner. With SilverAnt’s success and growth in Japan, the anticipation is sky-high as we gear up for our inaugural South Korean campaign.
The Roof of the World
In June almost immediately after my return from Japan, adventure called and I went on an expedition to the Himalayas. I went with KeYu my Co-CEO, Jie Ying our photographer/graphic designer extraordinaire, and SilverAnt’s founder.
Amidst product testing and capturing content for our new titanium product releases, the beauty of the roof of the world left a lasting impression on our hearts. Daily venturing across the Sichuan/Tibetan plains and experiencing altitudes of 4000m to 6000m was phenomenal. The untouched beauty of the Himalayan peaks was the perfect playground to use SilverAnt’s titanium products. If you follow us on Social media you will have no doubt seen the content from our expedition.
Since returning to the office it has left me wanting more with the occasional ponder at expeditions to both Pakistan and Nepal with Elite Exped.
Let's see what’s on the horizon.
The Middle East
When you think of flourishing outdoor communities you don’t first think of the Middle East. If you are alike me you would instead first think about the large national parks or international outdoor hubs and the communities that thrive upon them.
Nevertheless, you would be wrong because the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have phenomenal growing outdoor markets. For that reason, SilverAnt wanted to attend ADIHEX, the largest outdoor exhibition in Abu Dhabi.
This was my first proper trip to the Middle East and the experience was EPIC! After flying back to Hong Kong the people and culture left a lasting impression upon me. I look forward to exploring this region further, understanding the culture more as well as next time venturing out to the desert with the friends and partners I met this September.
When I look at the companies that inspire me all of them have dedicated ambassadors. For a long time, I have wanted to build a multicultural team of outdoor specialists but for various reasons, it didn’t work out. In 2023 the stars aligned and I began actively recruiting and reaching out to individuals that inspire both me and the SilverAnt team.
Within a year we have gone from 0 to 7 individuals who have taken SilverAnt’s gear on unforgettable journeys. In our team, we now have some heavy-hitting bikepackers, adventurers, and bushcraft aficionados as well as environmental stewards that share our values and brand ethos.
They have taken our titanium gear to Central Asia's Kyrgistan and Tajikistan, bikepacking across Africa, and a breathtaking journey from Canada to Mexico over 3 months. I have even received images of our gear from explorers visiting remote tribes in Zambia.
New Titanium Gear
Another benefit of SilverAnt’s dedicated ambassadors has been their help and assistance in testing and promoting each item of new gear. 2023 was a big year for SilverAnt with 18 product releases.
The most anticipated was the titanium military canteen and 3-in-1 spork. In between new releases, we also strove to improve upon our existing collections taking your feedback to improve and create more functional titanium products. I think the pinnacle of this has been now providing titanium water bottles with an alternative plastic lid.
Another step we took as a company was to offer you our customers something totally unique. You can now customize any item of titanium gear and personalise it. This was a massive step for us this year and since releasing this option I have been blown away by the enquiries and custom engraving thats have headed our way. I look forward to ramping up this offering in 2024 and leveraging our unique advantage where we manufacture everything we make.
As we step into 2024, brace yourselves for more exciting releases. Our upcoming titanium mess tins are hotly anticipated with us teasing the release already on Social Media! Furthermore, we’re thrilled to announce the launch of our first anodized titanium collection—a significant milestone in our quest to combine aesthetics with the unmatched durability of titanium.
The SilverAnt Team
Beyond product innovation, our commitment to building a strong team has been paramount. SilverAnt’s growth and success have been fueled by the dedication, expertise, and passion of our team members.
Throughout 2023, our team has expanded not just in numbers but in the diversity of skills, perspectives, and cultures. We've welcomed individuals whose dedication matches our ambition, uniting under a shared goal of redefining outdoor gear excellence.
To the entire team at SilverAnt, thank you for a phenomenal year!
Penultimately a personal one for me this year has been joining Greenspark. Greenspark is a sustainable venture that partners with non-profits worldwide to reforest, capture carbon, and rescue oceanic plastic.
It makes me very proud of the commitment SilverAnt has made as a business to be sustainable and offset our impact as a business. Every so often looking at our impact statistics puts a smile on my face!
As SilverAnt grows I look forward to ramping up our impact and following the footsteps of founders who’ve championed positive environmental businesses.
Looking Ahead to 2024
As we step into the new year, I extend my deepest gratitude to everyone who has made 2023 SilverAnt’s biggest year yet. Your support and choice to buy from SilverAnt is not one I take lightly.
Here’s to new adventures in 2024. Happy New Year!