We apologize for our lack of communication these past few weeks... they’ve been incredibly challenging.
This is not a letter a founder ever thinks they’ll write.
At Kosan, we find ourselves in a rather difficult paradox. For the past few years, we’ve dreamed of the moment when travel, the supply chain and the world, would return to normal. Through those years, we did everything we could to keep the business alive. Our founders re-invested money (almost every few months), took on loans, applied for grants, held deep-discount sales, vacated our offices and warehouses, and, reluctantly, downsized the team (again and again). At every turn, we found a scrappy solution to our pandemic related challenges. We saw travel returning to normal, we saw a light at the end of the tunnel, but when we got there, the hard reality was that the business could no longer sustain itself. Kind of like when you’re late for a flight but still think you’re going to make it, then don’t…but a lot worse.
This may have been a long time coming; however, like world travellers, entrepreneurs, don’t think that way. We think about what is possible. With grit and resilience, we believed in the good, and pursued solutions with passion and determination. That is what we did every day at Kosan, up until just a few days ago, we thought we had, yet again, figured it out. Unfortunately, those solutions didn’t come through and sadly we are forced to close our doors.
We started with a vision to make the world a better place by facilitating travel and shining a light on human rights issues. Simply, our team believes that the more people who travel, the better off the world will be. Why? Because travel educates us about our diverse humanity, expands the mind and heart, and therefore is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, intolerance and narrow-mindedness. Mark Twain’s words, not ours. We cherished our community of travellers — people who respected the places they visited and the people who live there. People who honoured the importance of supporting one another on our respective journeys.
It is with heavy hearts that we know for some of our valued customers, we haven’t been, and may never be, able to hold up our end of that relationship. I’m speaking to those who recently pre-ordered our Go Travel Dresses and possibly a few other items. Most of the dresses are complete and sitting in our factory overseas. The other products are in a third-party warehouse; however, given our situation, our creditors have the right to secure these items in their possession, and there are no funds in our account to ship the rest. Words cannot fully express how awful and broken we at Kosan feel about this. For those who are affected by this, may we suggest you reach out to your credit card provider to see if your insurance will cover a refund on the purchase. Otherwise, we are actively looking for someone to take over the company and if there is anything else we can do to deliver your orders, we assure you that we will.
The bank advisors told us to keep this letter short, this did not seem right. As travellers, we all know goodbyes are sacred, sad, beautiful and hopefully, never final. Travellers experience thousands of little serendipitous miracles while out in the world. Maybe we will as well. It is with that spirit that we sincerely hope to serve you again one day in the future.
This may be the end of Kosan, at least as it exists right now, but your journeys and adventures will continue far and wide. Stay curious, hold onto your desire for deeper connections, and keep experiencing the world in all its wonder and beauty.
We wish you well,
The Kosan Team