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Ever since 2009 when Balance Community opened it's doors, so to speak, we have been an ever growing and ever changing company. On this page you can see just how much we have grown over the last several years. We hope that this growth continues and we are able to continue with the emerging slackline market.
All of this growth has been a direct result of our amazing customer base. Without you, we would not be where we are today. For that, we want to thank all the slackliners of the world that have been a part of Balance Community over the last 10 years! <3
When we first open our doors, so to speak, in 2009, Jerry and his wife Susan lived in a 300 square foot (28 square meter) apartment in San Luis Obispo, California. There was hardly any room for a bed, let alone the tiny amount of inventory that we stocked at the time. When we got our first shipment of webbing, it literally exploded all over the living room floor due to the box being weak. We were swimming in Type 18 for several days as I measured everything by hand, picking out the fixed length pieces.
Not only was our "warehouse" super small, but our website was as primitive as it can get. We started out on a very clunky, very slow, very complicated platform that made it quite difficult for people to place orders. This website only lasted a few months as we quickly outgrew it and needed something a bit more robust. Oh the many hours spent configuring, tinkering, and finally destroying this so-called website...the good 'ol days.
Unfortunately, we do not have a picture of this version of the website. It's forever lost in depths of the internet. If anyone has a screenshot, please let us know!
After about 9 months living in the small apartment, it was time for us to grow up and get our own room (Balance Community)! Susan and Jerry moved to Sacramento for Susan to go to school and this is when Balance Community got to have it's own room! There actually room for shelves, as well as 3 types of webbing! It was such a huge improvement over the San Luis Obispo place...However, there were still many difficulties. Whenever a big webbing shipment would arrive, Jerry would have to feed it from the ground level, up the stairs, and through the window in the Balance Community room. This was not a fun task, to say the least. We made it through though!
With this upgrade in our warehouse, we also got a slight upgrade in our website. We were still using the clunky software we used before, but it was much more stylish now! We didn't stick with this design for long because we were having a lot of the same issues as we were before the change. However, our look was really starting to come through.
Sorry for the bad pictureS, it's the only one I could find.
The situation in Sacramento was not ideal. We could only bare to live in this situation for so long, so we decided to move ourselves and the business to Davis in 2011. With this much needed move, Jerry also went full time with Balance Community, a full 24 months after starting the business. This was a huge leap as we were still very small. The budget was tight for several months, but we made it through!
With this move to Davis, we were able to find a house with a basement that was roughly 500 square feet (46 square meters). This was amazing! We had so much more room now, it was very gratifying and allowed for easy working. There were still many complications with large shipments coming in. We would have to feed webbing through a small window in the basement as we measured every foot to ensure quality standards. Rain made this especially difficult.
Again, around this same time, we launched a new website on a new platform. This new launch was a monumental occasion for Balance Community. Not only did we change platforms, but we brought in a whole new level of information about our products, ease of navigation, and ease of using the site. This allowed Balance Community to grow substantially.
In 2013, we made the decision that we were simply too big to be working in a basement. It was time for us to take the plunge and get ourselves a proper warehouse. We found an excellent spot in Davis just down the street from our home. This warehouse has been a huge benefit for us as we have been able to fill out quite a bit. We no longer have the issue of not having enough room for new webbing shipments. Nor is it impossible for us to keep track of our inventory due to the racks being only a few inches apart from eachother.
Not only did we move to a new location in 2013, we also took on an employee, Tyler! He has been managing the inventory and warehouse, which has allowed Jerry to really grow the business in ways that were not possible before.
After using the same website design for nearly 3 years, it was time for a serious upgrade. Six months of design work and many nights studying the ins and outs of web design, we finally released the new design in late April of 2014. It was a substantial upgrade that ensures we are able to keep more up to date with changes in technology in the coming years. It also made things much easier for people using the website.
With this new design, we were able to ensure a much smoother experience for people. It also provided new ways to discover things about the products we offer at Balance Community that were not possible before.
Another year, another big move across the country! This time we're off to Chicago. I was pretty excited for this move as it meant a more centrally located spot for the business. Although the slackline scene here isn't as active as some other parts of the country, the central location made running the operation much smoother.
On top of a great geographic location, we landed a killer warehouse. With huge ceilings, and tons of space to grow, we've positioned ourselves in a fantastic space with everything we need to design, test, and provide all the gear needed for slackliners world wide.
Late last year we began working on a few new products. During that time, Simon over at Pure Slacklines reached out to me looking to collaborate on similar products. What were the chances he was working on some of the same stuff we were?! It was kismet.
We decided that it was best if we combined our efforts and work on the new products together. After several months, it became clear to us that the best way forward was to combine all our efforts and merge our businesses. This would allow us to put our best foot forward and give our customers the best products possible.