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Society Nine is for Badass Women February 18, 2015

Posted by Abingdon in Design.
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Society Nine is Kickstarting a line of apparel for female fighters  which includes gloves, and hoodies.

Society Nine is Kickstarting a line of apparel for female fighters which includes gloves, and hoodies.

I just got punched in the face by this new company I discovered – and I liked it!

Recently, I was checking out some of the projects on Kickstarter (since my own company’s Kickstarter, I have become a closet crowd-funding junkie) and saw this young lady from Portland announce her company’s goal to raise funds for fight wear for women. Lynn Le is her name, and Society Nine is her game.

But this isn’t a game to her. In fact, she started her company only a short time ago and has tenaciously worked to get in front of the Portland Development Commission and win the Startup PDX Challenge. Society Nine is “a brand for fierce, badass women,” according to the website.  “A badass woman is a fighter in life: in sport, society and culture. She’s fiercely independent, athletically tenacious and fashionably daring.”

What is there not to like about this! I feel like Lynn is the fighter sister to The Abingdon Co. I have long had dreams to bring in the fight world to The Abingdon Co. and Lynn has the right attitude and style for it. I love how she combines the strength of fighting with the femininity of the women who want her products. It’s clean, it’s sharp, it’s empowering, and it embraces all women.

I’m cheering on Society Nine and have funded them on their current Kickstarter which is in its last week to create fighter apparel (everything from hoodies and scarves, to rash guards and gloves – all designed for a woman’s body of course). I am not being endorsed by this company – I just want to support them and believe in what they’re doing. I have no doubt they will succeed and I’m looking forward to getting my new rash guard.

And Lynn, after you get your Kickstarter funded, let’s talk about a fight watch. Black with Rose Gold, I think…

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From Idea to Release: How an Abingdon Watch is Designed and Created… February 4, 2015

Posted by Abingdon in Design, Watch.
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I was discussing design methods with some friends who work at other watch companies, and I found out that The Abingdon Co. builds our watches a little differently than most. I’ve always been very proud of each timepiece we’ve released and look forward to releasing many more styles in the years to come for adventurous women who race cars, fly airplanes, scuba dive, shoot, fight, and deserve a quality watch that can hold up a good beating.

Being a small company, having a huge R&D budget is not a reality so I practice Daymond John’s mantra: Practice the Power of Broke. Unlike some watch brands, I can’t make a bunch of styles and then release them to my customers and keep the ones that sell. It would cost too much to do so and it doesn’t allow the attention needed to the details of the styles that adventurous women want and need. So this is an intimate look into how an Abingdon watch is made – and it takes approximately one to two years per style.

Here is the first drawing for the concept of the Elise - our 3 time zone timepiece. It all starts with the idea from our customers and some good old pen and paper.

Here is the first drawing for the concept of the Elise – our 3 time zone timepiece. It all starts with the idea from our customers and some good old pen and paper.

Function first, then Aesthetic

It all starts with asking our customer base what they want in a watch. Dual time? Three timezones? Stopwatch? Flight Computer? Digital? Multi-Function? Abingdon Crewmembers (our staff) always have a pad of paper at The Abingdon Co. booth at trade shows for ideas from people who come up and give suggestions for the “next Abingdon.” We take those ideas and see what is the most common request and that will be the function of the new style.

Next we build the “look” of the watch. Each Abingdon is styled differently so no two Abingdon’s look alike. We take into consideration colors, metals, leathers, and dial choices to create the best combination for this new Abingdon timepiece and the function that will go into it.

Test Pilot Program

Once the function and the aesthetic are brought together in a few different styles, we ask certain customers if they want to be a part of our Test Pilot program. This means they get to wear a prototype for a week and use it in their daily activities as they would any normal watch they wear. With the valuable feedback they give, The Abingdon Co. Crew is able to make improvements to the watch. We’ve changed everything from the movement (it’s like the engine for a watch) to the name given, based on our Test Pilot participants’ responses to prototypes. It’s an invaluable part of the process and I would never want to change this aspect – not only is it fun to work with customers and see their excitement at being a part of the design process, but their feedback helps make The Abingdon Co. watches the best they can be.

After all necessary changes are done, it’s time for manufacturing, which takes anywhere from 3 to 6 months depending on the complexity of the timepiece. During this period while the watches are being produced, manuals are generated, photography and marketing materials are being created and all of the preparation for the release is getting accomplished. Amazingly, it’s been well over a year at this point, but the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight!

Many people ask me if I have a background in horology or design. I say, “No, I’m a pilot, adrenaline junkie, and small business owner. My customers are my designers.” I know some companies produce hundreds of styles arbitrarily and keep the ones that stick. It’s not The Abingdon Co. way though. I’m going to keep quality high, functionality essential, and customer involvement a constant.

Kick Me When I’m Down – and I’ll Jump Back Up November 30, 2014

Posted by Abingdon in Design, General Ramblings.
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IMG_1726-1.JPGWhat an emotional roller coaster these last two weeks have been! After launching my first Kickstarter ever, I have to honestly give all the credit in the world to anybody who has created a campaign for social funding. My friends, Dean and Shelley Siracusa who had a campaign for their sunglass company warned me of the craziness that I would experience. I knew it would be difficult and it is. Excitement, anxiety, and frustration are only a few of the emotions I’ve experienced.
Some of my friends and family that I have called on for donations were wondering why I didn’t use conventional methods of raising capital for this new watch. What you haven’t seen is the year and a half of work I was doing before the Kickstarter launched. I called on banks, angel investors, venture capitalists, anybody who would make a business loan and I was turned down every time. It seems to be that when you try to create something new, people don’t always see the vision that you have. My vision includes products for women who do all sorts of adventurous things. I started out with aviation watches when I was told that it would be a failure. But there is a market for it. I have 2000 customers that say there is. And I’ve only been around a few years. This company is growing bigger and better every year and I can’t wait to bring more products to women who live life like I do – adventurous, daring, extreme. Women like Melissa Pemberton, Clair Marie aka BaseGirl, Janice Carter and Margo from Scuba Diver Girls, Roberta Mancino; there’s honestly too many to name here. All of us women have something in common. We step outside the boundaries – outside the box. Right now, the campaign is on track with over $22,000 raised and 100 backers. And I still have three weeks to go. This Kickstarter was not something that I would have ever dreamed of launching, but if there’s one thing that has come out of it, it is continuing the conversation with fellow women who love life. And there’s a good chance that a damn fine SCUBA dive watch will also come out of it.

Proud to be American Made January 29, 2014

Posted by Abingdon in Design, General Ramblings, Politics.
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Abingdon Jewelry made in the USA

Last night, the President gave his State of the Union address to the American people. For those of you who know me and my presence online, I never really discuss politics. I think they’re very personal and everybody has their own beliefs and opinions about our government. One of the things though that I do think is the responsibility of small businesses in America is to manufacture as much as possible in the United States. It not only helps our economy, but it also helps the people that live in this country to stay employed. (more…)

My Watch on Flying Wild Alaska July 16, 2012

Posted by Abingdon in Design, Flight, Flying Wild Alaska.
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Abingdon Watch on Flying Wild Alaska
(Pictured :: The watch Chelsea Juice Welch wears in Flying Wild Alaska Season 3.)

So many people are trying to find out what that watch is that I am wearing in Flying Wild Alaska when I am helping Ariel Tweto do her cross country flight planning.  Now, you can satisfy your curiosity…! (more…)

Klokhus – Get it? Clock House? July 14, 2011

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(Pictured :: Its a Hard Clock Life.You need clocks? We got big ones, small ones, round ones, square…)

I’ll trade you two bad clock puns for a fantastic link…! (more…)

JCK Las Vegas June 12, 2011

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(Pictured :: The Abingdon Co.’s view of JCK Las Vegas 2011 – So inspiring that we’re sure to be back in 2012!)

What a whirlwind last week was!  The Abingdon Co. – for the first time – participated in one of the largest international jewelery and watch trade shows for wholesalers and retailers – JCK Las Vegas.

It was UN-BE-LIE-VA-BLE!  

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New Abingdon Designer Totes! May 16, 2011

Posted by Abingdon in Design, General Ramblings.
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Cast your vote for your favorite design at http://www.facebook.com/abingdonco

So I’m very excited to bring out some new designs for reusable totes for beach time, grocery shopping – or any kind of shopping that is.  I love them because they are environmentally friendly and super stylish.  The Abingdon Co. fanpage on Facebook is taking votes for the best design.  AND, The Abingdon Co. is accepting designs from artists.  If you submit your own design and it gets picked, you get an Abingdon timepiece as the grand prize!  How neat is that!  So click on the link below and cast your vote – and while you’re at it, become a fan.  http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150595467970174.681584.348209035173