See You Next Level! (Or, A Letter To You, from Arda's Founder)
To our incredible customers:
When I started Arda in 2009, I had no way of knowing what it would grow into or what the next decade would bring. It’s been an indescribable journey, and one that’s shaped every aspect of my life, mostly for the better. I love my job and I especially love seeing what all of you do with our product; I have truly poured my heart and soul into this company, and every excited interaction with cosplayers at conventions, every kind email, and every photo of a successful cosplay have been a driving force in my life and have been so incredibly fulfilling for me. However, running a business inherently comes with shouldering a lot of stress, and the culmination of eleven years of business ownership has affected my health in ways I didn’t expect or plan for. I’ve put off focusing on these health issues for some time, but the company itself is at a transition point this year, and it’s time for me to make changes and focus on getting better.
In January, Arda’s operations will be moving from Chicago to Denver and I will be leaving my role as CEO. The US branch of the company will be under a new team of operating officers who are currently training and so excited to get to work. (For you wonderful Canadian customers, don’t worry! The great team Arda Canada won’t be changing! And our lovely European customers will soon be meeting their very own management team for Arda Europe.) I hope that everyone will be understanding of the delays that will be caused by such a big change and will welcome our new team with eagerness as they transition into their new roles. They can't wait to meet you at conventions again. As for me, I will be leaving to pursue other avenues and dreams for the next stage in my life. It’s been a hard and emotional process to come to this decision, but I know it’s the right one, and I’m so confident in the people I am leaving behind and in their abilities to continue to run Arda to the high standard I’ve always wanted it to run.
For all our customers, very little will change—aside from the hiccups that come with any physical move, Arda will continue operation as normal and the services the company provides will continue. I, however, just wanted to give everyone out there who’s rooted for us, who’s recommended us, who’s laughed with us, who’s shared drinks with us at conventions, and who’s watched us go from a company selling t-shirts to a company who you rely on for a hobby that brings you joy, a very personal goodbye and thank you. So many of you are my friends, and eleven years ago I could never have imagined my life as it is today. I am filled with so much love and gratitude. You are all truly beautiful rockstars.
Don’t worry. I won’t stop cosplaying. You better not, either!
With much thankfulness,