Wow. I can’t quite believe that we are already celebrating 10 years in the world of umbrellas. Time has flown by. Returning to our 2008 start-up it seems unbelievable that we now offer over 700 styles and colours, offer a beautiful 66-page full colour catalogue and we are still excited about finding exciting and innovative technologies and styles. Talking about innovations, three years ago I was visiting a factory in the Guang Dong Province and was discussing an order with my supplier when a harried and flustered chap rushed into our meeting room with one of the very first INVERTED umbrellas. I declined them ! Some of you will know what an inverted umbrella is and some will not. In summary it turns everything we have experienced and understood about umbrellas on its head. With clever design and innovation the canopy closes in the opposite direction to normal. And with this came a “C” shaped handle. You may ask why re-invent the umbrella, and that would be a very sensible question bearing in mind that in one form or another (Rain and Sun) they have been around for around 3,000 years undisturbed and operating conventionally. However, the benefits will convince you of their place in modern life: Hands Free Operation great for phone/tablet users/bag holding ; Double canopy layer allows closure of the umbrella with the wet on the inside NOT the outside ; Self Standing when furled ; car entry simple and dry ! The potential for this design to make waves in the umbrella market is clear and we are excited to announce that we will have stocks in our warehouse this year. Stocks arrive soon !! There have been many worthy and notable events: sumptuous meals in China shared with my favourite suppliers, travel, making new friends, finding best-sellers and some less notable events such as missed planes, Schiphol and Dubai transfers, relabelling of entire stocks whilst rebranding and NOT finding the time to fully enjoy my passion of motorcycle touring in Europe. This year I am riding to the Picos de Europas in Northern Spain and will try to find another window of opportunity too. Overall my company and the SOAKE team have been on a remarkable and exciting journey and we can’t wait to celebrate another 10 years in the game ! Thank you for YOUR support