This is the story of virblatt. The story of what became our business. The story of our life and what it became the past couple of years….
As many others, we wanted to see the world, so we figured Asia would be a good start. As four young travelers, we did what many other travelers do: We booked a flight to Bangkok – the gateway to Asia. To make it really exciting for us – and our parents – we didn´t book anything else in advance. And it turned out to be a good idea. When spending days in Bangkok you meet the greatest variety of travelers that you can think of. All of them have their story to tell. And of course, they also share their routes, so you can finally make up your mind where you to spend your holidays. So we ended up passing some nights in busses and night trains (saving time and money for a night in a real bed in a bungalow) to see nice beaches, eat every kind of food the food stalls have to offer, visit national parks, viewpoints, waterfalls, elephants, snake shows, monkey shows, crocodile shows – there are shows for nearly everything… and yes we saw that one as well.
Meanwhile we filled up our backpack with cheap clothes that would last until our next journey. And there was one thing no traveler seemed to miss: the most comfortable clothing ever. Drop crotch pants made their way into our lives.
Until this point nothing differs from a journey to Thailand that many tourists experience year by year. But we returned home with an idea that would change our lives in the long run. While we were studying and working, we bought some more harem pants with the plan to sell them in the internet.
We did everything for the first time: We shipped a box of harem pants to Germany, we imported them, we counted and categorized them, we made photos and created offers for them. We started with less than 100 pants that we bought in a shop in one of the big shopping malls in Bangkok putting them in ebay auctions to see what people would be willing to spend on them. And it worked… we reinvested everything to buy new pants to set up a small Online Shop to create the brand bonzaai. We did this for a very long time, working for fun and not for money.
While our brand was growing we were always curious about one thing: Where do our products come from? So travelling soon became a mission. We met the people behind our clothes: We met Thai families that set up tailoring facilities in their backyards and Asian hill tribes in remote areas, that are known for the weavings and embroideries used for their traditional clothing. Meeting the people behind our products also gave us the chance to design and create our own styles combining alternative clothes with traditional elements creating a unique style.
We not just expanded our sales of harem pants but also our travel radius. Actually, we only wanted to go trekking in the mountains to get away from the business life we created around us – not to mention that we were still caught up in studying and working to earn our livings (our own business was still exclusively our passion). Nepal seemed like the perfect place to get out of the fast-moving daily business with its great Himalayan mountain ranges. And it turned out to be a perfect place for alternative clothes as well. Suddenly we found ourselves in the Nepalese business world: faster, louder and dirtier than in Thailand. After getting to know the Nepalese tailors – we also wanted to know where the products in the streets of Kathmandu come from – we were offered Nepalese hospitality when we were invited to our new friend’s home for dinner.
Since our suppliers became more international, we figured we can do the same. We expanded our sales internationally and created a new brand: virblatt. virblatt is for people like us. People with an alternative lifestyle. People that care where their products come from. Do you want to know where your product comes from?
virblatt – think about it.