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Support RC & HEMAwear return from digital disaster

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And just like that…

as if a million product’s voices cried out as one and were silenced…


The Digital Disaster
I can’t believe I find myself writing this.

Nicole here, the ‘Revival Lady’ and founder of HEMAwear. I personally keep a mostly low profile online, letting my brands, websites and products speak for themselves, so you may know me best like this:
As a purveyor of authentic medieval clothing. Me posing as logo:
My other passion business – making clothing for historical fencers:

But if you have been to either Revival Clothing or Historica/HEMAwear in the last several weeks you will have noticed a change that seems "off brand":

Our website and the culmination of 20 years of effort was 'accidentally' removed, eviscerated, disintegrated, atomized and completely deleted from the Matrix by Hostgator our "professional" hosting service in January.

To borrow a phrase, 'it’s dead Jim'.


We’re not exactly sure what customer service package we bought that includes the complete erasure of our business and life’s work, but apparently that was one of the enhancements that came with our contract. Much like the Death Star solved all of Alderon's political problems our provider has certainly solved the many technical glitches that plagued the site in recent months: they deleted the websites, the backups, in short our entire account.


This was only the final nail in the proverbial tech coffin. We have been having terrible, unidentifiable tech problems with the site for several months and as a result our sites have been down 30-50% of the last several months and when they were up, we experienced slowdowns to the point where some folks couldn’t get pages to load. Hours, days on the phone with tech support, and then it would be fixed for a week, a day or sometimes just a few hours and then we would lose functionality again.

Finally, we found a support guy who had a solution - and the next thing we knew everything was gone. No explanation, no resolution, and no solutions - only an email saying, I kid you not, that the ‘issue had been resolved and the ticket was closed’. All this and after losing so much functionality for months - it has negatively affected sales/revenue on a scale we can no longer absorb.

No, this shouldn’t be possible. Yes, it violates every 'best practice' in tech. but this is the reality we are now dealing with.

Which begs the question - now what?

Good question.


Coming back from Digital Disaster
Short answer: we are Frankensteining a new site into existence.

Long answer: it’s not really a million products but between the two sites it’s several hundred, each with dozens of photos and multiple variations of size and color so this is going to take some time. Even after the developers have done what they can, we will need finish the job of replacing what has been lost, which is months of work.

To pour salt in the wound, I have consulted multiple lawyers and Hostgator's implicit ‘terms and conditions’ prevent us from getting compensation for either what they deleted or the cost of rebuilding what's gone. That's right: the high-tech, massive hosting corporation you go to because supposedly that helps ensure this won't happen, up charged us into a plan to add extra security and has a set of policies whose fine print is "if it does happen, too bad, so sad." And when it did happen, they didn't even admit they'd done it.


It's like your doctor deciding that your conditions were too hard to manage so they euthanized you then had the nurse dump your body in the alley outback. (Dark humor has been my coping strategy lately.)

Our awesome web designers at Universally Found are working hard to help us rise from the ashes, but this represents thousands of dollars in developer hours. With the loss of revenue, we don’t have the $$$$ to pay that bill. So, after decades of dressing you folks I find myself throwing myself on the mercy of the Re-enacting and HEMA communities to ask for help. If you can, please donate now.




It’s hard to express how hard this is to ask but I didn't come to this decision lightly. The businesses, both of which are dependent on in-person events and gatherings, survived the shutdown. That in itself was no small feat - I pulled out all the stops – researching aid and loans to get us through(and coached all my small business friends on how to do the same).

Then came the labor shortages, supply chain and inflation hits that have shocked all small business, making everything cost more - knowing we can’t infinitely raise prices and still serve our loyal customers. I have repeatedly found ways to persevere. But I gotta tell you this has taken the wind out of me.


Our Story - built by the community
Both Revival and Historica/HEMAwear are passion businesses that were born of my love of and ties to the re-enacting and historical sword fighting communities. I saw opportunities to serve the practitioners in both groups I love by creating clothing that is flattering, historically based, functional and hardy.



We were 'crowdfunded' before that was a thing. From the very beginning friends and colleagues pitched in to make this a reality because they wanted it to exist. In many ways, these businesses were born because folks in the community wanted them - I couldn't do this without that backing. In any way I can, I have given back and fostered both the Re-enacting and HEMA communities.

I am an active member of both the communities we serve and I LOVE being of service - integrally involved in nurturing these hobbies that enrich us to grow and spread. Our tent at reenacting events was a central gathering place for history and sword nerds for many years.




Nowadays you can find me organizing and studying at HEMA events such as the Western Martial Arts Workshop(WMAW)



and studying, fighting and working at my HEMA school, Forteza, in Chicago.



and getting all medieval at smaller, private re-enactment events.






So that's a bunch of pics showing the best of times....currently things are allot worse. Twenty hour days figuring out how to emerge from the fire, fighting the powers that be, being at the whim of individuals in a corporation that do not care if they destroy 20 years of work in few keystrokes and having NO recourse for restitution. It's really, really hard.

This is what I do professionally, full time. I love it(most days), but it’s not the easiest or most secure way to earn one’s living. I want to continue to serve my communities but I come to a point where I have to ask myself - what cost is too much?


How You Can Help
I come from the traditional - good stuff for a fair price - point of view as a maker and entrepreneur, but for the first time, after over 20 years of business, I find this isn’t enough. It’s just been too many challenges to meet, one after another, in the last few years. And so I come to you, asking for help - $10, $20, $30 -- a beer or pizza's worth from numerous folks will make a decided difference.

Many hands - lighten the burden.


If you have patronized our sites, are looking forward to doing so in the future, or just like the idea of helping small business that serves the hobbies that make your life better - please donate today!


I estimate we need $18,000 to cover rental and staff, operating costs until we can open for business again, and the digital rebuild(which is ongoing and that final cost I won't know for while yet).

Your donated funds will go to paying our website builders, keeping the rent paid and the lights on until we get things up and running again, paying our staff and replenishing our stock of fabric, so that we will have it ready to make lovely things for you once we can take orders again.

Donate whatever works for you - even $5 raises us that much closer to our goal.

Can't afford to donate? Please share! You can be of enormous help by getting the word out.

Finally, once we are open again - you can support us by placing an order!





Going forward
In the meantime, please note that WE ARE STILL HERE - and looking forward to getting back to making stuff and serve you in your re-enacting and HEMA fun in the future. Our websites will come back in stages because, with the challenges of buying clothing remotely, we worked SO hard to make them informative, educational, and extremely detailed. It will likely takes us the rest of year to come back from this blow.

Fortunately, we haven’t lost any previous order information. We have thorough, locally saved records of all sales and customers. All orders placed before the site went down are in process. We have moved to a new hosting provider and are instituting even more rigorous back-up procedures.

Fool me once….

The best way to find out when we are taking orders again is to sign up for our email newsletter. (I had previously posted we would try to take orders via email before the website is up again - but its turning out to be so much work to get things rebuilt that we aren't able to do that yet.) If you would like to be added just send us message at either website at our 'csr' emails(gofundme won't display them but they are also on our websites www.revivalclothing.com and www.historicaclothiers.com). Any other other questions - please email us. Currently, we have temp webpages up and our customer service emails are working. We will get back to you as fast as we can. We LOVE making you stuff, hanging out with you at events and look forward to keeping that going!




And finally....
The harsh reality is that we find ourselves in is that we need support now in order to be here as resource in the future.

So, please donate what you can today - even $5 will make a difference. And please share! Getting the word out is a big part of the challenge. If you aren't in a position to give financial support - sharing now and continuing into the next few weeks will also really help.


THANK YOU!
This has been a jarring, frightening, unexpected and difficult time. I know this was long, but I think transparency is important. I have never been in a position before where I had to ask for this kind of help and I think you are owed an explanation.

In the meantime, thank you for your patience and support. YOU are the reason we do this.


Nicole and the folks at,

Revival Clothing
Historica
HEMAwear


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Donations 

  • John Schneider
    • $100 
    • 23 d
  • Cindy Rozell
    • $50 
    • 1 mo
  • Anonymous
    • $20 
    • 1 mo
  • William Phillips
    • $15 
    • 1 mo
  • David Farmer
    • $25 
    • 1 mo
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Organizer

Revival Clothing -Historica-HEMAwear
Organizer
Aurora, IL

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