I (Tim Bland, SG CEO) get asked a lot about the name Stolen Goat, and where it comes from. So here’s some back story…
When I was younger I was cycling across the South of France, it was a glorious cycling experience that I will never forget, nice wine, sunny weather, smooth roads, nice wine, you get the picture.
One day I passed an angry looking French farmer who was sprinting up a dirt track whilst cursing in his native tongue.
My French isn’t particularly hot but luckily he spoke some English. I asked him if he needed assistance and he told me that his best goat had been stolen by a local butcher with whom he had had a recent dispute over some money.
The butcher told him to settle his bill by midday or the stolen goat would end up in the shop window… in several bits. The farmer’s car was broken so he would have to run up the steep mountainous ascent to get there in time. Not likely.
What could I do? I had to help free the goat somehow so I took the farmer’s money and vowed to rescue the prize goat from its dicey future.
I cycled like never before up the treacherous and extremely steep mountain path. This was in days before Strava but I’m pretty sure I would have otherwise owned that segment for many years to come.
It was tough but I just made it to the Butcher shop by midday. The man behind the counter spoke no English but he understood that I wanted to exchange my fistful of sweaty money for the bleating animal tied to his chair by a gnarly old piece of rope.
I doubt he cared if I knew the farmer or not. He just wanted his money.
The exchange was made, the goat was freed and now I was navigating my way back down the same treacherous path only this time with a mad goat tied to the handlebars!
After falling over for the fourth time I wondered what the hell I was doing. I also wondered what was so special about this goat as to cause the farmer so much concern?
So finally, after I got the goat back to the now elated farmer I asked him what qualities the goat possessed.
He took me to a building which seemed to be a coffee bean processing station. It has always been said that coffee was actually discovered by goats in the Ethiopian Highlands. And this particular goat was extremely talented at sorting out the finest coffee beans from the mediocre ones…
The French farmer would purchase a mass of varying quality coffee beans and use the goat to sort the good from the bad which allowed him to grade the coffee and sell it more effectively.
This goat was the centre of the farmer’s very unique business. And so, bringing freedom to this gifted, stolen goat, provided me with an excellent source of inspiration for my business venture.
OK, no that’s not what happened at all.
But it’s a great story! And more importantly it covers the essence of what we are trying to achieve with Stolen Goat – the spirit of adventure, something with some imagination and a little different – the story enabled you to escape from the hum-drum for a short while…
Stolen Goat is about freedom, freedom to live your life the way you want to. The company was founded as a route for myself out of the 9 to 5 corporate pressures that trap so many people this day and age. I hoped that one day I would be fortunate enough to have a team around me that could share in this adventure. A few years down the line that dream is now a reality and each day we explore ways of finding more people to join the collective herd. Who doesn’t want a bit more freedom in their life?
Freedom comes in many forms…
People, myself included, use sport as a mechanism to escape the pressures and stresses of the modern day world. Not everyone can quit their job and start a bizarrely named business, so our mission is to inspire and facilitate your quest in finding freedom through sport.
Within our chosen sports and pastimes, what we wear plays a crucial role in finding that freedom. The fabrics we use enable to you to ride / run / swim / etc further / faster / better in any weather conditions – thus expanding your potential for adventure and ultimately, freedom.
The cut of the garments allow you to be free in your movement, literally enabling you to be less restricted as you pursue your goals.
Design plays a huge role in what we do because it plays a huge role in how people express themselves. Whether on the bike or running your local loop – we all take on an alter ego when we exercise. For that short (or long) time, we are free and get to be exactly the person we want to be. What we look like is a massive factor in that… how do we express our alter ego visually? What design cues do we relate to? Most importantly – what inspires us to find our freedom through sport?
Freedom is getting out and doing what you love. Freedom is riding with your buddies, freedom is running full tilt for an hour, freedom is exploring the local trails.
Freedom is… Stolen Goat
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