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JACKETS, BACKPACKS, and SLEEPING BAGS by Bear Butt – the soon-to-be LARGEST OUTDOOR COMPANY IN THE WORLD.
1,968 backers pledged $176,608 to help bring this project to life.

The Update

Posted by Bear Butt (Creator)
10 likes

Hey all, 

Since our last update in November, there have been a few key changes with Bear Butt that we’d like to update you on. 

Bear Butt is in a very bad spot. It has been since early last year when we learned that we under preformed in our Kickstarter backing, the poor Kickstarter ad & marketing performance, the additional costs of USA manufacturing, having to move all the product back to China, and the poor performance of sales in 2018 for core products to come in and help with the other misfortunes with the Kickstarter, and more. 

Rough Accounting of how funds were spent: 

  1. ~$50,110.99 on KS materials/shipping (this includes materials, shipping and travel for the $178k orders to the USA and back to China)  
  2. ~$99,927.25 on KS marketing (includes Kickstarters cut, advertising, influencers & partnerships) 
  3. ~$24,201.00 in KS returns
  4. ~$83,446.29 on KS machines (sewing and printing machines to make the Kickstarter products [we had more machines that took care of making hammocks])
  5. ~$118,371.87 on payroll and benefits for work directly related to the KS on product development, operations, marketing and design in preparation for, during and after the KS 
  6.  ~$376,057.40 rough total towards KS *note this isn’t including the total other costs of operating the business before, during and after the KS 

After meetings with numerous advisors, the small team focused much of 2018 on cutting costs and increasing sales to get Bear Butt profitable, in addition to getting the products back to China to be manufactured. Unfortunately, even with their efforts - and the improvement month over month - it didn’t work. Bear Butt ended up losing $1M+ in 2018. 

During this time, the Kickstarter materials were sent to China, and manufactured by key partners there for fair prices (with the intention to get the products made at a high quality and a fair price). They are currently waiting at the manufacturers warehouses for a final payment for the release of goods and shipping from China to USA and from USA location to you (~$66,836.48). 

Around the end of last year/beginning of this year, the team switched gears to finding a buyer for the business, someone who could come in, with experience in this kind of thing, infuse some cash and get Bear Butt rolling again. Unfortunately, those potential buyers decided not to buy it last week.

Right now, Bear Butt does not have the cash to release the goods in China and get them shipped here, nor does it have the funds to refund all of the backers. 

This puts everyone in a terrible spot, and the options look grim. Bear Butt has numerous liabilities that will most likely move to foreclose. The Options: 1) an ABC where a 3rd party company will come in and divide out the assets, 2) Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or 3) Chapter 11 bankruptcy. All of this scenarios are bad, and unfortunately do not yield you getting your gear or a refund. For this will sincerely apologize.  

We have been clear with everyone from the beginning on the struggles of this project as we learned of them (including the USA manufacturing not working out, moving everything back to China, etc.). But, we had hoped and pushed for fulfilling the KS even through all of the struggles. There are risks associated with backing a Kickstarter campaign sometimes they fail, sadly this one failed. You all have every right to be mad. We understand that. We did our best to fix everything and get the campaign fulfilled. Unfortunately, given the circumstances that won’t be possible. And, after considering all the options of trying to make it right, we decided upon the best option. 

There are 1544 backers that have not received a refund or are still remaining. For those of you, this is our option: 

  1. There are 1132 hammocks and 4400 straps in Amazon right now (they are still selling so this number may change by the time you get it). 
  2. In order to reimburse you the best we can, we invite you to email Kaye with your name, color hammock and straps you want (search Bear Butt on Amazon to see available colors), your mailing address and phone number @ Kaye@BearButt.com to have her send you a hammock and straps from Amazon. 
  3. This is on a first come first serve basis until we have no more hammocks/shipping money in Amazon left. (ex. We only have ~100 blue/gray hammocks left) 

This solution is our best effort to repay our KS backers. 

Among the backers are our friends and family, you are people we care about, appreciate and are grateful for your support. Now matter what, this is a bad situation, and we feel terrible about letting everyone down. We apologize. This is not how we wanted it to go down. In fact, we poured in hours trying to bring this to fruition. Sadly, it wasn’t enough. 

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions: Kaye@BearButt.com 

Thanks, 

Bear Butt 

Patricia Acosta, V Atkins, and 8 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Missing avatar

      Debbie Mick 6 days ago

      So basically you’re telling me I am out of my investment and no jacket. While I totally understand financial issues it’s the 1year + run around that truly annoys me and to be honest I have not been compelled to try any other kickstarter projects because of this

    2. Missing avatar

      Kaitlyn Dillon on

      "After much frustration and loss of money, they decided to bring their fulfillment in-house. Unfortunately, they didn’t have a house to bring fulfillment into. So, they went searching. By a miracle, they found and purchased a $1.1M warehouse." - https://shipsteezy.com/our-story/
      I have a really good idea where that money came from! Makes you wonder if the materials were actually ever manufactured in China. Assets from any new business ventures should 100% be used to reimburse any backers of this campaign and not go towards new hoverboards, iMacs, and cars. Hopefully, this becomes a class action suit.

    3. Missing avatar

      Sheridan Sterling on

      What a slap in the face to all who believed in and supported you even through the questionable times. I backed the $160 option for one of all three items and couldn’t WAIT to use it for camping season.... LAST year. I like another have your stickers all over. Water bottles I take literally everywhere, on my Jeep, and on my laptop - not anymore. Maybe if you hadn’t stopped the fun hammock designs (American flag, flamingoes, etc.) y’all never would have tanked. And the ‘updated’ boring logo change kinda took the wind out of my sails as well.
      I don’t want another hammock and set of straps. I want the gear I’ve been promised time and time again through here, Snapchat, Instagram, AND Facebook- yes, I contacted on all platforms I had. Sleazy move, Bear Butt. Downright SLEAZY. You lied through your teeth and your ‘transparency’ was a facade to hide much larger issues that you thought you’d get away with sweeping under the rug - an iceberg, even.
      Yet I guarantee you all still managed to pad your wallets a bit, we all KNOW you blew tons on stupid pointless junk (hoverboards for example), and I am honestly quite disappointed in the deceit and lies that we as backers have gotten.
      I’ll be removing my stickers today as I no longer support the misleading liars and thieves of BB. To offer a boring lame hammock in comparison to my Stars and Stripes one even - hah. Ashamed shouldn’t even be near the realm of ‘appropriate’ for how you feel. ✌️

    4. Missing avatar

      Robert R on

      What is your company status - Are you filing Chapter 7 or 11 bankruptcy in federal bankruptcy court?

    5. Missing avatar

      Maxx
      Superbacker
      on

      Also, I'm not trying to justify anything lol. I'm an undergraduate college student who saw the mistakes made after it was irreversible.

      I didn't and don't have money to throw away, so my pledge meant alot. But if you can manage yo believe in yourselves and not repeat history, then I might be able to believe in you too. Maybe.

    6. Missing avatar

      Maxx
      Superbacker
      on

      Know what this means right?? This means the next project you do(with different faces, a different name and a gameplan that does NOT include outting a SUPER LARGE business or bragging about getting crap made in America) will go smoothly.

      Sorry you all had such a rough road. Look forward to the future...and maybe perks with the next project (like super discount or something idk).
      But forreal, you only really suck if you dont try to bounce back. That's when you truly failed. Nothing you can do about this project, move forward.
      Peace out

      P.S. looking forward to my hammock

    7. Missing avatar

      AJ Hewitt on

      Well then, I guess it's time to buy a Northface sleeping bag, and an ENO hammock - no sense keeping these Bear Butt hammocks around, I'm sure they'll make good fire starter.

    8. Missing avatar

      Samantha Goss on

      I’d love to know why, as a backer, I’ve receive an email update for every campaign update EXCEPT this one.

    9. Missing avatar

      Andrea Bryce on

      As soon as I got this update I emailed Kaye my choices for a hammock and straps that I don't need, but I figured I'd like to get something in place of the daybreaker jacket that I was excited about. Instead, I get an email from Kaye saying she is unable to find me in the records! Beyond furious. It was merely annoying about the jacket, but this has pushed me a bit. I understand shit happens, but you can stop shitting on me now please.

    10. Missing avatar

      Kathryn Moore on

      I emailed that I would like a hammock and straps for partial reimbursement. How do I know if I will be getting them?

    11. Missing avatar

      Mark Schneweis on

      Sent an email to get a free hammock and straps, and even asked for some carabiners. Seriously, that's the least you owe the people who backed you. I went all in for all three KS items and am probably getting nothing now. I doubt I'll even get that hammock and straps. This is wack. I personally do not blame Kaye since she was only the liaison for BB, but I blame the people making decisions at BB, who accepted my money and did basically nothing with it but make poor decisions. You all should be ashamed. I doubt any of them will read this though. I've reported this KS campaign and would urge the rest of the backers to do the same. Straight wack.

    12. Kyle Bratton on

      Bear Butt. I had faith and believed in you guys, even when you had to outsource to China, I had hope still that the products your team promised would just be a delay and everything would work out. You made me and nearly 2000 look like complete jackasses. A hammock and some straps is almost disrespectful at this point when we payed $135 plus and waited for over a year.

      How could you in good faith take all of our money and start these other side projects before fulfilling or refunding this before the point of collapsing like this? You have no honor or respect for the very people that support you, you own customers, the people that believed in you enough to give you money I worked hard for because I wanted to see you guys succeed. And you walked away from us.

      I sincerely hope you take full punishment for this egregious and dastardly act and that your future business also end in failure.

      The worst part about this is I don’t think anyone bear butt even the fake intern “Kaye” or whoever is supposed to make it up to us with a cheep hammock will read this message.

    13. Daniel Kurt on

      Very disappointed. Had the opportunity to back out but decided to stick with it due to the promises from Bear Butt team.
      They went and started two other companies : Ship Steazy and Total Pac backpacks. They had no problems getting the backpacks out of China for this venture but not for the Kickstarter?
      Michael the pen always talked about not being afraid to fail. Well that’s fine and good except when you take other peoples money with your failure. We believed in the empty promises you kept telling us on this page. Now I get a $20 hammock and $15 straps for my $120+15 investment.

    14. Jordan White on

      So disappointed. I don't have anything new to add that hasn't already been said.

      Just really pathetic. If I was in this situation and the only thing between getting the already produced products to paying customers was ~$66,836.48 I'd freaking take a loan from THE FULFILLMENT COMPANY THAT I'M RUNNING.....Ship Steezy to deliver these products. Wow.

      But obviously, the issue is much deeper with Bear Butt. Just goes to show you that a wasteful and unmanaged marketing team can kill a company! But that whole crap about how you all "under performed in our Kickstarter backing" is crap. You way overshot your goal. You just hyped up something that really didn't even need a Kickstarter then wasted all the money. SAD.

      Okay, guess I did have something more to say.

      Most business people bluff at some point, but it's only the successful ones who can fulfill the bluffs in time.

    15. Casey Diekmann on

      I backed this project because I truly enjoyed the optimism of the BearButt team, not because I needed another sleeping bag and jacket. Unfortunately, this has turned into the Fyre Festival of Kickstarter projects. Paying influencers to support your sleeping bags and world dominion over North Face??? Come on now. I hope your shipping company is more successful than this venture. Based on your inability to get your own products shipped, I'm doubtful. I wish you the best in the future and please don't use your customer base as scapegoats for a crappy business model.

    16. Missing avatar

      Luke M. on

      I don't understand how only seven days ago Kaye was saying people would get their items yet you've known all this time that things had fallen through. This seems very dishonest and does not live up to the Terms of Services:

      "If a creator is unable to complete their project and fulfill rewards, they’ve failed to live up to the basic obligations of this agreement. o right this, they must make every reasonable effort to find another way of bringing the project to the best possible conclusion for backers. A creator in this position has only remedied the situation and met their obligations to backers if: ...they’ve been honest, and have made no material misrepresentations in their communication to backers."

      Can't assets from Steezy (the company the founders have long since moved to) be used to cover the backers who have been so poorly treated in all of this?

    17. Missing avatar

      John Tim on

      Such a disappointment with this company. I backed only two jackets and a hammock does not equal to the amount i paid for in the original kickstarter campaign. I feel sorry for those who chose the high end options. This is not fair to any of the backers. How would the backers know the money was used appropriately in what you listed in the update?? Are there any proof? (Instead of just writing it to text....SEND SOME PICTURES) What happened to all of the jackets already produced? This does not make sense. We all want our original order. Fix it. Unbelievable, Bear Butt, unbelievable...

    18. Missing avatar

      Christopher & Tristan on

      Doesn't the original KS team now open a shipping company with a shiny $1.1 million dollar warehouse (https://shipsteezy.com/our-story/) that just so happened to have the same address as BearButt? That seems strangely coincidental to have such a great facility available after the downfall of this campaign and it gives them a great way to GET ALL THE PRODUCTS THAT HAVE SUPPOSEDLY BEEN MANUFACTURED IN CHINA DELIVERED TO THEIR PROPER DESTINATIONS! It's not like there are any pictures that show the products having been built and assembled already. If they are going to claim that the products are already ready then I and many more NEED TO SEE PROOF THAT THE MONEY WAS ACTUALLY SPENT APPROPRIATELY before claims of fraud are leveled at them. Time to man up boys and shows us what we paid for.

    19. Missing avatar

      Lindy Minert on

      I backed this project for a jacket because I liked my hammock and straps so much. However, I don't need another set. Guess I'm just out my money. I appreciate the update though and am glad you are offering some sort of compensation vs nothing (though for larger backers it almost seems rude to offer so little.) Still very disappointed in your company overall.

    20. Missing avatar

      Lori L on

      I've emailed to get at least *something* after having spent $180 ($170+shipping) to back this project.
      That said, like others, I am REALLY disappointed. I mean, looking at the #s you give... **WHY** in the world would you have spent as much money as you did on MARKETING!?! I mean really?? AND THEN TO PROCEED WITH TRYING TO EVEN LAUNCH THIS PRODUCT?!?! SERIOUSLY??? Almost $100k of the raised $176k was on marketing - and they thought they could then produce everything with the remaining $76k? And to keep all of us Backers in the dark about it... Just ridiculous.
      Bear Butt should have just refunded the money (or as much as possible) NO MATTER WHAT after figuring out the money situation in the beginning. **WITHOUT** us having to request it after the whole 'We can't afford to produce these in the US as we'd hoped, so we're shifting to China - but will give you great products no matter what...' spiel that they gave us.
      And then to CONTINUE to spend the money that was left plus more?? What a mess you all have gotten in to. Really sad.
      (note: wait a couple months after all of this has gone down the toilet and all of the products *WE* were supposed to be getting will be for sale online from the Chinese. I'm sure the just WAIT for companies to do this type thing and end up with all the product essentially for nothing. - that's even sadder still...)

    21. Missing avatar

      Beverly Waite on

      I sent email to “Kaye” for my lonely hammock listed on Amazon for $24.99. I backed $160 for jacket, sleeping bag and backpack. What a giant disappointment!

    22. Missing avatar

      Christopher & Tristan on

      And how is it transparent to withhold key details such as the impending company sale that has been going on FOR MONTHS!!!!! This is completely unacceptable and you need to sell the necessary resources in order to fulfill the commitments that you made to the KS backers. Your mismanagement of the money comes back to you and the inability to manufacture the items in the US.

    23. Missing avatar

      Dylan Alexander Dishaw on

      So you expect people like myself you spent $170+ to just be happy with a hammock and some straps when almost 2000 people raised well over the $15K goal your company had set? How is that right? How is that keeping us the backers informed? I was so excited to finally get a nice jacket and bag not from some big name brand that everyone else has. I love my bear butt hammock and I get questions on the stickers I have on my water bottle everyday. But not anymore. I’ll be taking them off my water bottle and will be sure to not mention the name again. Don’t treat your PREPAYING customers like this. Actually. Don’t treat anyone like this.

    24. Missing avatar

      Michelle Mattila on

      I have emailed kaye@bearbutt.com for our hammock and straps. We are still fans of BB hammies and hope that these items are delivered before our Scout trip to SeaBase in May.

      I have quite extensive experience with designing/developing and manufacturing items overseas and I can't say that I expected a better outcome from your efforts. I hope that this experience has helped the founders of BB to develop and maintain higher standards for preparation, planning and communication for their future endeavors.

    25. Missing avatar

      Emmy Delekta on

      This is absolutely ridiculous. Punishing those who stuck with you to the bitter end. I have to say, I loved this brand but the mishandling of finances was clear even before they launched this project. I just wish they would have been honest about a year ago when they realized it wasn't going to work out. Glad the marketing team could spend time riding around on hoverboards and running shenanigans while they let down thousands of people. Very disappointed.

    26. Missing avatar

      Ryan Peña on

      Kaye I have sent you an email with my details.

    27. Missing avatar

      Dana Fryer on

      1,968 people have been let down today by you. We all went far above and beyond what the original set goal was. We all awaited patiently and excitedly as you kept saying “ we’ll be shipping out soon! You’ll get your products, we promise!” “No ones taking money from anyone!” (Team group) and that’s exactly what happened. When questioned about when the products would be shipped we were told not to be concerned. The owners even became slightly argumentative when we’d continue to ask about what was really going on. And here it is. I think we all knew in the back of our minds after the first “we’ll we have to go to China with products” after boasting about USA products that something was going terribly wrong. And with every value you left in the dust, your company went under a bit more. You dissapointed almost two thousand people. And that doesent include all the other loyal fans that didn’t donate.

    28. Lauren Siegert on

      Stinks that the hammock is the only refund option since I have no use for one (I WISH I did, though!), but I suppose it is better than the nothing you get with most failed Kickstarters, and it's a risk we all accept when backing Kickstarters. Good luck in the future!

    29. Missing avatar

      Federico Parimbelli on

      Is not there just another way for a refund?
      i paid $135 for jacket and backpack

    30. Missing avatar

      John McMillan on

      Better luck next time... yours is the first product that I back, my heart goes out to you guys. I still like the concept...

    31. Brad Dancer
      Superbacker
      on

      @ace maybe people will still come around but a lot of projects that people come back to for years was because the creator just disappeared. I have a few of those going on right now. At least here these guys were transparent in the end. Took them this crap to own up to everything but at least we have details

    32. Brad Dancer
      Superbacker
      on

      We knew this was coming but you were never honest, kept getting folks hopes up and lying to our faces. While I do appreciate the transparency, I honestly do, it’s too late for me to care. You were asked numerous times for details and never gave anything, your karma. What really gets me is the under performance of KS comment- you were way over the goal and to say that is an insult to every one of us. Oh well, moving on and I hope you don’t come back to KS, it’s not a platform for everyone.

    33. Stephanie on

      I already have a hammock from you guys - but I suppose it's better than nothing. Would have been really nice to get my $115+shipping back though...

    34. Ace Edmonds
      Superbacker
      on

      Sorry, "trying to get what they lost" and "investing in these sorts of ventures."

    35. Michelle Lacher
      Superbacker
      on

      So a $20 hammock (which I don’t need nor want) is supposed to replace the $47 I spent for a jacket? How is that supposed to satisfy me? And I assume if I do go that route, it forfeits any other refund options?

    36. Ace Edmonds
      Superbacker
      on

      I'm sad to hear that it's come to this, but this will be like the third or fourth group/company/organization that collapsed after a Kickstarter campaign that I've backed (but I'm sure there have been plenty more).

      Unfortunately, after you're gone, there will still be unhappy customers posting on this page for years afterward, trying to what they lost, refusing to accept the risk in investing in these sorts of vendors.

      Just look at the messages on Next Thing Co's pages, and you'll know what to look forward to here.

      Best of luck in your future endeavors.