Dear Idylwilde Dealers, Reps, Sig. Tyers and Valued Consumers,
Today I bring unfortunate news. The factory that I founded with a mountain bike and a dream, along with Sister Christine and her group of underprivileged people has unilaterally cut Idylwilde off mid season with no explanation. The POs Idylwilde made were accepted, but now we are being told that the deal has changed.
This decision appears to be directed at me personally. In 2012 I fell extremely ill to debilitating depression. This was brought on by stress, and the amount of work I was doing to insure that Idylwilde was successful and to build a brand that you the consumer of our flies could relate to. That stress, combined with emotional trauma from my past, sent my brain into shut-down.
I had carried the weight of a horrible secret for my entire life: the fact that I was molested by a stranger. This weight along with the stress of running Idylwilde became too much to bear. It took me a year to recover.
I assumed my trusted senior staff would rally and help me in my time of need. In fact my illness was used against me. My inability to function at full capacity was used to turn the factory I built against me. This was done by my employees, on my dime, at my office at my company.
I finally became healthy again in November of 2012 and returned to the office full time. But I soon discovered that my relationship and trust with the person who ran my manufacturing had been destroyed. Since then I have rebuilt the US staff to the best we have ever had.
My reputation within the greater fly fishing community stands on its own. I gave my word to the shops, reps, signature tiers, and you the consumer that I would deliver on the POs I accepted this fall. By my own (previous) staff undermining my credibility a string of real people and real businesses are in jeopardy of taking major financial hits.
My customers will lose sales. My reps will lose commissions that are needed to cover costs already spent this past fall visiting dealers to write PO’s, Sig. tiers will miss out on commissions they counted on and need. Guides and outfitters that depend on certain patterns to make their living will be hurt.
This isn’t just about me or Idylwilde. If those people want to hurt me personally, I can take it. But for my employees to use their position of trust and the opportunities and relationships I gave them to attempt to destroy me by turning the very manufacturing facility I built against me is sickening.
I paid my previous employees salary for the last 15 years. Not a pay period missed our a check bounced. When I needed them they used my mental illness to portray me as lazy, stealing from the company and incompetent in the eyes of my manufacturing management. That is the unfortunate stigma that goes with mental disease. The is no physical wound making it easy for others to portray me as “faking it.”
Hopefully people will come to their senses and ship the flies that they promised and we can put this behind us. The decision really lies the greater flyfishing community. As an industry it is important to send a message that we look after our own.
Idylwilde President and Founder
This is not about feeling bad for me. If people want to take me down I can handle it. The issue here is that my sales reps, my dealers, and my sig. tiers are being punished for doing their job.