I was introduced to Nau by Andrew Hyde during my trip to Boulder in March. During a brief chat at the TechStars office, Andrew recommended I stop by the Nau store in Boulder before leaving. He praised the quality of their sustainable clothing and fact that the company was founded by former Patagonia employees. So I figured I should check them out.
I did manage to stop by Nau and was very impressed by their clothing. In particular I saw one fleece on the sale rack that had it been in my size I would have bought in a heartbeat. Some of their pants made for climbing or other outdoors activities were quite impressive. I made a mental note to come back and shop when I returned this summer to live in Boulder permanently.
So I was a bit shocked to see the news that Nau is closing. From their blog, Nau’s explanation for closing:
In the current highly risk-averse capital market, we simply could not raise the necessary funds to continue to move forward. We believe this is not so much a reflection of the viability of our business, but the result of an unfortunate confluence of events. Just as we could not have predicted the sudden groundswell of environmental consciousness that blossomed at the time we launched our business, we did not foresee the current crisis in the capital markets. At this time, investors are loath to invest in anything; especially, it appears, a company like Nau that has the audacity to challenge conventional paradigms of what a business should be.
It’s interesting to see how fast the market can change for any type for product. I’m personally in the process of closing down a company I founded three years ago, so I know first hand how this goes.
In the end, a good team of entrepreneurs will not be held down, so I look forward to the next great idea from the Nau founders and employees.