For some reason, we love year end recaps. If the title of an article starts with “Top”, or "Best", contains, the word “Of” and includes the most recent year, you can pretty much leave everything else blank because, we’ll read it. Top 10 stories of 2014, yes please! Best three books of 2014. Oh, do tell. Best movies. Sure, we watched the Hunger Games. Top five gadgets. We’ll bite. Top three videos, Top six recipes containing guacamole. Doesn’t matter, keep em coming.

Maybe it is because that, while in reality, time is a continually flowing ribbon without defined start and end points, there’s something in our nature that makes us want to break it into chapters. We yearn to bind up the pages of the year, drop in pictures, write the epilogue and store the finished product on the bookshelf for future reference and reflection.

That’s why we decided to have some fun and list a few of our big moments for 2014. So, with complete humility and extra doses of gratitude, here’s our own version of Coeur’s Best of 2014:

Number Six. Coeur Gets a New Home. When we started Coeur, we believed that the combination of high quality gear, a service mentality, and a mission beyond just making money would resonate. That being said, there’s always a degree of concern. As the saying goes, “Man plans, God laughs”. So, we kept expenses low, worked out of a garage/home office and trucked rolls of fabric around in the back of an eight year old Volvo that we called the “Haul Vo”. Fortunately, things started falling into place and in early 2014, we were confident enough about the business to sign a three year lease on an office/warehouse space in Santa Monica, CA. We believed we were in a good area when we found out that Bonk Breaker’s office was just across the street. When Barnanas moved in right next door, we had no doubt that we were, indeed, “where we were supposed to be”.

Kebby and the dogs

Staff Holiday Party in the Coeur Office

Number Five. Hailey gets a bowl. Everyone who knows Coeur Co-Founder and head of Sales, Hailey Manning, knows that she is one of the hardest working, most loyal, and dedicated individuals in the world. For the last three years, we’ve watched her juggle work, triathlon, and life. Not surprisingly, she continues to grow and over achieve in all three areas. After all, when Hailey puts her mind to something, it almost always happens. We knew Hailey wanted a podium finish in Kona and we knew it could happen. However, we also saw that as Coeur grew, the demands put on her already stretched schedule grew as well. Plus, there is the concept of diminishing returns. Especially as it relates to athletic performance. Big gains in speed are obtainable early in an athletic career, but over time, it gets harder and harder to continue to go faster. That’s why for one brief period, we wondered if she’d be able to continue to progress as an athlete. Silly us! Of course she can. Hailey’s steady march up the ranks in Kona continued and this year, for the first time, she made it to the podium and earned one of the coveted Umekes.

Hailey Running in Hawaii

Hailey running to the podium at Ironman Hawaii

Number Four. World Champ & another Podium. Speaking of over achievers, we were treated to a real show at the awards ceremony in Kona. Along with Hailey, we got to watch perennial podium finisher Laura Sophia pick up another Umeke and the unstoppable Amy Farrell collect a bowl and a World Championship jersey! As with everyone on the Coeur team, Amy and Laura work incredibly hard, get amazing results and, most importantly, they do it in the right way. Humble, kind, and gracious. Both are class acts and we’re so proud that they are part of the family!

Amy Farrell on bike

Ironman World Champion Amy Farrell

Laura Sophia Running

Laura smiling on the way to the Podium in Kona

Number Three. New line launched at Interbike. Coeur launched at Interbike in 2013 and we were excited to come back again in 2014 for our birthday party. We debuted the 2015 line at the show and were blown away by the reception. Lava Magazine listed Coeur in their Gear of the Year section and we signed almost 50 new retail partners. Production is in full swing and, we’re pleased to let you know that our line will be available in a shop near you in the very near future.

Montage of garments

Number Two. New Ambassador Team. As we mentioned, Coeur aspires to be about much more than just making a profit. Now, clearly, we have to be profitable but that isn’t our Raison d'être. We’ve said it many times, so we’ll make this the short version. We really, really, really, want to encourage people to live a lifestyle of health and fitness. We want to take some of the fear out of endurance sports and let women know that you don’t start off doing Marathons and Ironman races. Everyone was a “newbie” at one time and taking that first step is (or should be) relatively easy. One of the best ways to get that message out is through our Ambassador Team. That’s why we were so excited to announce our 2015 Ambassador Team. This group of amazing women will help us spread that message and for that, we are incredibly grateful.

Coeur Certificate

Number One. You! Without a doubt, the person who stands at the top of our Best of List for 2014 is You! You the reader, you the customer, you the athlete and you the person. We know it can sound trite and corny to talk about how much we value our customers, so we’ll try to stay away from the clichés. Even so, the reality is that you are the reason we’re here. We sincerely appreciate your input, your loyalty, and your alignment with our values. So, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you! We hope the rest of your holidays are happy and that you have a wonderful 2015.

Your friends at Coeur.

Reginald Holden