Brian and I talk a little fly fishing biz and what its like to work with National Accounts such as REI.
First Exposure to the Outdoors
Your first exposure to the outdoors was as a kid with your dad is that right? Yeah the place that he worked used to run an outdoor outings kind of Club I think once a month. People would take various trips in the New England area. I remember it was peak foliage, kinda cool. It definitely kind of instilled the appreciation for the outdoors so I have to thank my dad for that even though later in life we didn’t really see eye to eye. He started me out on the right foot. Other stuff I did as a kid fishing end of the dock with my grandfather. It was just more of an excuse for him to drink brown water. It was primarily kind of a hiking scenario and I would go those excursions with my dad every month.
Things we talked about
so what’s your perspective on how the other business has evolved over the years? Obviously a lot of consolidation, a lot of retail going away, some guys getting stronger. REI has gotten stronger. The interesting thing on outdoor is that there’s a new generation of brands and people coming into it and it keeps kind of refreshing. Tt’s changed, I mean it’s gotten a lot bigger and I think the social media side of it has had a dramatic impact. Then obviously the big elephant in the room is the guys down in South Lake Union here in Seattle. If you know how to work with Amazon and you know distribution and selling direct to consumers and all those kind of things you know trade and retail is a challenge. It’s a challenge that’s continuing to shift at a pretty pretty high rate of speed. Things change almost daily and Amazon moves the needle every time they do some little logistical shift or something to their website. Boom there’s a whole new capability that you need to quickly learn how to execute. 200 retail stores have closed this year I think up through May or June. I think that is more stores closed this year than had closed in all of last year. Last year was nice but it was a bloodbath at retail. I think the gist of your podcast is around people who have been in this business for a long time. The old adage is if you wait long enough a trend comes back around right. So you know multi-coloured backpacks with leather straps, the van life and all of that stuff has come back around.
I think that you know if you’re just trying to crack in, what I used to tell people is you gotta pay your dues. You have to be in the right place at the right time. Find those people in the industry or in your region and try to spend some time volunteering or giving your time.
Calm the Fuck Down by David Vienna
Best Gear Purchase under $100
functional hat I bought on the Cape. It’s by a sailing company and it’s my Sun Hat baseball cap that I wear when I’m in tropics or I’m fishing on the cape wherever. It’s just amazing, it’s got this little kind of bungee cord with an alligator clip on it so I can I can attach it to my collar when you’re running in the boat.
Apps, Tools, Podcasts
Connect with Brian