Friday, December 26, 2008

American Made vs. Overseas Manufacturing

Posed this question in several forums recently and was surprised at the findings. Being in the apparel industry, this question has kept me awake at night wondering how the outdoor community would respond and how I should treat the issue. Assuming manufacturing quality and service equal, should the bottom line dictate the final decision?

The response was overwhelmingly in favor of “did not affect their buying decision”. Some of the responses were the following:

“It’s just a ten dollar shirt.”
“If Americans can’t make the same item for a competitive price, they don’t deserve the business.”
“How you make a profit shouldn’t matter as much as the product itself.”
“You have to think about what is best for your company’s profitability and employees.”
“I never look at the label to see if it is American made.”

This truly surprised me as the outdoor community is heritage driven proud Americans. However, in looking at it closer, with today’s economy being in the toilet, job loss at its’ greatest in years, the housing crisis, and the failing of our financial institutions, every individual is looking out for their families best interest. Personally, I agree…professionally, I’m still on the fence.

So I’ll answer the question you may be thinking. Where are the Field Dress t-shirts manufactured? Presently, they are made by a company in Canada, however, recent reports have indicated they have been closing factories in Canada and moving their plants south of the border. I am certain of one thing regarding Field Dress. I am looking for a new manufacturer…where I will find the right fit is still in the think tank.

Your responses would be greatly appreciated.

Hope you and your families had a wonderful Christmas and safe New Year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Be wary of the "Thousand Pound Gorilla"

So, you have an idea or product, some money, and the plan to get into the hunting and fishing industry. Like most start-ups, you will need a good sales force to take it to market. If you haven’t figured out by now, I own Field Dress, a hunting and fishing themed t-shirt company. I did my due diligence and sought out the best rep firms in the industry. After putting the product in their hands, the response was a positive one. One company in particular, whom worked with some top manufacturers lines, wanted to rep the line nationally. While we were in discussions with the terms, the “Thousand Pound Gorilla” reared his ugly head. Most of the giants in the industry have their dirty little fingers in everything. Without naming names or companies, their response was “if you rep “Field Dress” we may have to consider pulling all of our lines.” As a business man, I can understand my rep firm declining my company and bowing to the gorilla, but oh how it hurts.

So the alternative, retain reps with less quality lines, more of them to get to all the states, and oversee all of them to ensure you are getting to market...or…take baby steps and grow at the grass-roots level and take your product to market yourself. At the end of the day, I chose OR. Get the name and/or product in the customer’s hands and when the economy turns around…blast off. My advice if you are just getting started, hold on and take baby steps. Spend your time and money wisely and look for that positive event to happen that indicates blast-off.

Look for these future posts.

American Made vs. Overseas Production

The Big Box Dilemma

From my family to yours, have a safe and wonderful Christmas.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's a BOY...and only one this time!

Great news...another little archer will join our clan in April/May. We are having our third boy to reek havoc on our little princess. Only problem is our little princess runs our household. The wife, we'll call her Karla, and I haven't had much of an issue getting pregnant. We've been very blessed with a five-year old son, twin two-year old boy and girl, and now our latest addition. The problem is I want to be "finito" and she wants another daughter. I'm thinking I might need to have a hunting "accident" to the region I would rather not think about...BUT, the thought of more kids and this economy scares me more.

I wonder if I could get snipped and put it on YouTube...could make me famous! Could also be great birth control for all the viewers. Then again, a WebCam in the house watching the "ninos" would be just as effective.

Speaking of the "ninos", better give hugs and loves and get out the door. Have a great day and Happy Holidays.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Field Dress Holiday T-shirt Giveaway

Field Dress is providing a great giveaway item for the Holidays. In addition, Field Dress needs to make room for new inventory and is offering all hunting and fishing themed t-shirts for $4 with free shipping on orders of three or more. Regular price of $19.95, where else can you receive (3) high-quality (6.1 oz heavyweight cotton) t-shirts for $12 bucks? If you don't win or even if you do, check out Field Dress and get some quality inexpensive gifts while supplies last.

Giveaway is for three (3) t-shirts of your choice and size.

To Enter:

Visit Field Dress and comment on this blog entry 1) who the shirts are for and 2) your favorite designs.

Would you like to earn EXTRA ENTRIES?

1. Link The Wild Side on your blog or website (and let me know in a separate comment) and you will have another entry.

2. Blog about the giveaway with a link back to the giveaway (and let me know in a separate comment) and you will have another entry.

3. Post about the giveaway in any of the listed forums (and let me know in a separate comment) and you will have another entry.

*This contest giveaway is for US residences only.

**This contest will end at midnight (central time) December 31st, 2008.

***The winner will be picked with a random number generator.

****Thanks for entering and Have a Happy Holiday and New Year.

Field Dress promise to the Outdoor Community. "We are so confident you'll love your Field Dress Tee that if you are unhappy with your purchase, for whatever reason, email within thirty-days, and you will be refunded in full."

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Does the bow do the work?

I’ve been archery shooting and hunting for close to thirty years now and been shooting the same Hoyt for the last eighteen. Before that, a PSE, and before that, a Bear. Nowadays, you can’t mention the thought about buying a new bow without stirring up the debate about the newest, latest and greatest bow on the market. From cams to limbs, fps to let-off…give me a break. I’ve done my own research among the following companies and have found one undeniable truth…there’s a lot of great bows on the market today.

The question I pose is “what type of archer do you want to be”. Do you have to have the latest and greatest? How is the look and feel? Who shoots what bow? Put a string on a piece of bamboo and put in the hours of practice and it will produce results. In the end, I will choose my next bow on the ability to have a qualified representative actually available to answer my questions and the ability to personally perform the yearly maintenance.