After winning an accelerator award and securing early funding, TackleHack today announced plans for a new, fully customized site and mobile application that will allow custom outdoor gear vendors a better way to market and sell their products online.
The site – a first in the outdoor space, a marketplace and e-commerce platform for small-batch and handcrafted outdoor gear – secured $25,000 in funding last year after winning the 2019 Vogt Awards, an accelerator program in Kentucky.
CEO Adam Gifford said a large portion of the funds are being used to build a more streamlined site with new services, such as the ability to upload audio files of products like duck calls.
“I started TackleHack to give a voice to the hundreds of thousands of small batch manufacturers who were too small for big box store vendors and were kicked off other online marketplaces for dubious rules against hunting-related gear,” Gifford, a lifelong outdoorsman, said. “They have been saying for years they want a new, better way to get noticed. And I plan to give it them.”
Gifford said since the win, the company has seen a 32% increase in sales and vendor signups, including international transactions between Italy, Canada, and The United Kingdom.
According to the latest U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey, Americans aged 16+ spend roughly $42 billion a year on fishing and hunting equipment alone. Big box stores like Bass Pro Shops account for a large portion of those sales, but don’t offer custom designed gear – a significant but harder to find portion of the industry.
Custom vendors often times work out of their garages, are located in more remote areas and lack the time and resources for marketing, TackleHack Chief Operating Officer, Dale Browning, said.
“The goal is to give a voice to the voiceless – to help these small businesses get noticed so they can drive traffic and sales cheaply and easily,” TackleHack marketing advisor Kenneth Fibbe said. “We take care of the marketing, so they can get back to doing what they do best – creating.”
But the demand for the exceptional quality of handcrafted gear is high, as evidenced by the hundreds of thousands of members of custom tackle business pages on social media.
“I wasn’t having a lot of luck selling online and was told ‘no’ by all big box stores,” Shawn Pendergest, CEO of Freedom Game Calls in Kentucky, said. “But TackleHack came along and offered a one-stop-shop solution that has helped me drive duck call sales cheaply and easily.”
And that, Gifford said, is what his company is all about.
“Any avid outdoorsman will tell you: custom manufacturers, hands down, make the best gear in America,” he said. “Custom doesn’t mean expensive and TackleHack is the way they will finally be able to get those products seen and sold, all over the world.”
TackleHackTM is the only marketplace and e-commerce platform solely dedicated to outdoor adventure and the gear that makes going further possible. TackleHack’s mission is to create a platform where small outdoor companies and customers can buy and sell securely between one another. The company aims to form a powerful alternative to the modern retail outdoor industry overran by big box store monopolies.