by Mark Bollman, CEO and Founder, Ball and Buck - Wednesday, June 29, 2016
A fond memory I have with my grandfather was when I was seven years old at the lake. We were up early one morning sitting in a duck blind – it was cold. To help pass the time, my grandfather pulled back the side of his jacket and asked me if I saw the mark on the inside panel that read, “1975.” I nodded. He proceeded to tell me that he had purchased the jacket the same year, meaning the jacket he was wearing was about twenty years old.
While listening to him that morning in the blind, sharing the experiences he lived through during the past twenty years – with that jacket – was when I realized building a product that puts quality above all else means you can build something that will last long enough to enable a customer to create stories of their own – enabling a product to actually take on a life of its own…
That moment, twenty years ago, was the birth of Ball and Buck.
Ball and Buck is a lifestyle brand for the outdoors. To ensure we deliver products and experiences that exude this lifestyle, I place tremendous importance on both spending time in the outdoors and taking every opportunity to get the whole team to experience the adventures as well.
"Ball and Buck is a lifestyle brand for the outdoors."
Putting our product to the test is something I’m very adamant about. While traveling to Argentina earlier this year, I brought a large selection of items from our upcoming spring and fall collections with me. Everything went through field testing, wear testing – ultimately to confirm each and every product performs as it was designed.
This intimacy with the outdoors and actual exposure of all our products to the environment for which they are built, is only the beginning for the company. Whenever we have the opportunity, we round up the whole team and head in to the woods to experience what this company is all about. Whether or not they’ve grown up with the privilege of hunting and fishing, I can proudly say that everyone on our team has shot (and hit) many sporting clays.
From our process of designing to field testing products, to how we've laid out our office space, and even our company retreats, we look to the outdoors for inspiration and guidance. Recently, seven of us headed into the woods to do some big picture thinking, grilling, shooting, and storytelling around the campfire.
It was during this trip, we put up the company's canvas elk hunting tent to create the perfect space for a team dinner, where wild turkey that I harvested earlier this year, after letting it smoke for about five hours, was served. We take this time, these moments to discuss what is really important for us as individuals, and as a team. The energy and momentum we generate during these types of group retreats are carried back with us to reality, and truly inspire ideas.
For all of us at the company, we’re selling more than just the highest quality product in the world, we’re selling the Ball and Buck lifestyle and we take every opportunity we can take to live it ourselves. It’s an important element that separates us from the rest.
Want to learn more about Ball and Buck? Catch them on the season premiere of NRA All Access tonight at 7pm ET on Outdoor Channel!! Here's a sneak peek: