This Week's Episode of the Podcast
This week Zach sits down with Michael Simms, the founder of Hook and Gaff Watch Company. Hook and Gaff is a wristwatch company that creates products specifically for sportsmen in the field. Simms recognized a need for outdoor activity-specific watches when he was playing golf for Clemson University in South Carolina and the crown on his watch rubbed against his wrist, over time creating a callus. He figured that other people must have a similar problem, and the idea of Hook and Gaff Watch Company was born. Since his Clemson golf days, Simms’s company has filled a unique niche in the outdoor world and enjoys the opportunity to give back to his community through his company.
Outdoor Sport Specific
Throughout the brand creation process, many people have told Simms that his watches would look great on anyone, from bartenders to business people. While he agrees, it is important to him to stick with his original target audience. The watches made by Hook and Gaff are made for the active outdoor gentlemen from start to finish.
During Simms’s time on the Clemson golf team, he noticed that very few golfers on his team wore a watch when they played in order to avoid the issue that he was having, of callused and irritated wrists. While knowledge of the time is not necessary for a golfer’s game, Simms enjoyed the style statement of wearing a watch, and it was essential for his other favorite outdoor activities, hunting, and fishing.
“[W]hen you’re loading the boat or you’re climbing in the deer stand...a lot of times you’ve got to know when first light is….so that’s been a real game-changer with our anglers and hunters because… they’re usually launching in the dark.”
With the question of optimal comfort and function for all outdoorsmen in mind, Chris thought the best answer would be to create a watch with a crown placed on the left side of the watch face, as opposed to the usual right side of the face, in order to stay out of the way of an active person’s wrist. Hook + Gaff watch wearers have given positive feedback on this feature, saying they often forget they are wearing the watch at all.
Taking the unique to outdoorsmen concept even further, Hook + Gaff watches are made with rubber and removable straps to accommodate for wearers cleaning a fish or dressing a bird while in the field. Rubber will not hold onto the odor associated with these activities as other materials so often do.
Capt. Zach: No way. That's a, that's very reminiscent of how I grew up in and just like getting sent out, go play, you know, until the lights come back on. And here's your mode of communication was a walkie talkie. It's a great, it's a great, I mean, but that's such a great thing to do as a, you know, as you're growing up in, in being outside and having your kids out in the outdoors, not stuck inside on an iPad, you know, and, and being on, on an X-Box.
I mean, there's, there's a time and place for that. Right. And with a world where everything's evolving to be online, like we just talked about in COVID, you know, I think it's great for people to have that balance, but man, you got to get outside. You got to go play.
Michael Simms: I love it. So my wife and I do have a rule and some parents may think I'm being a little harsh, but my kids don't own any sort of video games or.
PlayStation or anything like that. We kick them out that as soon as they get home and then you go play with the neighborhood, kids play football, you know, we're trying to keep them away from a lot of that stuff.
Capt. Zach: Yeah. I mean, that's how I grew up. I was either you either got to go play and do a sport or you got to go to work.
You choose which one do you want to do. So I mean you growing up and eventually what led you to create an outdoor brand? Was that something that you kind of, you know, probably followed suit as to what you're, how you're parenting your kids, right.
Michael Simms: That's a good point. And you're exactly right. So yeah, obviously we had a great neighborhood, had a lot of kids that were around, but one of the things I love to do was I had a little John boat.
We lived on about a nine 90 acre lake and I dragged the John Burke down. I'd ride the bus home. My dad started letting me go out and John Barry, myself starting in like the fourth grade. I don't know if I could get away with that. Now I was out here fishing by myself when I was in the fourth grade. And that's where I taught myself to throw a bait and do all that kind of.
Capt. Zach: Yeah. Yeah, I can. It's funny. I can totally relate to that. Cause probably about the same around the same age, I had a little dinghy with a 9.9 engine on it. And that was, that was the toy, you know, it was you guys everyone's everyone was like, yeah, do you want to go play, you know, video games? I'm like, no, I'm going to go see as how far I can get and how far I can push the limits without killing myself.
Michael Simms: Yeah. I had a little Minnkota trolling motor in a car battery, and somehow I dragged that thing into a red, pull it down to the boat so I could motor all over that lake.
Capt. Zach: That's awesome. When I was just in South Carolina.
Michael Simms: Yes. So I grew up in the upstate of South Carolina. When you say upstate, we do have the Appalachian mountains that run through that corner there.
So I grew up as fishing grew up trout. And ended up doing spending a little bit of time on the coast. So I learned how to do some inshore fishing down there and off shore stuff from my buddies. And now we live right in the middle part of the state. So I'm about an hour and a half from both sides. So it's the best of both worlds.
Capt. Zach: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So are you, do you spend most of your time now kind of bouncing between the two or is it staying kinda in the middle and then pick and choose what you're going to do on the weekends?
Michael Simms: Yeah, I'm pretty lucky. So we live underneath the lake Murray dam and lake Marie is almost 200 feet deep at today.
And I'm really in the water that they let out. Yeah, it's it's I think at one point it was one of the top two. I don't remember there's some stat on that being one of the deeper flakes. But when they built the dam. And built this river, or they allowed this little river to flow out from underneath that water, even in the summertime, rarely gets over like high fifties, even when it's a hundred degrees outside.
So we have a sustainable trout fishery here in Columbia, South Carolina, which a lot of people don't know about. So I can literally walk out my back door and walk through the woods there and I'm in the river and like five minutes catching trout. Pretty
Capt. Zach: neat. Yeah. That's a pretty sweet spot now. So do the, do your kids get the same opportunity to go out and the Jon boat and go fishing down on the lake?
Or is that not, not yet.
Michael Simms: Yeah, no, we, we do the same thing. So I have a flat spare that I'll pull it. Down to Charleston or Buford and we'll get out on the water down there. And my kids, this water is a little dangerous behind my house. It's a little deep and it flares pretty fast. So they're not quite big enough to wait.
I've taken them out in the kayak a couple of times because we have a striper room. They come up from the lakes, come all the way up into the river in the spring and the summer. And you know, they're trying, there's falling basically, and they'll hang around all summer and we can catch them all summers.
It's pretty fun. So you can catch stripers on the fly too, right behind the house.
Capt. Zach: That's pretty wild. That's, it's funny. Cause predominance. So you know, so synonymous with striped bass, especially out by block island. So the Stripe bass, I think we spoke about this a little bit. Last time was the striped bass being the equivalent to like the red fish in South Carolina, almost.
Michael Simms: You probably fish for them the same way. So when we're fishing in shore for, for Redfish, it's like bass fishing. I mean, it's like bass fishing lake. It's very similar. Then you can go out there for the big bull reds out there on the jetties and the deeper water, which is what you're going to hear. You catch your bigger, usually the same deal.
Capt. Zach: Yeah. You know, it's, I always find it to be cool. Like the differences in talking with guys like you who are into fishing and, you know, I, I love fish. I'm not, I mean, I'm not a huge fishermen, but at the same time, growing up in Rhode Island, you have to do something on the water. Right. And it's just like a necessity.
But the differences in how the same kind of concept and, and culture exists around a type of fish and really it's, it's the same. It's the same vibe you get, depending on where you go, but it's always revolving around like one fish, you know, for like in, in Hawaii, it's the, it's the Marlin, you know, in new England, in the Northeast, the striped bass, you know, down by you, it's the red fish.
Like every, every region of the world has this one species that is just synonymous with their culture, you know? And it's just like this. I don't even know. How would you describe that?
Michael Simms: Yeah, I don't know. I get exactly what you're saying. You, you can move around and, and what I find kind of interesting is that in most cases, the tactics and the, you know, the, the types of things that you do to, to catch that type of fish can sometimes translate So, if you're going Marlin, that's a little different, but you know, some of the things you do for say small mouth in upstate New York might be kind of similar to what we're doing down here for striper on our way, like landlocked, striver or something, you know?
So I, I find it interesting when I watch these shows with Carter and Andrews and some of these world-class anglers that travel all over the country and they're, they're doing a lot of the same things. And then, you know, sometimes they'll switch up Lewers and things like that. Like you're you mentioned Hawaii.
One thing that's unique about Hawaii and fishing is that they troll big bloomers, you know, massive Vishal, the big dogs. And then you get over here times where we're tossing or we're using, you know, blah, not my baby, but something that we caught and. Skip jacket, whatever the heck they're using out there for, for catching a Marlin on the value or value for dolphin and always value for dolphin on the east coast.
And then, yeah. And then you go to the golf and they're doing something totally different. They just have different types of bait fish.
Capt. Zach: Yeah. Yeah. But at the same time, it's, it's all the same. Like they're all just, they're all fishing, right. They're all out there. Like there's the, the idea of being like this outdoors men and.
No matter where you are in the country, whether you're in the middle of the ocean in Hawaii, which by the way, when I went out there and I started fishing and doing some doing some pelagics, you don't have to go that far off shore it's, you know, as soon as you leave the Harbor, you're already dropping your learners, right?
Like air 500 feet out of the breech way. And you're in like a 2000 feet of water it's mindblowing, whereas here on the east coast, it's wild, it's wild. And then, you know, at least here in new England, you gotta go, you know, at least 50 miles off shore to go grab a tune. I mean, oftentimes sometimes they'll, they'll come in shore, you know, often during different parts of the year.
But I think that 50 mile mark is a pretty good gauge, but you know, back to the whole idea of just. You know, and, and just being out there, being out in the outdoors and being a part of a greater cause and collective, you know, for many different reasons, some conservation, some subsistence, you know, it's that ideology that, you know, although we have to go to our nine to five, we have to work, we have to make money and put food on the table.
Like we can escape and go be out in the outdoors. So I guess for you growing up, I mean, how important was that? Not only from a recreation standpoint, but to where it kind of molded you into who you are today?
Michael Simms: Yeah, I would say. You know, some people have a form of meditation that kind of quiets their mind and their soul and being outdoors is basically that for me.
Yeah. That's it, in a nutshell pretty much, you know, I feel most at peace if it's, you know, me and, you know, my kids or my dad or my brother, and we're out there just, you know, whether we're playing golf, whether we're fishing or, you know, shooting doves in the dove field, it's just being out there. And I think most avid outdoorsman have that same mantra and feel the same way.
Capt. Zach: Yeah, absolutely. And it's funny. Like, I, I feel as though sometimes that gets lost in translation, you know, a lot and there was a. There's this idea that although you're going, you know, you mentioned dove hunting, right. Or, you know, I mentioned fishing and you can apply that to whatever outdoor recreation you can do.
There's this idea that, you know, it's almost more take than it is give, but it's actually the complete opposite in most cases, you know, it's, it's, it really is the guys on the front line in terms of conservation are the ones that are avid hunters. You know, you can't, I mean, you can go talk to any environmental law enforcement agent out there or any park ranger.
And I bet you they'll tell you 10 stories about their best catcher, best kill or, you know, and, and it was never about the catch and kill of the animal or the fish. It was about the journey of getting there and about enjoying the outdoors.
Michael Simms: Right. And you, you spoke about conservation and how we we're almost all of us are mainly concerned about that and making sure it's there for the next generation.
I mean, that's the, the idea about not only do you want to make sure it's there, the resources are there that you're harvesting correctly and that we're looking at these limits hard. I love our DNR guys here in South Carolina, and people may think differently about their DNR or states, but I'll tell you here that they really worked with the recreational guys to make.
Through, through surveying constant surveying, you know they're they're asking us questions. Like I got one the other day about our flounder catch, because we've seen our flounder fishery on the decline over the last 15 years or so. And it's true, they're saying in these different, these different areas of South Carolina, they've discovered their catches are getting smaller and they're, you know, they're not getting as many flounder, so we're you know, we're trying to figure it out if it's commercial or if it's recreational, or if it's a combination of both that are putting these fish on the decline, but they're doing a great job with that and trying to get it, get it, get the ship righted before it's too late.
And I'll tell you, they did a great job with the red fish, because at one point we'd almost wiped those out too. Now that's pretty much all you can create. So it's fun. Yeah. You know what they really are, you know, looking out for the betterment of the next generation, being able to get out there and do the same thing.
Capt. Zach: Right. Absolutely. And then, and then giving that opportunity to then educate, right. And these guys are out on the charters and people like you that are creating companies, such as hooking gaff. You have this opportunity to, to, you know, perpetuate that through your messaging. You know, like most guys that you're going on a charter with, they can tell you the ins and outs of these, you know, flats and, and, and currents and winds and tides, and just the whole gamut in there.
That's just from experience of being out there. I mean, you gotta, you gotta put in the reps, you gotta put in the time. And then, you know, on top of that, having companies like cooking GAF and a variety of other ones that I've had the good fortune to speak with, it's it's kind of humbling to see guys like you that are taking that next step and.
Taking their passion and moving into this positive message for, for conservation, for change for the future.
Michael Simms: Yeah. Yeah. And, and you've kind of hit the nail on the head a couple of times with us. We, we want to just hammer that point, home that time, well, being in the outdoors with the people you love, whether that's your kids, your dad, your friends and then combining that with being a good steward of the resources out there.
Right. That's exactly right.
Capt. Zach: Yeah. And that's such a good pun to time well-spent and it was a watch company. So, you know, we've, we've spoken a lot about kind of you in, in, in the conservation side and like what hook and GAF stands for, but you know, you, you start from loving the outdoors, you went to Clemson university is my correct about that.
Yeah. And then what'd you go. What did you go to Clemson for
Michael Simms: two things? I was there on a golf scholarship and I also was an engineering major. So I got an, I got an industrial engineering degree while playing golf at Clemson and we ended up winning the national chain oh three inner year, which was pretty awesome.
Awesome. I played with guys that are really good. I mean, there's a couple of them that are still out there on tour and I'm approaching 40 years old this year. So I think the other day that I played with at least let's see, I think I counted eight guys that played at least one year on the PGA tour that were on my team.
Capt. Zach: Wow. Yeah. That's pretty wild. So any, any like cooler?
Michael Simms: Yeah. Yeah, unfortunately I was not one of those, but let's see, we've got DJ. It's still out there. Jonathan, he he's out there. Lucas Lucas won the us open back in oh nine at Beth page. Yeah. It's probably the most notable the major championship winner.
Capt. Zach: Yeah. That's kind of interesting that you, I mean, you know, being down in South Carolina golf is, I mean, I find I could be wrong, but down south golf seems to be way more prevalent. I mean, I lived in Florida for a little bit up by Jacksonville right next to TPC Sawgrass. And that was the thing to do. You know, like when the, when the PGA tour came to town, it was you're going to the plastic practice runs, you know, you're going to watch and growing up as a kid, I was like, well, this is weird.
I like, I coming from the Northeast golf was never really, even in the picture, you know? So is that a big part of your life growing up?
Michael Simms: Oh man. Yeah. Where we are an hour and a half away from Augusta national. So I think, you know, most of the dads have a plastic club in their kids' hands when they're like three years old, if they're born in this, the nature of the beast.
But yeah, we've got a lot of golfers like that and we have an appreciation for the game and the tradition. And I think you see that watch the masters or, or even watch Harbor town compared to like the tournament's in Scottsdale and other, other places and the way they, the fans are, you know, respectful of the players on the, in the course, this is being kind of rowdy.
You know, sometimes they get a little rowdy up in I Beth page, for example, a little rowdy up there. Yeah, nothing wrong with that. Yeah,
Capt. Zach: no, I mean there's time and place. There's time and place, but, you know, it's kind of interesting. Like there's a lot of, I feel like in an, I'm not really a big golfer, but I, you know, I guess my form of golf would be going to the skeet shooting range.
I'm a member to the local club and like, I go at least once a month, you know, that's kind of my version of golf. And in some senses it's probably relatively similar, but I think there's a lot of carry over from the golfing and creating a business, you know, and, and the patients and just the consistency in their reps, it takes to become good at golf.
You know, I, I compete in, in the sport of weightlifting and, and that. Very similar to golf, but I think in any sport, right, it's this idea of, of patients' consistency in time and just showing up, you know? And so I can imagine that was probably a big part of your time at Clemson to then become a national champion.
I can imagine.
Michael Simms: Yeah, I would say that I would say that just the game in general teaches you to, obviously sometimes you call penalties on yourself. You know, we all hear that in association with God, your ball moves in the middle of the woods. When you're moving a leaf, are you going to call that, that shot on yourself or are you going to just act like, so it's a game of integrity and honor it's a game of patience.
And I say that in the most humbling way, because you're inevitably going to get a bad break and an 18 hole round. You may get two or three or four, and you've gotta be able to come back from those. If you hang your head and cash it in then number one, you're not being a good teammate. If you're playing on a team and you've got four other guys that are relying on you to parse the score.
But number two, just gotta have some resilience, right? You've got to be right. That's life. You're going to catch some bad breaks. You got to pick yourself up and get back out and learn from it yet. We'll try to figure out what you did wrong and don't do it again,
Capt. Zach: right? Yeah. Failures is just an opportunity to learn.
So when you were kind of starting out and you graduate from Clemson, what did you immediately start hooking GAF or was there a process into getting into what would become the company?
Michael Simms: Yeah, that's a good question. So the, the, well, this will be a long answer. Yeah. I used to wear a watch when I played golf.
And that was kind of weird, cause not a lot of people were watches as a, you know, 18 to 21 year old when you're playing golf. But I did and I created a permanent calloused in the back of my, my left hand from where that traditional crown would just sit in the back of my hand and. In the industry, we call that risk by.
So if the crown digs in the back of your hand, when you're active and you're balling that risk back, we call it risk bite. So I had a thought as, as an engineering college, it was like, how easy would it be to just flip the crown to the other side? It can't be that difficult. It turns out it's a little more difficult than just flipping it upside down.
Of course, I learned that. I learned that the hard way as I did a little research. But, but I had the idea way back then. And it was just an idea. That's all it was. And when I got out of school, I went into the insurance business for about five years. My wife went into the restaurant business and we were kind of racing a little bit to see his career was gonna, was gonna turn out better because I was stationary for the most part.
I was building a business there in the upstate. Yep. And she was going to have to move. She's going to have to move with her job if she got an opportunity. So she did end up getting an opportunity and we did move with her job down here to Columbia. And that's when I started, I just started a new, new thing.
I helped her for a couple of years in the restaurant and, and that's when I was doing my research. I was contacting suppliers, having prototypes. That's when I partnered with my, with the co-founder of the business, his name's gash Clayton. He's a good buddy of mine high school in college. He is a trained graphic designer, but a self-taught artist.
And he is amazing. We've posted a couple of his pieces of art on our Instagram page. You might have to scroll way down, but he's, he's amazing. So yeah, one of the first things I did when I knew I wanted to launch this business was I knew I had to call him. He's the most creative dude. I know. And he came up with our logo overnight and it is just awesome.
So I catching, we get more compliments on that logo and it was something he just off the cuff created and pretty talented in that regard. Yeah. The other benefit of having him though, you know, it's always good to partner with somebody who has strengths, where you have weaknesses. So he, he is super creative.
And he's, he's also a watch guy. So I'll be quite honest. I'm not a watch guy, which makes me that much more interesting because I'm this guy who collected watches and I wasn't like into watches. I just saw a need, you know, more the engineer who saw a problem and just said, This is a problem. We need to do something about this.
So I partnered with the guy who actually the watch guy who, who can design the watch the way it needs to be designed and look. And so I come at it from a almost a consumer perspective where I'm like, Hey man, when you're shooting, you need this. Or, you know, these are some functions we might need, let's make a Tidewater.
So then we start to research movements that are available and he'll look at the design and see if it's compatible with flipping the crown to the other side, we'll get with our watchmaker. And you know, there's a whole process, but that's sort of how the company was founded. He and I, back in let's see, 2014 is when we officially started selling watches.
So there was. One or two years of buildup doing research and creating prototypes. I actually took the watches and gave them to some dudes in Venice, Louisiana. And I said, yeah, we fished with, I used to go down there like twice a year. I haven't been in a year or two, but I need to get back down here. But one of the guys we fished with, I just gave him the watch.
And I said, I know how much you guys are fishing or out here 280 days year, just put this thing through the ringer and let's see what happens and call me back in a year. So I got back, you know, after about nine months to ask him how it was holding up. And he had a few pieces of feedback on the cosmetic design.
But as far as the durable. And functionality of the watch and it's still looking good. It was, it was great. We hit the nail on the head with hours of research and prototype testing before that, too. But right. The components of the watch and make it durable. And then gas just does such a good job with the, the aesthetic design, the classic design of the watch that this is a watch you can true, be wear to work.
You can wear it to the boardroom. You can wear to church or even to a wedding we've got numerous straps. You can interchange and put on the wall. So you can put a, a Gator strap on a watch and walk into a boardroom meeting, and then you throw your Navy dive strap on it and you go, you know, snorkeling and.
Scoop ups, lobsters and west, right? The next weekend. It was pretty cool. Yeah.
Capt. Zach: Yeah. You know, that's why I was so intrigued by what you guys were doing, you know? Cause it was a watch and, and I, you know, quite frankly, I'm not a watch guy. And for that same reason that you made a watch because, you know, as an, as someone who's always outdoors, who's an athlete, who's running around doing stuff.
I, you know, it was just buying it up on me and it was, it was hurting me more than it was helping me. Right. And after awhile I was like, ah, man, does anyone really need to know the time? Anyway. So I was like, I got to the point where I was like, ah, you know, I guess I'm going to have to step away from the watch, but after seeing what you guys are creating and how you're going about.
Distributing the brand in, in what you guys stand for, man, they're really, really nice watches, but I got to ask, like, not knowing anything about what goes into a watch, other than that, it tells time and that you can have some really cool features like the the, I think what was the feature that the, the nighttime was TriFlex or
Michael Simms: it's the it's tritium illumination.
That is a new feature that we've just been doing the last three years. We saw a little bit of a gap in the market there because a lot of the European countries are outlawing tritium. Tritium is radioactive it's. And for that reason they're outlawing it, but it's in a, you'd have to eat this stuff for probably 10 years for it to happen.
Capt. Zach: Right. It's like mercury, you need a little
Michael Simms: bit, it's exactly the same thing. Pretty much as far as that's concerned, but it's trapped in a little tiny glass vile and and it's placed on, so we put those on our markers and our hands to do aluminate the the dial. And and, and you can see that, you know, when you're loading the boat or you're climbing in the deer stand you know, a lot of times you got to know when first light is, if you're hunting things like that.
So that's been a real game changer with our anglers and our hunters, because a lot of the guys that are, that are fishing too, they're, they're usually launching in the dark. If they're in tournaments, you know, efficiency, red fish tournaments. And we're always in the water probably 45 minutes before first light and kind of glance at your watch and know what time it is.
Capt. Zach: Right. I mean, can you ever, can you really even start fishing before, you know, after sunrise, if you're not starting before sunrise, are you even really going fishing? Right.
Michael Simms: So features that kind of make our watch unique and different. One of the first things gash and I talked about was all right, if we're going to be this brand for outdoorsmen, what are the things that this thing is going to have to be, it's going to have to be durable.
It's going to have to be something they're going to want to wear. And I think there there's also that lifestyle element that goes hand in hand with that, because you know, so many of the anglers and the golfers, they live the lifestyle. Off the golf course, too. So if they're going out to eat, you can probably point at that guy and say, I bet that dude plays golf because he's wearing Peter malar slacks and a golf shirt that has a pebble beach logo on it.
Right? So we knew that we going to have to create not only something that was durable, something that was waterproof. These guys are going to be getting it wet. They're going to be flying fish. They're gonna be spraying off their hands. They're going to be spear fishing. We've got a world-class spear Fisher.
That's pretty cool. I
Capt. Zach: actually
Michael Simms: island. I think he's on the big island. Yeah. I need to look back and see he and another photographer out there where our watch and name escapes me for the moment he's friends with Carter Andrews. That's how I found out about him, but he jumped on the bed and did some fishing with Carter and just took some pretty awesome photos to him, his buddy.
And and, and we got in touch with him, but yeah, so those are the elements that we had to consider with the wild. And we knew that we weren't going to do digital. And that was the other thing that I've touched on briefly. But, you know, we think that time well spent with your loved ones is kind of getting outdoors and escaping technology.
So you're away from your phone. You know, you don't want your teenager scrolling through Facebook when you're on the boat, trying to catch a fish or, you know, you want to spend quality time with that person. So. We didn't know this for a fact, but we kind of figured the apple watch would come along and continue to progress until you know, people were dialing from the watch and you know, it just another phone and it hasn't quite gotten to that.
I don't know. I don't know that the popularity is quite to that level yet to do all of their specs. People use it, you know, a lot of people do wear it and they wear it for things and you just see them wearing it for fitness too. That's there's something to be said for that. I think that's a positive. We knew that our watches were going to be analog and they were going to stay in a lock.
We just, we just liked that classic aesthetic. It's kind of a throwback. You could almost call it vintage now because almost never really. So the idea, so it had to be durable, waterproof, and we wanted that classic aesthetic. And then. The and then the straps. So the straps have to fit that same purpose.
So we tested probably, oh man, dozens, dozens of different straps to see if they would hold up. And most of the rubber straps that you find on the market are not really rubbing. They're actually silicone and there were an interference. Yeah. So there were a few issues we had with Silicon and like all the apple watch jets for example, are usually silicone, like 99%.
I can't think of a company that actually makes a rubber strap, but the benefit of the rubber is that it doesn't get it doesn't collect microbial bacteria. Like there's silicone straps. They get kind of sticky. They get gummed up. Yeah. They get they get porous over time and they collect bacteria that, you know, if you're, you know, if you are running and.
Working out in that watch, it's gonna, it's gonna get a funky smell after a while and just, just
Capt. Zach: fish for hours on end too.
Michael Simms: That's a really good point. If you're skinning a deer or filleting fish and you have a silicone strap on, you know, we knew we'd get a bunch of calls after about three or four months, man, or, you know, on the flip side, we could sell a bunch of straps, but that's not what we wanted to sell all the products.
So we found the only company, whether it's there's two, but we found one they're an Italian company that makes the best rubber dock straps. And we've been using them ever since, since the very beginning. And they come with a dive class, you do have to go through the process of sizing it. We've got an Instagram video on our website, kind of shows it, or they can take it to a jeweler.
The process is no different than sizing a metal watch bracelet. If you get a Rolex, so you typically have to unscrew a link or two to get it the right size. And in this case, you just cut the links out of our rubber dive straps. But once you get aside, man, it is the most comfortable watch you will ever wear.
It's wonderful for the heat, these, you know, 85, 90 degrees, summer day, you're sweating in it, laying fishing. It's so easy to clean and then they're easily interchangeable. So you can put, you know, if you're a big sports fan, you can put up, you know, I don't know what team you pull for. You can throw that color on there and go to the game.
And yeah, for me, it's orange on there.
Capt. Zach: Yeah. Right. Well, for me it was you know, the Patriots. I mean, I still love the Patriots, but you know, I guess I'm kind of, I guess, kind of rooted for the box. What's that.
Michael Simms: Yeah. I mean
Capt. Zach: it, Tom Brady goes, you got to follow, right?
Michael Simms: I mean, he, he was, he's gotta be loved by all you guys, man. He was mad for a long time.
Capt. Zach: Yeah. You see more Bucs jerseys around now than you do Patriots. It's wild. It's so funny. It's it's as if the entire Patriots nation I knew more guys watching it. Like once the Patriots were done with the playoffs or not even the playoffs just done with the season everyone just started watching the bucks game and it was, you know, whenever one referred to the game, you know, you thought, oh the P the, the pats aren't playing, they're like, no, no, we're watching the bucks game.
You know? So there's going to be as many Patriots fans, if not more watching the super bowl than there are going to be box fans. I can guarantee that it's been pretty wild. You've mentioned You know, this concept of planned obsolescence, right. And having the, you know, the, a quality product and really diving deep into the brand and the importance of having a lifestyle around the watch.
So what's been kind of the strategy with continuing that, right. Because, you know, aren't on our previous conversation that you and I had before hopping on and, and, and recording, we talked about, you know, just the movement of made in the USA, really trying to figure out like, you know, buying from smaller companies and creating these brands that are, that resonate with people.
Right. So, you know, you guys do such a great job resonating with the outdoors. But you could have gone in any direction. Right. But the importance to you growing up in the outdoors kind of carried over to the watch. So why do you think that is? Why do you think you chose to go in that direction versus just become another golf?
Like another golf based watch? I mean, I know you kinda, you kinda play in that bucket as well, but not as much. I mean, hooking GAF is very much so a fishing sportsmen, outdoor watch
Michael Simms: we write. And when we do kind of delve into the golf, it's more accustomed and stuff that we've done for a PGA tour or a tournament, or some of these programs or, or member guests, we do some logo Watchers.
But, but that, that's kinda been fun too. I can touch on that a little bit. But yeah, the re we, the reason we kinda, I think a lot of watch companies and let me back up a little bit, because when we started seven years ago there were only about eight or nine, maybe 10 or 11 new watch companies that.
In the U S it was really hard to find people who made the parts and kind of figured out how to go about building this business. And I think I mentioned to you earlier that there were a couple of things like, you know, Ali Baba, you can jump on that website now and contact any Chinese factory, any factory, really anywhere in central America, you can find out who's making shirts for your favorite brand.
You can contact that company and you can get those shirts too. There's no loyalty. A lot of times to a brand when it comes to these factories, they're just trying to make money, too. So that opened up the flood gates to micro brand watch companies or payroll companies. I mean, you just saw. Explosion really over the last like six years.
And it just kind of happened right, right after we got started. But, but we knew what was going to set us apart was really creating a brand and building a brand that was built to last. If you try to be everything to everybody, I think you have a tough time. You know, making a brand that lasts and see that a lot of times, like, I'll give you a perfect example.
You got a Hardy's up there. Do you know the fast food restaurant Hardy's
Capt. Zach: well from living in Florida, I know what Hardy's is.
Michael Simms: Yeah. They bounce back and forth between what they're trying to do. Like what, there were a couple of seasons where they were making like tacos and stuff and new menu or burger joint.
You had burgers and hot dogs 20 years ago. Now you don't even know who you are. So it doesn't matter what product you're trying to sell. You need to figure it out your lane and stay in that and own that lane. Right. So we've got a couple of people that have tried to steer us the wrong direction. I feel like saying that our watches look great enough to be worn on a bartender in Seattle, in a nice bar.
I'm like, you're right. That's a true statement. I think our watch would look great on a dude in a bar serving drinks, but sure. You know, maybe he fishes. Maybe that's why he wears the watch,
but we've got to stay true to the brand and not try to be everything to everybody that's been.
Capt. Zach: I think that's been that's really well said. And you know, you mentioning the guy in Seattle, you know, wearing, you're watching a bar. That's great. You know, if you want to, he can, anyone can buy your watch. Right.
Anyone can wear it. And, you know, frankly, go ahead. You know, buy it, buy as many washings you want, but there's something to be said about sticking to your brand. And one that lasts. And I had a recent conversation with the gentleman who is making socks and he's putting fish print like a, so if you caught a red fish, right, you could actually take a picture of it and then he'll take that and an index it onto a sock.
So your same exact catch is on your socks, which is pretty cool. But you know, you mentioned, which I thought was one of the big takeaways was, you know, the fact that you can look down at your. And you're bringing along your love of fishing, wherever you go. Right. And then if someone is walking in, if you're walking into, let's say, you know, some sort of event and they look down at your feet and they see that you're wearing fishing socks, then there's something there's a conversation to be had.
Right. And I kind of see the same thing with hooking GAF, where you can, you know, that's great. If you want to buy golf centric, watch, go by the golf centric. Watch. If you want to go by the, sit in the bar and be a Rolex, go buy the Rolex. But if you're, if you want to be a sportsman and kind of give off the vibe that, you know, fishing is my thing, then hooking GAF as your, the watch is the watch to be, you know, so I think there's a lot to be.
Michael Simms: Yeah, you made a good point. So we do some custom stuff too. So we'll do a custom logo watch. We've done some stuff for some nonprofits that you're probably familiar with. CCA is one of them. We, we worked with CCA and about four or five different states and we put the, they call it the fish, the twisted Redfish logo on the watch though.
You're right. When those dudes walk into a bar there, they're sitting down and they're, they're actually wanting somebody to notice their watch so they can talk about fishing, right. Same deal with Bertram. So we made watches for Bertram that makes this really, really tight family and Hills bay Hills bay skiffs in Florida.
So, oh yeah. Yeah. They make the best. Yeah. And so those guys who wear that watch. Yeah, absolutely. They're wanting somebody to ask them and nice watch. Do you have a health span? Why? Yes. I hear you. Let me tell you about it.
Capt. Zach: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. There's a there's a funny meme that I'm picturing right now.
It's, you know, everyone if a CrossFitter hasn't said, you know, that I do CrossFit within the first five minutes, do they really do CrossFit? You know, it's like this guy holding his breath, kind of like, kind of similar in the sense, right. It's have we talked about fishing yet, right. So you met, you're mentioning so many great you know programs and organizations and, you know, after going on your website and seeing so many.
So much community outreach, that seems to be a huge part and importance to hook and GAF where, you know, I saw you working with that the 18 year old girl who is out doing work with underprivileged with kids, underprivileged kids, and then also, you know, respect and, and doing the the conservation for the reds fish.
So you guys have really done a great job integrating yourself and creating not only a lifestyle brand, but you know, like we talked about before is like that, that giving back that piece, that, that will then perpetuate and, and not only make your brand last long, but also the very fact that we can go out fishing.
Right. I mean, so like, what are some of these organizations that I've been seeing and the ones that we kind of touched upon?
Michael Simms: Well, yeah. Pretty much anybody who is a nonprofit and angling we have probably worked with in some capacity. So I like to say, you know, gash and I talk about it all the time. The answer is always, yes, it may just not be exactly what they're asking for.
So we get approached a lot of businesses do for money a lot of times, but there's other ways we can work with these groups to help raise money for their calls or bring notoriety to their, their brand and their organization. Just like with CCA, with the watches. Not only were we helping raise money, but we're propagating their brand.
You know, that's been essentially with a number of people who were wearing that watch and talking about their watch and, and the CCA Same thing with bonefish and Tarpon trust. We did the same thing with those guys in Florida. They're a great group of guys that are you know, they've got a, they've got a battle ahead of them with a lot of the water issues down there in Florida.
And and another guy does a great job, is that the captains for clean water group down they, they work with bonefish and Tarpon trust a little bit from what I understand, but but yeah, so if an organization approaches us about, about that, we'll, we'll try to work with them in some way to, to bring awareness and usually, you know, a watch it's fortunately for us, we make a product that is a great silent auction item, a great giveaway piece.
It's a great marketing piece because. They're always going to wear it. It's not like a t-shirt that they're going to wear one day and throw it in the dirty clothes. They're actually gonna wear it every day. So it goes on everywhere they go. So, yeah, we've worked with with a lot of those groups as well as the businesses, you know, the, the manufacturers talked about you mentioned project respect.
So that was a group of our fishing guides down in Charleston. They're called Redfin charters, the captain's name and business owner, his name's Joel Levine. And, and he's awesome. He's a really good dude. We had a really hard freeze. One. Winter is probably three or four winters ago now where we had two or three days that were down in the teens and on our coast.
That's very unusual. So we we, we noticed there were a lot of the shallow water fisheries were pretty hard hit and you go out and in Georgetown, some areas and you see thousands of fish floating, Redfish and trout So he kind of got that going with DNR and got the speckled trout population back up and going now we're right back where we started.
I mean, it's great. The is good. So that that's been success. You mentioned chests and yeah, she's, she's a great great. She's a captain now. Yeah. She's from the Tampa area and she does, she takes kids who usually they have something a health issue or something like that. And Fishing could be tough for them.
And she makes it awesome for them to be able to get on the boat. You know, maybe they're in a wheelchair and never thought they'd never get on a boat. And she does. She's she's just a phenomenal person.
Capt. Zach: Yeah. Yeah. Well, someone like that, I mean, just taking that story right there to give someone an opportunity to become a part of, you know, efficient experience.
I mean, for, for me, at least I can relate to that and say that when I was guiding out in Hawaiian, you know, just taking people out on the boat here in new England, there's something to be said about giving someone that opportunity, you know, just to, just to reel in a fish or just take a ride on a boat.
Like it, it surprises me the amount of people that have never experienced getting out on the ocean or going and explore marsh or, you know, heck even swimming. You know, I was. The amount of people that don't know how to swim and are there's a, there's a genuine fear of the ocean. So for someone like her to take someone that is already at a disadvantage, just because of the way they were born and then allow that person to really explore something new.
I mean, that's, she's doing something cool. We gotta, we gotta get in touch. That's awesome. Yeah. And,
Michael Simms: And then I've got one more. I have to mention, cause he's, he's my boy Ozzie Martinez out of Florida. So he was the, the nonprofit that we worked with from day one, when we launched the business and my dad flew helicopters in the army, Ozzie did two two tours in Afghanistan and he's a combat vet and Marine and.
Came back. And I think is, I want to say it was his best. Friend's one of the guys he served with committed suicide when he got back from PTSD and then Ozzy himself suffered from PTSD. And so he, he made it a mission after he covered. And it's still a daily battle, but he, he made it a mission to take these guys out on the water and just let these, I think the main feeling associated with that, I, you know, I'm speaking just from hearing him talk, is that.
These guys feel like they're alone and they're these big, bad, strong dudes. So you can take out anybody, but they feel like they can't talk about that because it's, you know, they wouldn't be viewed as that person anymore. Right. There's a lot of guilt associated with people that they've lost over there too.
So a lot of that just ties together. And so it's it's therapy at sea basically is what it is. So he'll get a group of maybe eight to 16 guys and they'll, they may take out several bidders. They may have three charter captains there. We'll take them out. We did a trip off the coast of Charleston a couple of years ago in may and took out, I think it was about 12 guys that were and yeah, it's just, you know, they talk about what they went through and, and, you know, they make new friends and now they have a sounding board, you know,
Capt. Zach: Yeah.
You know, I've talked to two organizations now, one operation, real heroes. The other one is affiliated with last mango and Jimmy Buffett's organization it's called freedom fighter outdoors. And we started with by captain video sources and they do the same thing taking veterans out and after.
Those two organizations, they both have their distress, different twists on things and how they do it. But, you know, at its core, it's, it's just taking guys out fishing, you know, and, and it's not about the fish, right? It's, it's always about the stories being told the connections being made. And that's exactly what I'm getting the vibe from hook and gaff, you know, it's like, it's not, it's not about the watch, right?
Like I think we both agree on that. It's about the time well spent, which I think is a great thing. And it's an awesome pond at the same time. Well,
Michael Simms: that's why he, you know, he initially wrote me and we lost our, his nonprofit, my business at the same exact time. It was a perfect marriage. It was the perfect timing.
His message is my message and vice versa. So, you know, I love supporting. An organization like that, it's never going to be a huge organization. It's not going to be what's the one I'm trying to think of a wounded warriors or anything like that. You know, those are great organizations, but the bigger you get, the more, you know, the more bureaucratic and I wouldn't say waste, but they have to spend money on management and things like that.
Not all the money goes toward that. Right. So that was the main thing. He's like, man, I want 100% of the money that flares through this to go right back to the vet. And like, you're my dog. Let's do this. So we've been supporting him from day one.
Capt. Zach: That's awesome. How has your collaboration with them? Like what does that mean?
Michael Simms: Yeah, so he tries to do several trips a year and he's even started getting into a couple of golf tournaments. So he's got a son who's getting to the age where he's getting pretty decent at golf, which is fun to watch. And so Ozzie will take him out and they'll play golf. So he hosted a golf tournament in Tampa.
This was about three weeks ago and we try to either give him watches that he can use for raising money at silent auctions, for all these different events or Wises or whatever he needs from us. We generally give them, so that's really the way we work. And so if he needs anything from us, he's got our full support.
Capt. Zach: Right. And you also mentioned another guy you know, earlier was Carter Anderson, right. Or it, the Andrews and how influential he's been kind of in that, the process of creating this lifestyle and ocean-based, and really connecting with a lot of the fishermen. What w you know, reaching out to guys like that and having out of your team, you know, it's funny, like everyone that I talked to and you having a partner, some guys, some businesses, you know, it's just a sole prop, right.
It's just one guy, or, you know, but at the same time, that one person, despite them being the sole person, that's pushing the, the cart down the, you know, up the hill, they have a whole team behind them. Right. You know, th obviously hooking GAF has its you and dash, but you know, there's a team behind you guys, so, you know, not only Carter, but I can imagine like the whole family gets involved.
Right. So what does collaboration look like with him? But more importantly, like what does it look like as a whole, in terms of, from a team? Yeah.
Michael Simms: Yeah. So Carter is just an integral. I would say a supporter of the brand. He is a world-class angler. He's had a show for, you know, I, I hate to put a number on it cause I could be wrong, but it's at least 10 or 12 years.
He's he's had a show. That's been on national television and, and unlike a lot of these guys who are just kinda fishing in their lane, down in Florida or, you know, doing what they know. He knows how to do everything. So he traveled all over the world, fishing and knows and knows how to do it. Like legitimately knows what he's doing when he showed up there, he has studied the fishery.
He knows he's always prepared. He's always overly prepared and it's awesome watching him. He's the definition of rugged angler when you, when you watch, because he'll go into the jungles of Bolivia after golden throttle, or, you know, he'll go off the grid. Gosh, what was the name of the island he went to, they had to go it was, it was just an awesome episode.
But he's not afraid to go off the grid after, you know, what he's after. And so he he's he's. He's just a really good supporter of the brand. And when he asked to wear the watch and, and we were kind of hoping that it would be everything that he was after, because we knew what he did as a lifestyle and where he went and the kind of condition.
And he just raves about the watches man. So to have him say, you couldn't put a better stamp on the brand. And then as far as our support, the bigger family, the bigger hooking death family, absolutely. We have support from the spouses. And it's funny, you know, you mentioned that cause we knew well before COVID we used to do a lot of trade shows and we would have this one in two weeks.
Typically that's called the Southeastern wildlife expo and it brings in close to a hundred thousand people from all over the country, Charleston, South Carolina, where they get to eat fine cuisine. They look at awesome artwork like wildlife artwork, sculpture. And we have all kinds of outdoor vendors that make different things, and we're usually there, and that's our best show of the year.
It's kind of like the Dallas safari club show, but on a little bit smaller scale, if you can picture there. And and now we're not doing those things, but when we do our spouses are involved and you know, everybody back in the shop is involved, so it's all hands or things like that. And we're a small operation too.
So you know, I have a guy that is our director of operations, his name's TJ. He's also a former combat vet. He was in Afghanistan. He's going to going back to school and and then we have two watchmakers that assist with all of our sourcing of our parts pricing and, and helping us get all, everything lined up that we need lined up and then do a second.
So they're working on some new stuff, right?
Capt. Zach: Very cool. So you pretty much keep a lot of things in South Carolina, as much as you can, you know, in terms of like day to day and building or assembling of the watches. And so it's very much so a South Carolina brand watch family the whole bit.
Michael Simms: Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
Absolutely. There are some things that you can't put together from scratch, like a movement. So you order these from Switzerland and then, you know, when you, when you're doing this sort of thing, it's, it's there's not a ton of moving parts, but you have to be really good at what you're doing. So we've got a third generation watchmaker on staff who who's just phenomenal and he really helps us.
Capt. Zach: Yeah. That's awesome. So, you know, as you continue through, you know, Building hook and gaff, creating the brand, extending to where you want to go. And then obviously COVID kind of comes into play. And as we're moving forward, where do you kind of see the future of where hooking GAF is going? You know, like what's your goal.
And then obviously, you know, the United States kind of just had this hurdle of COVID-19 right. Something that's just been dropped on us. We don't really know how to really react to it. And it's just a matter of, you know, you can either react to it or you can respond to it. So what's been kind of your approach to responding to it.
And then where do you see hooking GAF going in the future?
Michael Simms: That's a great question. So we did, we made a really key decision. It was, it was so key. This was in March of 2019, and it's just pure dumb luck at the timing, honestly. I mean, that's all I can, I can chalk it up to, but we got feedback from customers.
We get feedback from we did a lot of customer surveys, probably a thousand online surveys with our email database and we were, yeah, we were lucky enough to get a thousand people are responding. That was pretty sweet. So. Yeah, on a pricing brands they like to wear. We just got a lot of good feedback on our brand and pricing and what they wanted to see in the future.
So we realized that to get to where we needed to be price wise for these people to really own one or two hooking GAF watches. We, we also realized, you know, we had 60,000 emails in our database. These are fans of hooking GAF, but yet we'd only say, well, we only sold a couple of thousand watches at that point.
So clearly we have, you know, 55,000 or 50,000 fans of hooking GAF that don't own a watch. So scratch heads thinking, okay, something's amiss here. There's gotta be a price issue. So that was it in order to get our prices down into the sweet spot where people started pulling the trigger this last year and a half, two years we had the poor.
We were already seeing some challenges with retail even well before COVID we had usually one or two, three retailers go out of business every year and we'd usually get stuck, you know not getting paid. And that's unfortunate because the, the vendors and the, and the retailers that we liked to do to do business with were the mom and pops of your, of your town.
It was your, your main street men's clothing. It was your main street jeweler, or your local flash shop that carried some watches. And unfortunately, you know, those are the brands that Amazon and these, you know, they're putting out of business, you know, it's just the nature. So we could read the writing on the wall.
And we, we got several good pieces of feedback where those two things really drove us to go direct to consumer and sell our products directly online and lower their pricing. So we just eliminated dealer margin. So now our watches used to be priced from 5 75 to over 800 bucks because we were having to pull it in that Keystone margin for that retailer.
And now we've eliminated that. So there are 300 to 5 25 and they're much more affordable. All
Capt. Zach: right. Yeah. So, yeah. So now where do you ran kind of, you know, you know, obviously there's that logistics of you guys, you got to sell watches, you know, like you gotta make the money and, and, and continue it. But from a brand perspective, Do you guys see yourself reaching out to more anglers?
Like how are you going to go about kind of extending, you know, in kind of like what we said about before making that long lasting brand well into the future?
Michael Simms: Yeah, I think the other key piece of information we got from their surveys was that our core is still based kind of here in the Carolinas and Georgia, which makes sense.
We're from here the brain. And it has a really great core following here in the Carolinas specifically Charleston and, and branching out on those coastal regions. And then once you get outside of that, you know, We're still shipping watches to Texas in New York and other places every day, but it's just not as prevalent.
So when you look at our total sales and which states they're attributable to, we've got a lot of room to grow. So that's very exciting. You know, we're still very much a Carolinas brand and we, you know, we haven't even scraped the surface in Texas or, you know, these other big markets. So that's exciting.
So, you know, if we, if we started spending more money on digital ads and social media ads, you know, Texas specific, it would be a new brand to those guys, even though we've been around for seven years, that that would be new for them. So that's the growth strategy. That's the room for growth. We want to draw them up pretty much from Texas all the way up to New York and kind of grow out from the Southeast and just own that space
Capt. Zach: right now.
You know, I think in any. Business right. Or in any endeavor. Right. Whether it be golf, fishing, there's always challenges. You know, there's always that getting over the hump and moments that you want to wave the white flag. And in times that you're just like, oh man, I do not want to ship a watch today. You know?
So what, or has there been a moment or maybe even a significant time period where you were just like, you know what we've got to, you got to put up or shut up, you know, like this, this challenge that had to have been overcome,
Michael Simms: I would say there's probably going to be another one. I mean, there's always going to be challenges and this year it's going to be COVID.
I would say before that the issues are probably always. Associated with growth and funding, the growth for businesses. Like, so you have to figure out what your growth strategy is going to be. Are you going to try to seek outside funding and give up equity in your business? Or are you going to try to do it in the form of loans?
So that's usually the point where you're like, oh man, how. Grow this thing. And that was probably two years ago for us. Yeah. We got to that point and realized, you know, we're going to have to seek some funding somehow. Let's see what we can get from the bank before we start giving away our business. Luckily gash and I are on the same page.
We're adamantly opposed to giving away equity in our business. It would have to just make so much sense. It's not even funny, but we have been self-funding this theme. And now the growth is funding the business at the right pace where we're S we're still growing 30 to 40, or even higher a year 30 to 40% where we're, we're happy with that.
We don't have to be a $10 million business in two years, you know, and, and give it all away. I mean, a lot of people will do that because yeah, you can make money that way, but I don't know, man, they'd have to show me something for me to do that because I, I love the brand. I love where it's going. I love that this could be a generational brand where my kids might want to work in this one day or something like that.
So we'll see what happens, but this is a long-term brand for us. If you're familiar with the the vineyard vines guys, but not enough to talk to one of the dudes up there and I love their story. I love that they, they kept the business and kept, kept the equity coming. The two of them and just grew it at, at the pace that was right for them.
Because one of the few they're one of the few who's done that. And I really admire that.
Capt. Zach: Yeah. Well, you know what, there's something to be said about keeping it, you know, in the family and having this really genuine and being authentic and, you know, knowing that like, if this wasn't bootstrapped, it wouldn't have been.
You know, and not, not going around with your hand out and, you know, I think there's a time and a place, right. Obviously when, when you, when there's a need to grow, you need to grow. But if you have the ability to go ahead and just, you know, pull up your bootstraps and go for it, then I think that's the way to go and then grow organically.
And like you said, you know, you've been growing at a rate where, you know, the, the growth is being funded by the business. And at the same time, it seems like in a way the brand is kind of doing the same thing, you know, it's, you're growing with your customer base and you're not growing for your customer base, you know, and, and trying to fill that, fill that gap essentially.
So, yeah, it's super it's it's, it's really cool to hear that and keeping it within South Carolina and your efforts to do as much as you can with a lot of the other community. It, hooking GAF is just an awesome, awesome brand. So, you know, Yeah, no problem. It really is. I mean, from the design to everything, I was really impressed when I got to stumble upon you and honored to be able to talk to you about it.
So, you know, as we come into port, where can kind of people get to know you learn more about the company, buy a watch, where can they learn more?
Michael Simms: Yeah, our website's pretty simple. It's just hooking gaf.com. Spelled out H O K a and D G a F F same thing on Instagram and Facebook. We have our photographer, Justin Hydra runs our Instagram.
He's a professional photographer. He travels all the time. He just got back from cache. Where the heck was to you, went to you go to Costa Rica? No, he went to Guatemala and went to Guatemala.
Capt. Zach: Yeah.
Michael Simms: Yeah. Guatemala went out to the Midwest to shoot ducks and geese, and he's just always getting some incredible shots.
And he, he kind of manages that for us. We also have a bunch of other guides that wear the watch that are also professional photographers and take photos and stuff. So you want to see some really cool stuff and kind of get a feel for what we're all about. Our Instagram page is, is it, it's our guy, Justin and our other guys that wear the watch actually living the brand.
And, but yeah, we'd love to have anybody check out the website and check out Instagram for photos and see if there's anything there that you guys like.
Capt. Zach: Yeah, absolutely. Well, one more question. Before we go the hook, the name, hook, and GAF, right? You know, obviously if you're an angler, a hook and a GAF, I mean, they're synonymous with one another, right?
You kind of need you, you catch a fish, you hook it and then you've got a gap to get into the boat. Is there any significance why you chose that name?
Michael Simms: That's a really good point.
Capt. Zach: Or does it sound good?
Michael Simms: Well, yeah, there's things, number one, every one word name has been taken in trademark. So you have to, that's the reason you see these two word names all the time for these businesses.
So when we were coming up with that name, I was thinking of two things that were synonymous with each other that would look cool on a logo. Well, gash took the hook in the gap and kind of made a Swiss looking cross out of it because we use Swiss movements look very familiar. We've kind of gotten away from, from marketing, you know, the Swiss movement because Quite frankly, a lot of our outdoors men just don't care whether it's Japanese Swiss or anything else.
And we're kind of a Carolinas based brand. So we do use the best movements in our watches. We use Swiss movements, but that's a great question because I actually haven't had that in a while. That logo, that's what we had in mind when we designed the logo was kind of that red and white cross looking logo or a flag.
And furthermore, he put it on the triangle. So it's the tag and release flag you know, on a sport Fisher. So that was the red triangle. That's where that came from.
Capt. Zach: I like it. I like it a lot. Well Michael man, it was a pleasure. They want to pick your brain and talk more about hooking GAF. So just thanks for being on the show.
It's been great. Really
Michael Simms: enjoyed it. Thank you guys.
Capt. Zach: Yeah. Thank you. Take care.