1. Camo is a highly competitive market with some really big hitters – what made you decide to jump in?
That’s true! It’s a highly competitive market but one in which that I saw a real niche opportunity. Having bow hunted for whitetail for over 30 years, I saw a need for a very specific tree stand camo for whitetail bow hunters that would work well across all the whitetails range. There are certainly tons of camo options available but none that I have found that can do the job like ASIO Gear. We accomplished just that with our ASIO Raptor Camo – a pattern that works in any tree in any part of the whitetails range.
2. What is the premise of the pattern? Technology? Environment? Hunting application?
The pattern was actually a bit of luck. I was scouting one afternoon and two Great Horned Owls were fighting above me. One flew down and lit in a tree about 45 yards away from me. When he landed, he totally vanished and as I walked over to him, he started moving his head and I could see him again. He then flew over to another tree and landed and vanished again. I thought about how well he blended in those two totally different trees and that is when the “light bulb” went off. I started doing all kinds of research and looking into how a deer’s eye sight works compared to squirrels and rabbits and come to find out, the prey animals of owls have very similar eye sight to whitetails. It just made perfect sense and is Nature at its finest. Owls are made to be able to hide from their prey and whitetails have the same type of eye sight, so why on earth would you not want to mimic the owls? They are incredible tree predators. That is what we did. We spent hours and hours and hours putting this pattern together, getting the depth and shadows and feather patterns just right. There is no question, in our testing and comparisons with what else is on the market, that the ASIO Raptor pattern is head and shoulders above the rest.
3. What is your company’s philosophy when it comes to camouflaged clothing?
Our philosophy is pretty simple – the bottom line is it has to be the best for bow hunters – period! Quiet, maximum dexterity, and performance – those were our three main goals in the fabrics and clothing that we manufactured.
4. Quality camo is getting increasingly expensive. How do you balance quality, innovation and price?
Yes for sure. The higher-end premium brands are expensive and we certainly fit in that category. However, with our e-commerce (customer direct) sales model, we are able to cut the retail big-box stores out and go straight to the customer. This model passes the savings on to our customers.
5. What has been your most surprising challenge so far, getting your company off the ground?
Time has been the biggest challenge. With the other companies I have started and grown, we could pretty much hit the ground running and have “product” ready to sell in just a few months, if not weeks. In the apparel business, it can takes months and even over a year before you can launch the first product in to the market. We are finally there and it is super exciting to get this going.
6. What has been the greatest reward so far?
The greatest reward has been seeing the finished product. I’ve been able to put on the prototypes and climb into a tree to see just how well it blends. The best news is it works! I also enjoy seeing my close bow hunter friends, that are just as crazy about bow hunting as me, seeing the camo for the first time. Their eyes light up and that’s a great feeling. I really think this is going to help a lot of bow hunters be more successful. To me, that truly is rewarding!
7. You’re a hunter – what’s your favorite thing to hunt?
Bow hunting big mature whitetail deer. No questions about that. I’m totally addicted.
8. What’s on your bucket list?
Hahahaha good questions – the next game I get to play with a 5 ½ or 6 ½ year old buck is always on the bucket list!
Stay tuned for more info on ASIO. It will be exciting to watch the launch and follow their success. I’ll be sure to stay in touch with Joe and his team! DesertRat