By Michele Robertson
As the sun shone on the Pecos River, I walked past families playing and picnicking, dogs frolicking in the river, and a few folks casting lines out into the water. A lovely Saturday afternoon in our beautiful city, a perfect time to be outside. In one of the most picturesque locations in town, the Eddy Flume and Avalon Spring, I met up with the crew from Campfire Industries.
Longtime friends, Chason Smith, Mark Hollen, and Matthew Tanner are co-owners of the clothing brand Campfire Industries. This fledgling company was established in the fall of 2019, with the desire to encourage and inspire people to go outside and to give back to their community.
“Our goal was to travel, we had events lined up all around the state, Ruidoso, Red River, Cloudcroft, Santa Fe, and more” Smith said. Local events like CavernFest were on the docket as well. Tanner relayed, “we had a busy schedule.”
“We were expecting to be in people’s faces, getting out there and selling the product” stated Hollen.
Smith shared “corona has hit us hard.” So, this innovative trio decided to increase their online presence. Their metrics keep going up, and they had their first international order last week. “We’ve had a lot of organic growth online” shared Tanner.
The goal and main focus of Campfire Industries is to motivate and inspire people to get off the couch, grab your gear and head outside. They want to encourage you to head out to the lakes, rivers, and hills. Have an adventure; take a hike, go fishing or hunting, camp out, go kayaking, etc.
Hollen shared “there is a lot of hate around Carlsbad, people saying there is nothing to do here, but there is and It’s outside.”
“We know the golden spots and can help you get there too” he added.
When asked how they planned on motivating people to get outside, Smith said “we share our experiences, people see us on adventures and want to do what we are doing.”
Inspire by doing is something they are very good at. They encourage people to leave the land better than they found it. Hollen says “we want to inspire people to pick up trash, if they see us doing it, they will too. If they come to a place and see trash lying around, people tend to add to it. But if they see it is clean, they usually won’t litter.” He added, “I’ve already spotted some trash here while we’ve been talking that I will pick up later.” With their knowledge of local spots to enjoy and care for and their desire to experience the land, share that experience with others, and encourage everyone to practice the ‘pack it in, pack it out’ mentality brings the phrase steward of the land to mind.
The company was a sponsor at this year’s Riverblitz, providing the bags for the community trash pick-up. “One of our goals is to give back to the community” Smith said. The crew has also adopted three trails in the National Forest Guadalupe Ranger district: trails 207, 208, and Last Chance. They will be working on repairing and maintaining them. In the spirit of giving back, during our global pandemic, the guys have also produced face masks which they are donating to businesses and non-profits that need them. Reach out on Facebook if you are a business in need of face masks.
They were in the process of working with local entities to get their clothing line in stores, then Covid-19 hit, and it all stopped. They currently do not have a physical location for a shop, so they use the back of Gold Label Labs, Tanner’s other business, for their shirt production. “All our design work and printing are done in house” said Tanner.
You can follow the adventures of the crew on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube. Remember to shop and support local. www.campfire-industries.com