By Steve Wall
How did you start the company?
My name is Richard Powers III. I was raised hunting and come from an area where everyone hunts, its what we do. So I piddled around making calls in my free time. Then I went to college where I got my B.S. in Biotechnology and my M.S. in biotechnology. During that process I had to take some business courses. In one of those courses I had to make up a mock business plan for a fictitious business, so naturally I instantly thought of the calls that I made in my free time. So through that process I was entered into a business competition much like Shark Tank on television where I had to present a business proposal and try to bring on investors. In that competition I took first place and was a finalist in another competition where I was offered investment and shop space to start Triple Toe. At the time I declined and wanted to grow organically without any partners. Now we are going into our 5th year of business. We have had sales in 43 states. We are in over 100 stores in Canada as well as numerous stores across the United States. Things have grown much more quickly than we had planned but one thing remained the same after all the expansion, we still make every call in hand in our shop and we make sure they are all up to our standards before leaving the Triple Toe Shop. We now have started a waterfowl guide business in the State of New York, smack dab in the middle of wine country on some of the best waterfowl hunting in the country, right on the finger lakes. The finger lakes are the major flyway for the east coast and is such a beautiful place to be as well as hunt. So as of lately we are moving some of our manufacturing to New York and keeping some things here in my home town of Lock Haven in Central Pennsylvania.
How long have you been in business?
We are going into our 5th year of business.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
Through this whole process my favorite part of it all is that I am one of the youngest if not the youngest CEO of an international company. I am about to turn 26 in June. At first it was hard to gain respect but over the time I have been expanding it didnt take long for people to not only treat me with respect but to realize the kind of person I am. I dont play games, I treat everyone with respect and above all I want people to enjoy hunting and the outdoors and teach the ways of the woods and water to their kids.
Everyone says that it must be so great working in the outdoors for a living. Those people obviously never ran their own business. It is the most stressful thing I have ever had to do. That being said, it was the best and most rewarding decision I have ever made. I absolutely LOVE what I do every single day. I love developing new products and guiding hunts, seeing someone quack or honk or yelp on a call or ever shoot their first duck or goose or see their first turkey strutting in front of them. Seeing that whole process unfold and bringing that much excitement and joy to someone make my profession the best thing I could be doing.
What are your most popular products?
We currently have 32 products, which grows each season. Our best selling turkey call is our rendezvous friction call, it is the only call on the market we have found that works wet and even submerged, AND you can use it wet with a wooden striker. Our rabbit squealer is our best selling predator call due to its versatility, having the capability of being a fawn bawler or a rabbit in distress as well as it being made out of our newest material that is indestructible, you can literally run it over with your truck. But above all our fastest growing department has by far been waterfowl. We have developed a new tone board and reed system in both our duck and goose call lines that are with out a doubt the easiest blowing calls on the market and they are beyond life like. We have started using new materials and have so much R&D within the last few years in waterfowl that we are having a difficult time keeping them in stock. So in my opinion I would say our newest and most exciting department would be our duck and goose calls. Our Tempest goose call is our best selling goose call and our APEX duck call are our best sellers this year in those departments.
Who is your target audience?
Our target audience I would say varies depending on the division of hunting. Our predator hunters tend to be a younger generation for the most part. Our turkey calls tend to be more of a age group between 35-65 so middle to older aged. Then finally our waterfowl, we have had increased sales of every age group from about 18-65 in our waterfowl sales this year. It has been a really great year for our waterfowl calls. We are very proud of them and where we have come and where we will be 5 years from now.
What is your favorite hunting or fishing memory?
I was asked What is my favorite hunting story, well to me that is kind of a hard question. I have had some great days with friends and family in the woods and water. But family is everything to us at Triple Toe and I would have to say that hunting with my Father Richard Powers II and doubling up on some long beards on opening day when I was 12 has to take the cake. You cant explain what it is like to accomplish a fun and successful day of hunting with the people that you love most in life. So my words of wisdom, hunt with your friends and family as much as possible because you never know how long you have and I never heard of having a bad day in the woods or on the water.
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