We have always been outdoor people, growing up camping, hiking, fishing, climbing. All things outside! When covid and the lockdowns struck, we started backpacking as a way to still get out and enjoy the outdoors with our youngest son. We are still trying to get our three adult children to join us but have yet to convince them! With accumulating weekend backpacking trips, a 100 miler for myself, and several other multi-day adventures, we found ourselves trying to lighten our loads. This lead to thinking about stitching together some of our own gear, and as it turns out, we had a couple of pretty cool ideas.
The last couple of years have provided a stage for reflection, re-evaluating life, and considering where we stood with the "American dream". Before this moment we were heading in a more corporate direction, feeling trapped by circumstance. We felt like it was time for some big changes.
Trekker Joe’s began as a hobby out of my love of DIY, creativity and sustainable products. I had experience sewing because I’m a Halloween guy. One year I sewed a Victorian frock as the central piece of an Edgar Allen Poe costume and a feathered bodice for my wife, the Raven. Making that coat was my first foray into sewing. I'm still using that original machine for embroidery on current products and have since added a couple more vintage (another of our favorite things) machines to our homebased shop.
Our biggest challenge has been social media. We have the obligatory Instagram and Facebook pages, learning to use those in business has been interesting to say the least. Exposure has been a big hurdle in general as we are doing everything Trekker Joe's in the true sense of a small business. Each product is designed, cut, sewn and packaged in our small (once our guest bedroom) home-based shop by us alone. A special thanks goes out to Garage Grown Gear and Mercantile UL for representing our brand and helping get the word out there.
We are also all about giving back! Built into every purchase from us is a 1% revenue donation to a local trail project. The Great Springs Project in Texas works towards preserving four natural springs from Austin down to San Antonio, on top of planning a 100 miler between the two cities.
When on the trail, we admit we like a bit of comfort and ease. We hope that you will be provided the same with any purchase made from our shop.
As the business grows, we would like to make like nomads, keeping our eyes on vintage RV's or converting an old school bus for full time traveling and learning more about our nation's history and seeing some cool places.
Whatever we decide on, rest assured the gear coming out the door will be reliable, sustainable and made with love!