Ep #55 – Behind the Brand Golf Podcast | Devereux

Paul Liberatore Paul Liberatore
August 9, 2021

We made it to Episode 55 of the Behind the Golf Brand Podcast. In this week’s episode, I interview my good friends Robert and Will Brunner the Founders of Devereux (DVRX) apparel. West Texas is known for one thing: oil… not fashion… Needless to say, growing up in a small Texas town, fashion was hard […]

We made it to Episode 55 of the Behind the Golf Brand Podcast. In this week’s episode, I interview my good friends Robert and Will Brunner the Founders of Devereux (DVRX) apparel.

West Texas is known for one thing: oil… not fashion… Needless to say, growing up in a small Texas town, fashion was hard to come by and the options were bland. Despite this, Will and Bert’s family always made dressing well a priority, but as time went on, so did the same boring apparel assortment. Fast forward a few years, 2 geology degrees and 2 promising oil-industry jobs later, Bert decided to do the polar opposite thing he was doing and went to design school. Shortly thereafter Devereux was born. Creating this brand was about creating what we couldn’t find.

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Paul (00:00): What's up guys, Paul from Golfers Authority. Welcome to the Behind the Golf Brand Podcast. This week, I have two legends, the bros, they, the Devereux bros. So I have the OG of cool apparel for golf. I feel like a lot of people are trying to simulate what they're doing, but they were first in my opinion. So I'm super excited to have on the show because I've been a fan for, I don't know, probably three or four years now. So without further ado, welcome to the show guys.

Paul (01:44): So where are you guys from?

Will (01:46): We're from west, Texas, Midland, Texas. And I've been in Midland. That's the middle of nowhere. That's like oil fields in the little city in the oil fields. Right? A lot of money there. There's a lot of dirt, a lot of musky. Not much to do. Midland-Odessa right. They're like real close to each other or they're like next to each other or something, right? Yeah. That's kind of where a Friday night, like stumps wrong. Oh really? I didn't know that. That's cool. We hear a story about my, you will hear a Midland story because I used to be a pilot. This is true story. Um, I used to be a pilot. I almost died in Midland because we bought an airplane. Well, my company I worked for bought an airplane is a big piece of crap and it came, they pulled it out of the hanger and there's like, bird all over it.

Paul (02:28): And like paint was gone and they're like, oh, you're flying bags back to Phoenix. And I was like, and the mechanic was like, oh, it's okay. It's okay. So if I checked it out, no it wasn't. So I would take off, we're going down the runway. I pull up and I'm S I'm looking at my instruments. I'm flying for, like, I was probably 200 feet off the ground. And all of a sudden, I see my oil pressure go, bam just hit. And I was like, what the hell? I had never seen that before I look out the left window. And it was oil all over the back of the frickin wing. And I was like, holy. So then I ended up like turning around. I did emergency landing. I lived thank God. It was crazy. Holy crap. That was, when was that? Like 20 yesterday.

Paul (03:06): Holy. That's literally today. That was 20. I was 19 years ago today. Swear to God. Holy that's so weird. Wow. Sorry. That's really crazy. Anyways. So you guys are from west Texas. What'd your dad in the oil industry or something, or your whole family's oil and gas. Really? Yeah. And that's kind of what we were doing before we, uh, started a blazer own drill. I'd say I read somewhere like someone's like a geologist or something. Geology. I have a geology degree. I wouldn't go so far as to call me a geologist. You should do like a shirt that is like a geology shirt. That'd be like an ode. So did you grow up like playing golf and stuff like that? Or what happened? Like you guys like really good. Yeah. That's the only, that's one of the few things to do and Midland is, you know, golfer to go out and shoot stuff.

Will (04:00): So, yeah, we played a lot of golf growing up. Then our dad got us in the sport and he was always big in the sport. So he just drag us along, you know, as kids probably just to get out of the house, knowing what I know now, having kids, uh, just a way to escape, but yeah, I grew up playing. So did you guys like play college and like play for fun, right? With your dad or with your friends and stuff? You're like what I call normal, right? Like that's an eye out. I'm like, I'm not that good. I'm okay. I mean, I'm not trying that hard.

Robert (04:38): I want to get good, but I just don't have time. Right? No matter how, if you play really good, you go back out and you keep playing because you want to keep playing good. If you play horrible, then you just want to go back out so you can get better. It's just one of those sports. Yeah, exactly. So you guys were just going to college. We went to TCU. What would your majors? I was business, uh, entrepreneurial management. And Robert was a geology robbers. Geologists. He's a geologist. He knows a lot about rocks. That's true. They're not, they're not very exciting people, but I like fossils. Yeah. There's some cool things. There's a really cool place by the grand canyon. I can say that. Like, I always bothered my kids that you just see it. Some of the side of the road. Uh that's all I know about rocks. So you would, do you guys both went to TCU? Yes. Where is TCU in Fort worth? Oh, sorry. It's in Dallas. What year did you guys graduate? I graduated. And 2003. I was 2010 more than you guys, man.

Robert (05:56): I graduate in two. Nothing to see you, so, okay. So you guys get out of college and we'll, I mean you're to seven years apart in age. Yeah. We have two siblings between us. So we have the oldest and the youngest that, uh, started ever. It's crazy. Probably cause you guys are like, never really grew up with each other seven years. A long time. Right. So it's like you had, you're like not fighting cause you're like seven years apart and it's kind of like, right. Yeah. We'll just go during high school. And Rob was like fifth grade. So it was like, yeah. So what'd you do? Okay. I'm gonna go first. Well, where did you, when you got to college, he's like go work for somebody. Uh, yeah. I moved to San Antonio and I was working for a company called exfil. They, um, design and manufacture.

Robert (06:45): Uh, it's clear film that goes on. Cars protects it from rock chips from stuff like that. Like it looks that's expensive and people put on that cars, the front of them, I was there for five years and then I moved back to Fort worth and uh, jumped in the oil and gas industry. And I was there for eight years or so. And uh, and then Burt approached me with his idea. So that's kinda, that's kind of where I was, where I started and kind of fell into everything as per your nickname. Oh yeah. I go by Burt. I mean, that's a cool, I'm all about nicknames. I had Bobby Jones brands on, on the show two weeks ago and I like gave him a nickname in the middle of the show. So I was like, your name's too long. So nice. Calm. RJB seriously, Robert Joe. Yeah. Seriously. So when did you come on in we'll like 16. No, I came down to the very beginning. So, oh, you couldn't transition yet? Right? Like Robert graduated with a degree in geology and moved back to Midland. Uh, he worked in the oil and gas industry for maybe six months was miserable. Yeah. Couldn't they were stuck in log libraries, you know, bullying everything. Oh my God, it's horrible.

Robert (08:04): Just bored out of his mind and you want to do something different and he's always kind of like fashion. So he secretly applied to fashion school. He's living with my parents at the time and didn't tell anybody at all what he was doing and, uh, applied to a couple of really good schools and immediately got accepted to, um, fit him out in Los Angeles, fashion Institute of design and merchandise and uh, kind of him and hauled out a little bit and then decided, uh, he was going to do it. So he went to my mom and said, Hey, you know, I can't do this. I appreciate the education and theology, but I've got to get out of Midland. And uh, he said I've been accepted fashion school. And she said, that's awesome. So Burt was working for my dad. And uh, my mom was like, okay, what are you going to do when you go? And he's like two weeks. He said, are you going to tell your dad? He's like, no, I was hoping you would do your dad, your dad's head's gonna explode. He's gonna be like, wait, what?

Robert (09:06): And so doing the fashion school, you know, people think something's up from Midland. It's like, wait, what? And then your dad's like, yeah, it doesn't, uh, it was a little different. Yeah. He did bad actually. It's like you filed something that was like passion. Like it was more dude. Like I wrote my first like guys to be a pilot right before I did all this. And like my first job, I remember driving to work. Like I just got out of college. I was driving for America, west airlines. Right. Ended up in an office and we're driving to work in traffic. And I remember thinking what the F I'm in the rat race. Like I'm really, I'm in the rat. I know you're 22, 23. When you realize that you're in the rat race, you're like, oh, this sucks. You know, like, how am I get out?

Robert (09:55): That's bad-ass I totally get that. So Will's work in a way, Rob. Doesn't like, let's get it. Log books and stuff like that. Which I totally get. That's like the boring of sitting on the planet. It's one of them. Yeah. Well, like in my law practice, what happens is people will die. It'll have like oil and gas rights and like somewhere that's like the biggest fricking nightmare in the world, like costs so much time and money to figure that crap out. And then you have to do like the big oil and gas companies. Like, oh, this guy was leasing to this guy and this guy was leasing to that guy. So that's like, who has the whatever so we can feed. So that part of the oil and gas in was titled. So it's a funny, because Rob's like all fashionable and stuff and he has like a librarian's job.

Robert (10:46): Exactly. Right. So did you tell your dad and your mom tell your dad? No. My mom made me tell my dad. He knew my mom. Yeah. My mom's Irish. They're saying an Irish accent. She's not Irish squishy. She's just a strong, strong woman. And so she was like, you're telling your dad before you do anything. So yeah. Had to break the news. So probably like that night, he was cool with it though. My dad's awesome. You gotta be supportive. I mean, go for it. Yeah. It was like, I mean, at first was like, I mean, he was stoked that I got a geology degree because that was something that he loved and wanted to do himself. Yeah. Got that degree. And he was pumped to have me back working with me and then curve ball. But that's the hard thing I think too, you know, like we work.

Robert (11:27): So were you working for your dad or like his company or what was it or just helping him with some projects that he was working on and working for another guy at the time. But uh, I think my dad wanted, yeah, he wanted me to work with him. He was like a family business empire. I think he wanted me to do the miserable work. That was the geology work. So he's like, I got the perfect candidate. Right. Oh, that's perfect. I hate that. Burt loves it. So I'm going to let birth to it. And that's like the worst job that you guys wanna play with rocks. I don't want to like books. So you went to LA, what year was that? Like 2011. Yeah. That timeframe. Yeah. I went to LA sign up for fashion school. I had no idea what the hell I was doing still.

Robert (12:18): Sometimes I don't know what I'm doing. So like, I don't know. Um, he has some good style though, bro. Seriously, I appreciate ya. But yeah, it was, uh, it was an eye opener being I'm from west, Texas or Texas, all your life jumping into LA, like middle of downtown, middle of the fashion culture fricking night and day, right? Yeah. I stood out like, who's this kid, uh, and he doesn't fit in. So, but you know, I just grinded it out. I learned a lot. I would, um, my main goal was just to kind of learn. I never knew anything about clothes, construction, you know, how anything was made. And that's, that's why I wanted to pursue the education was to give that foundation that understanding first and foremost, before figuring out what kind of a career I wanted with them. No, that's cool. So like you gotta to learn all that stuff, right?

Robert (13:03): Like really fashion, like how to sew and how to come up with full designs. And like, I mean, at the time I thought you did, but it seems like now you don't, now it seems like you can just run a screen on a shirt and have a company. But yeah. I mean, I'm, I'm more into like the, uh, the nuances of the details and the quality that, and what fabrics really are and how those things go. The quality of the fabric, like just prints and whatnot. Yeah. So are you a graphic designer? No, I don't. Do you have a concept? And you're like, you go to a graphic designer and be like, yo, this is what I'm thinking. Be cool. Go play. Make them come up with it. Yeah. Yeah. I just like that. Uh, I'm more like I would consider myself like when the product product specialists, you know, understanding, you know, the different types of products, weights, constructions, you know, those things of that nature.

Robert (13:54): That's what I really liked to do, but yeah. Concept stuff out. Definitely. We have a graphic designer in house. I throw him a lot of stuff. They do this denial lot except a few. Yeah. You went blind and you're like, what the hell are you thinking? No. And then, and then like, oh, this is pretty cool. Do this. Yeah. And that takes time. I mean, if you just think about the advancement of e-com and like clothing, right? Like 10 years ago, there was no print on demand. You know, screen printing was not like you had to go to a screen printer and you had to go buy massive quantity. You know, like now it's like anybody could start a shirt company in like two seconds. So they really want it to, I don't know. Yeah. I mean, that's, we, we got in this business, I think it was 2013, which in the span of what we've done as a long time ago, given what we've seen, you know, when we got in, it was very kind of traditional in terms of what business was he prom really wasn't a big thing.

Robert (14:49): Um, so we were just plugging in the wholesale world and then like the evolution has come so far, especially with all of the brands that, you know, we've learned to adapt to kind of innovate within, but you do see me sad, like having that on demand printing and all that. I mean, just brands popping up left and right. Which is cool to see. It's good for the sport showing that people are out there, but you know, it's a very saturated market. So Andrew to be in, I guess it's good that we've been there, but you know, we still battle it. We see it, but it's fun. It's fun to kind of see these new brands. I didn't realize how the, I started like a brand in November. Right. Just like a small one. Cause I, I know who makes all the best stuff. I was like, I'm going to make up my own version of stuff.

Robert (15:35): And like, and I also want to learn the e-comm side of it. Cause I already know media and that's hard as hell. I'll tell you that for being I'm sure. That's like one of the hardest things ever, especially with such a saturated market, like it's, everything is saturated hats, shirts, pants. I mean, like it's hard to actually, you know, rise above it. Right. So people actually know, cause there's only so much dollar to spend. So it's like, so you started, so you started the brand in what 13, you said collection was, uh, spring of 2014. Uh, some of the PGA show you went to the PGA show. Oh, we used to do, yeah. We used to do that. They used to still our money, biggest money grab ever. And they make so much money. Do they make like tens of millions of dollars on it easily or the big companies spending like a couple million for those shows?

Robert (16:35): Like I went last year before COVID and I had never been. Right. And I just went because my friend hooked me up and this just blew my mind how big it was. But I realized how much money was being spent. I like all my friends were there, so I was super excited and they're telling me what their booths cost. Am I, my fluid in my jaw hit the floor. Like I was like, you spent 10 grand on that, like for reals. And there's like the pretty outrageous. That's like a table with table. That's literally what it is. Right. And like the crappy area next to the toilet. Like that's so w did you guys, so when you, when you're first, when your first stuff came out in 14, did you go to the PGA show to kind of be like, this is our baptism, I guess like hello golf world.

Robert (17:20): We actually, our first one was a trade show was in Las Vegas. I know which one that is there. You're actually showing your spring collection. So that was our first one funny story about that. So, you know, we get our clothes in. We're super excited. We take everything up to Vegas. You guys live in here at the time? No, he was in LA and I was in Fort worth, but we meet in Vegas. You know, we have the, everything folded in suitcases. So we get there and we have to unfold everything and it has, you know, the folding marks on it. And so we didn't know that you could go downstairs and, and, you know, get a steamer to steam the clothes. So we got a 12 pack of beer, went up to the room and, uh, ironed all the shirts. It took forever for the wrong color because of the factory.

Robert (18:14): Really anything that goes wrong, goes wrong, are on high heat, a little steam room in there we're hanging shirts. And it was a long time ago. It was that 13. Yeah. That was 13. 13. So then when you were at fashion school, is that when you kind of came up with the Deveraux brand, like you had that idea or like what happened? Yeah. I mean, the idea is evolved a lot, but yeah. I mean, you know, the idea back then was just to kind of present a more youthful, inspired a golf clothing brand. There was, there was nothing on the market. You know, this was by the time that Travis, Matthew was like hitting their stride actually went and interviewed for like in customer service, internship deal got denied. And I was like, you know, these guys I'll just do this. You're like, oh yeah, I'm gonna start my own company.

Robert (19:05): And then I'm to kick. I'm gonna work for free. But no, once you love that when they, when people deny you and you're like, I'm literally going to work for free. Like, no, we're not interested. It's like, yeah. So I've had that happen. I was like, yeah, maybe I could do this. Uh, and I got the, you know, the wheel spinning and wanted, you know, I feel like those guys were pretty inspirational at that time. Uh, we got the wheel spin in and kind of put me on a path to, to kind of create this a little bit more, a useful brand with the ideas and the values and the product and put it out there to the public. And that's kind of what we did. So I mean, yeah. I mean, I, I was thinking about that all the while at school. Cause I was doing the internship programs and went down to Huntington beach to interview with them through it when they said, no, I was like, all right, this is what I want to do now.

Robert (19:57): Well, it's like, they don't get it. I'm not saying any anymore. It was like, somebody makes a decision and they're like, not the right. They're not the decision maker. Right. It's just like the person who says, oh yeah, hell yeah. Because you probably work in there right now. And the customer service department. Hi, this is Bert. What's your problem with your right? Did they sell a Callaway or someone who bought them big money? Yeah. You can always tell when a brand sells out. Oops. I say it out loud. I mean, when a brand goes to the big, the big stuff and it's like, okay, I'm going to talk some for a second. I'm sorry. But a hat that says like stuff from old movies was like, cool, like five years ago. So don't be releasing that I'm not naming brands that do that right now. But come on. Really? I agree. Like that's not originality. So what year was that? Like 2012, 2013. We tried to get the, yeah, that was probably 2012. Jed will go over there. Been like, yo, hire me. I want to work for you now. I mean, you guys are still in a tray. They were like an adult. It was something, it was small Travis, Matthew, or they just need the brand. Now I don't even know.

Robert (21:24): There's two guys that started the brand and they use both our names like Devereaux. Devereaux is a very French name right there. You guys are from Midland access. We try to be classy. Six pack or six pack of bud light. Yeah. I think it's a cool name. I always spell it wrong, but um, I didn't take, there was no way Devereaux. So how'd you come up with the name? Dabber bro. I mean Devereaux. So it's our grandmother's name? Family name. Really? That was her first name. Her last name, first name? What? A cool name. Yeah. So our great-grandmother was married. Era. Went by Mary, our grandmothers, Mary Devereaux goes by Devereaux and my oldest daughter's married Devereaux and that's the frequency. That's cool. You said that in your website I think was on our website. So it's my middle name, my middle name. So it's just family name, but it really, everything kind of, we named it after our grandmother. Were you guys French? I don't think so. I was just wondering where's your family from like the Texas or like the south or what? Texas. That was cool. So I never knew that about Deborah that's bad-ass. So you started Devereaux in 13, 14 times. And then you went to PGA show high. Was that first Vegas show. Did you get any sales out of it? I think we got one order next week golf store, right. Or somebody would call shop. Cause that's like the PGA regional blah, blah, blah show, right? Or something like that.

Robert (23:13): You know, it doesn't cost as much. No one can do with these extravagant builds. So everyone's kind of like on this equal playing field, it's just show up to work, hung over and let's get the hell out of there. Uh, Orlando one is a clown show. Matt, when you, when you go to the Orlando one, do you wear khaki pants, pants, timeless backpack. I was making fun of every, but I was like, why is he wearing khaki pants? Like, yeah. So they just spent a hundred thousand dollars on their education. Totally. Bro-ing it up? Like I saw these dude. It was like, it was like the funniest thing I've ever seen in my entire life. And I was in a fraternity, but I would never work in a place that their mom and dad, his Bible room men's warehouse.

Robert (24:10): I don't miss that. Right. That'd be a funny commercial use wear khaki pants and a blue blazer and then a Deborah. Right. So, um, how was your first Orlando show if you spent a million billion dollars on your booth? Orlando was awesome the first few times, because it was new, I guess you could say. And Orlando got super played out. Uh, but I mean, we were there when I think our first show, we, we bought, uh, a pretty big booth and you know, did it ride and wanted that, you know, that press that attention. And we got that and that was cool. We were, you know, I think we're our next door neighbors of the show. We're loud mouth. This was when loud mouth lips. I see all the brands now. It's like, everyone's loud mouth now. Um, but yeah, this is like, oh gee loud mouth days.

Robert (25:01): And we're next to them. And they were booming with business. It was kind of cool to see. And you know, we're in our cash flow from those guys, but yeah, we got a lot of attention, a lot of press, you know, we had, uh, we had a hell of a time, did some events the pro day. So it was cool. Then like the next four years it was just the same and dreadful. And you're like, how are we going to go back to this and keep doing this and talk, you know, same people, same questions, same, whatever, if you don't go back, people think you're out of business. And so it's like, they hook, you get so sad is people think that if you go right, like little brands, right? They go and they think, oh, I spent $10,000 for a booth. When I leave the show in a week, I'm going to be somebody big.

Robert (25:48): Right. I'm going to get the attention. And then they don't sell Jack and they don't like they leave and they just spent $10,000 and they still have a crappy website. No one's buying their stuff. You know what I mean? Yeah, for sure. And when we were doing this, that's my voice. Wow. Um, it was, I feel like e-comm really, wasn't a thing. I can't even remember. We had a website at the time. I think we were strictly just wholesale. We may have had like an about us page. You know? It was, it wasn't as easy as it is now to open up shop online. Yeah. So I mean, our business was strictly that wholesale channel. Um, that's why we had to go. And that's why we did it now. Now the power lies within your own site, you know, that's all it is. That's the main competitor against these guys in these shows, you know, they're you get the wholesale being in the wholesale through email now, you know, he's just show up and show them a little golf shop and be like, oh look what we have. And they're like, that's the coolest thing ever. And you're like, dude, it's all over the internet. I mean, yeah.

Robert (26:47): You know, and then like, yeah, I feel like wholesale Connie gets a bad rap because if you go to a nice pro shop, like most stuff in there is not that great. Like I was, I would play golf on Friday, over at a resort with a couple of friends and I liked the pro shop and it was all. It was like night and brands have heard of, you know what I mean? It was like, I don't even know. It was like, I'm like, what's this, you know, I'm like, well, who's your man. And then I asked the guy like, who's your wholesale guy? And he's like, oh, well the hotel manages all that. So like they do it. And I'm like, no wonder your stuff is ugly. And like no one ever buy it. Like, you know, or something that's wholesale on the golf. You know, that's the kind of segue that's kind of, you know, our battle was wholesale and we were selling in there doing the things running 15, 20 polo styles, a season that you had to plug and chug colors, blah, blah, blah. You know, just giving these shops just the whole, you know, space and these shops. But you know, as time goes on, we're looking at these shops like, man, these people probably have to drag it, drag them to the dirty air, but they don't know what they're doing. That's selling your stuff.

Robert (27:58): Yeah. You go in there, everything's dated, you got dark lights, Oakwood. Like it's, it's horrible. It looks like, you know, a blast from the nineties with trying to put new in there. And it's not that it's not that appealing. So we have a big point of difference with, you know, what also was it? And granted, there are some cool shops. Some people are kind of seeing that for what it, what it's worth and making cool shops now at golf golf locations. But 90% of them aren't and it's, you know, it's a beating just to walk into one. It's like, what do I, where do I even go? How do I even purchase? Like everything is the same. Uh there's there's no difference. So, so you want a story? And I went to, I went to, uh, a course, like a month. I was like two months ago and I was wearing a t-shirt right.

Robert (28:43): And like pants and like, I'm going to play golf. And my buddy who was a GM at the golf course goes, where's your polo? And I was like, are you joking? He's like, no, really got a polo on I'm like, this is a golf shirt. Let us just golf on it. Right. Like, yeah, this is what people are wearing to golf courses. He's like, yeah, but the members are going to be upset. I'm like, so guess what? I had to go spend $150 on golf clothes at a Frick golf shop because I didn't have the right pants. I had, I had this, I had to buy its ugly Adidas, polo. I was so. I had to buy a new hat. I still spend $150 on stuff. So I could like go play. I was, I was kind of you're too about that. But that's the hard part right.

Robert (29:22): With fashion. Because like, it's like, where's the lie and when, when is it not traditional? Right. Is it like chill and Mo I'm a chill. I don't play, I don't care what I wear. That's the whole Bush right now. And you'll still have those higher end clubs are always going to, you have their dress codes post or have to be tucked in. So I was wearing like normal clothes, normal golf clothes. So you guys really start to get momentum. What do you think gave you the most momentum? And once you did, I think it was just kind of our styling really set a good price. Our, our bottoms really took off our gravity shorts and our gravity pants. I think that was a big moment for us where we saw a lot of growth in that. Um, and then we just kept developing off of that, doing reading a really cool jotters. Yeah. Because you want the first, it was hard doing that. Yeah. The joggers. And everybody's got a copying lash. I mean, that's one of those things too. You have these great jotters and everyone likes them, but the pro shops won't break, man. You know, because it's there, the fairway ingrained the Donald Ross, you know, all that joggers are what, our number one online selling unit. And they were our worst wholesale product. So that's frustrating.

Robert (30:52): So I don't know. Well, it's like the same problem with the clothes. Right? The t-shirt the pull over, you know, that's the hard balance. And it's like, so who do you guys think is your age group then real close, like 25 to 50. Probably because the younger people on my money. Right. So like, it's like, like less 25 or whatever done is we've we went direct to consumer. So we're, we don't do wholesale. Oh really? You got rid of it. So yeah. This is new to, this is in February. We made the switch. Yeah. I bet you, it cuts a lot of costs. Right? Cause I only need to come up with 50 freaking polos. You just pick the ones that you like or, you know, you look at, you know, the us going into a approached shop, you know, they're selling a $95 polo or whatnot, you know, we're selling, you know, it's a 50% margin that we're making in those pro shops. Plus we have to pay 12 to 15% too. You know, the rep makes the money, he makes his cut, they want half off. Right. So you gotta have a high enough, uh, at the end we're like, well, screw this, you know, we've had, you know, five years of doing it this way.

Robert (32:14): Let's look at ease in our operations. And so we, uh, did that instead of us selling $85 polo. Now we sell a $64 polo. It's exact same quality, same manufacturing, everything nothing's changed. We've we, I mean, we dropped everything by 2030 at all. That's a sweet spot too, because everyone's raising their prices right now. So it's like, right. Yeah. A lot of the brands are right. Travis is our, our mission really is, is, you know, as we've, you've got, got the super intimidating, right. The sport itself, because you have those, you know, those places where it's like tuck in your shirt, wear, wear a collar shirt, everything. So it has like this intimidation factor to it. But we want to, our mission is to be true, to like, you know, accepting people into the sport. As you know, price is a big variable for that.

Robert (33:01): And we want to keep that affordable and keep that down so people can enjoy the sport, get a good product and come in and not feel like they're getting ripped off in a day dollars worth of apparel. And you've got your Adidas shirt. I was. I like it's ugly. And it's going to ask tight. And like, it looks like. It looks like something. I hate it. I was like, I want a web suit. That's I felt like, and it was like, and here had my sizes. It was like, oh, we have a large enemy of triple X out. And I'm like, I'm not wearing a dress and I'll go with the large. And as he even said, I was like, whatever, you know, I was so. I'm like, this has happened. Like I just got it. Wasn't his fault, you know?

Robert (33:44): But I mean, I think it's smart. You guys are in going wholesale, hold the racket. Cause you're the wholesale person you got to have. Your guys probably don't even go out and sell. Right. So like, they go out one time a year and they want their 15%, but this golfers is always going to buy it. So it's free money. And essentially these dudes, right. It's hard to manage people that work on commission. Yeah. They don't care about you. And the most somebody told me though I was true or not. Somebody told me that like, if you, you can't, if you like, you have more than you have more than say five people right. Doing that for you. Or they're not really considered independent sales reps. And then you got shoot like an employee. Somebody told me that I was like, that's true. It's. Because you know that you have to worry about it anymore. Cause you're not doing so then in February, I bet you just had a huge year last year. Right? Like exploded. Yeah. Last year it was good. Was your biggest year ever for e-commerce? Yes. E-comm you, we were talking about going to DC for awhile, but when COVID hit, I mean, it just kind of just really just put everything fully validated.

Robert (34:51): So would you feel that last year was your biggest year to be there? Yeah. A lot of the pro shops. Um, you know, we had a lot of cancellations, especially California and Hawaii just because of COVID. Yeah. I mean, Hawaii, they were shut down. People weren't traveling nearly couldn't a lot of places in California were shut down. So we started getting a lot of cancellations on our wholesale orders. But then, um, our direct to consumer commerce was just taken off, offset it right there was that week in March where everything goes like this boom. It hits the ground and you're like, oh crap. I saw it like traffic, traffic goes boom. And it's dropping. And I was like, oh, something's happening? Like, no one's looking for Volvo equipment, like zero. Right. And I was like, oh. And then all of a sudden it was like, took off like a rocket, like last year I was getting like 200,000 people a month.

Robert (35:45): I was like, holy crap. We're always people coming from. But I mean, yeah, they were buying, man. Did you guys have any problems with like supply chain? Uh, we're starting to run into it a little bit right now. We didn't see it before. Really a lot of, uh, having trouble getting yarn. Uh, we developed our own fabrics. Um, so, uh, getting, you know, yarn into a lot of these manufacturers, um, is kind of it's with everybody. Right. When everything's kind of on back order. I mean, you look at all the microchips you look at. Oh yeah. Look at that lumber. I mean, everything's not stuff you can get paint right now. I mean, they're really trying to paint our house right now.

Robert (36:35): We're about to do a bunch of housework too. And I'm like, oh, maybe we shouldn't be doing any house or it's uh it's it's starting to catch up. I've had some brands go, oh yeah. I'm not going to name brands. But like very large e-com companies being like, oh yeah, we're a shortage right now. And I'm like, there's no way, like I know there's a shortage, but like you're the largest e-commerce golf company in the world. Like if you can't get it either you're lying to me or you really can't get it. And then, I mean, they're aligned with me cause I was like, oh, it's funny. Cause you're running all these sales right now. So obviously you do golf clubs, hard goods. I mean, that's why they're behind two balls. Last year. Balls was huge, man. I had Dean snow on the show and I was like, dude, you can't get your theme anywhere.

Robert (37:22): Like everyone's fighting for your thing. I was like, really? He's like, oh yeah, you can't find it. You know? Like everyone's back order. That was like in September, I was like, I don't know all this cool stuff I had never even know. So who designed your website? Is it like you have like a designer for that or was that more like you guys come up with a really full design and talk me out of Fort worth? Um, and they do, they did our website whose white truck is at in the video that is shut up straight out, man. Tell them the story, selling a white truck one day and I hit him up. I was like, Hey, can I borrow this for a photo shoot? And he was like, sure, how much did he sell it for? That's like a hundred thousand dollars fricking car for quite a bit.

Robert (38:04): But it's that kind of bar, like a couple hundred bucks or a photo shoot. And this was like two years ago. And he's like, yeah. And he came in, hung out all day this in the nicest guy in the world. And then we're wanting to do this photo shoot desert and I'd get a truck and I wasn't having any luck. And I remember I saved this phone number, so I hit him up again. He's like, I got this new truck. He's like, if you want to use it, let me know. I was like, yeah, he's like, we'll come pick it up tomorrow and take it out. So he let me drive, cruise the whole thing through the desert Arizona. There's just basically just bring it back. This guy is so he's so easy going.

Robert (38:38): I want that car. I want that fricking car. That car, I didn't wash it. I hit him up. I was like, Hey Madison, he's 30. Should I watch? He's like, don't worry about it. I was like, what about gas? He's like, don't worry about it. Oh, that's cool. Here's a gift card to my website. And he's located down in Tempe too. So really? Yeah. It worked out, man. Uh what'd you guys shoot that in the valley, like west valley or south, it's like south, just go off the road and drivers trailer. You guys take the shows and stuff in it. That's critical trailer. That's really like, I know Asher has a trailer like that. True. Has this trailer like that as are sick trailers. That was pretty cool. You know, the, you would drive it on the right side and settle left the steering wheels on the right. Oh really? I didn't even think about that. You know, on top of that is the, uh, shifting gears. Cause it's a manual one. So you're shifting with your left hand state. You're right? Yeah. There's a really, it's kind of it kind of weird. This is Robin a video. Let's see if Robert's in that video, be I'm driving it because the model did not address the models. They don't have a stick shift, even if they're like, oh let's stick shift, bro. That's why I made the video.

Robert (40:00): I grew up on it. Well, yeah, I had, I had to teach myself. I like one hour to teach myself stick because I had a job once and the guy was like, my boss was like, I need you to run these parts in airports. I need to release parts of this parts store. I was like, all right. I mean it's old, like Nissan truck, but it was old Nissan trucks. Everybody had like back in the nineties, you know, it was stick. And he's like, I almost like, can you drive stick? And I was like, yeah, I can drive stick. And I like, I mean, I literally was like I told my other guys I'm a guy I work with. I was like, yo, I can't drive stick. And he's like, well you just drive up and down the runway or the taxi way. That's what I did like grinding gears. I seriously did. I think it was probably I'll ask when I run it back. I'm like first thing I run the street. Um, so what's Robbie. I don't even see Rob in the video though. Uh I'm in there. Hold on. I want to say, oh there he is. I see him wearing a white hat.

Robert (40:51): Everybody in this thing, like models, except for you. Where's we'll both probably barbecuing behind this, the shack and I'm somewhere else sitting in the corner and he's behind the scenes. What was the, what was the, uh, puppet master and this video? Um, as a cool video that, yeah, that, what does that defender? I think it's an old-school defender defender. That's like a nineties defender. So like I was showing my buddy another lawyer. I was like, yo, take this checkup. I'm telling these guys next to me, check them out. And we're watching the video and he's like, oh my God, it's the defender. And I was like, yeah. So, and he's like, could he just bought a defender? Like a new one? It's like, yeah, those are saran 90 grand or whatever. And you can't find them anywhere in a bite in New York or, and like he said, I'm like, what year is that?

Robert (41:35): I couldn't feel kind of car at lunch. Right. He said, oh, it's a fender. And then I looked at it, I started Googling it. I let it go. That's a hundred thousand dollars easily. I'm like, yeah, it was built in the nineties dude. He's like, yeah, seriously. There's like a hundred thousand dollars still matter. I was like, really? And I want one. I was like, that's a badass car. It's all boxy. It looks like it's in Africa or something. I don't know. No radio, no air conditioning. Oh really? Oh my God. So what's, when did you come with the ball ball man idea. That was our graphic designer. One of the guys who got in house. Yeah. He likes to just kind of sketch that stuff. One second. That's okay, man. I got kids too. They're just a little while he was just wanting to put something together.

Robert (42:23): We kind of went like this. Like, you know, you remember tally from south park? Yep. Everything's like always spawn loving, but we wanted to do that. Seems a little more like not strung out, but like some of that felt like defeated. Cause that's a golf is just like, yeah, I play on like just got my aunt, my logo, a ball guy too. Like I went like Suzanne, like I have had it for like three years and I was like, I saw yours. I'm like, oh, it's cool to see. Cause like you guys do it, Malvin does it. And I do it. But you can do so much. It's hard doing a ball guy though. It really is about making him look like cheesy. But you guys have a cool guy. Yeah. He's just one of our little characters. We kind of implement. Uh, I love what you guys are doing.

Robert (43:07): You guys are like no frills. Like I like cool brands. Like I would like, I don't like the whole weedy toity brands. I don't like people talking about each other. Like when I was a PGA show, like people were talking about my friends brands and I was like, I didn't, I learned, never get Betsy's brand and they're big brands. Okay. Like, and those people that worked there were talking. And I was like, that's not even, that's like professional, like seriously, like, oh, we invented that. Whatever you'd bended a t-shirt. Yeah. Good job on that. So what's like, what's a, you just make it. This is what I like about what you guys are doing. You guys are making good clothing with good fabrics with cool designs and it's affordable. Right. And it's not like screen-printed crap that they got at some, you know, some website, like it's nice stuff.

Robert (43:56): It's like, you're making it affordable to our generation really. Right. The stuff that, that literally we're all that like what you guys have and I got your polo to your Polish. So yeah, that's a big that's. The big goal at hand is, is to try to be really strict on that price point and keep it that way for a consumer because that's, what's important to us. And I think the game is seeing an explosion of new people coming in, but you get on anybody else's website and you're paying $98 for a polo shirt. I mean today after grain-free, after golf balls at their clubs, I mean tapped out like it's expensive. So, you know, we're trying to kind of right away, but you know, cool stuff or for a good price. Like I love, I love, I love like the Augusta hat, like the old school, like easy hat.

Robert (44:44): That's that's the, when you're earlier, that's one of your early ones. Yeah. That's been in the wheelhouse for years. Yeah. I love that hat. How'd you come up with the golf, the golf with the astronauts. Cause that's what you're known for. I think. Yeah. That's yeah. Yeah. It just kind of came to us one day. I'm always kind of what my dad always said. He's like, you know why they named it golf because other four-letter words were taken. So it's a play off of that. You know? It is that like that cuss word, like God, this is such a frustrating sport. So I wanted to add that frustration in that or have that like anger. Cause it's not goth. Isn't always happy go lucky. So everybody seems to be, it's more frustrating than anything. So, uh, that's what that logo is, is share that common frustration there, the sport you guys make some cool stuff, dude. Gulf coast. That's cool. Like what you're doing with that, the towels are like your new towel designs. Is there sick butter covers? And our head covers have been on fire as a new oh really? Cause like, so like the rifle putter cover with like PG on it or like their barrels. Are those leather or are those like the nylon?

Robert (46:00): Yeah, let me see. I mean, we're doing that. Just, just, um, we're trying to give that cool design in that good price point, because once you step up the real other, then you're looking at, you know, people $200, a hundred cost, $200, not trying to put a $200 cover on it. So crazy. I didn't even realize that was like fake leather or whatever. I mean it's really good quality, honestly, uh, for what it is, print on it. Right. That's what's so good too. You can print on it embroidered on it, you know, for the price it's it's perfect. That's a good price. You know, I have $45. It doesn't mean like you, I know I'm not gonna name brand, but I know brands are making the nylon ones. Right. The nylon had covers for like more than that. And that's at least, and I looked at yours and I was like close and I was like, holy crap.

Robert (46:45): That's a lot of extra details for that price point. Like that's Lilly a $75 a head cover. Like if, if you think about the market right now, I mean that's sick. So do come up with these ideas and like, and you like make them, or does your team help? Or how do you guys full designs? Yeah. We, you know, we work collaborative collaboratively in the office as you know, we're a small team, but you know, we, we throw stuff on the wall, we put up a drawing board, we kind of figure it out. But I mean, our goal is to tell narrative through products and not just slap something and be done with it and put a Flamingo on a shirt and be like, that's the Flamingo collection. It's not what we're about. You know, we're, we're trying to come up with collections that actually are inspired by something and given a narrative and a, and a reason for people to purchase. So it's a lot of after that, going to like what we're dropping and what we're doing, that's surrounded by the game of golf and how we can kind of put a creative spin on it that isn't, you know, the already been done. So Simpsons, whose idea was it? So kids clothes. So I think it's brilliant how we did that years ago. It may have been our sales director at the time. I didn't have no kids. Then you're thinking about it. You want a kid? You're thinking about it.

Robert (48:00): It's we ran that out. It was just a wholesale price. That was a tack on because no one really does that. I mean, competitor was right. I mean, I haven't seen that. It's better than theory than it is in the business world because you're not buying a bunch of kid's stuff. You're buying like one unit, two unit, but it's nice. I mean, we sell, we sell the polo shirts on e-comm to the state. What's your most popular shirt? Is it a t-shirt or is it at the polo or, or what? Since the e-commerce, uh, you know, we made our shift and lower prices, but you really didn't sell too many polos online, but now we're just, yeah, they're just flying like crazy. They do really well. Teachers do good. We've we've we've started doing a lot of drops, a lot of little capsule collections and we do those are t-shirts well, everything does.

Robert (48:51): And those in the shorts probably do a good job. I mean, our bottoms are best sellers. Yeah. Yeah. We have that Oasis short too. It's kind of a, kind of like a workout short kind of leisure, just an ad. That's great. It's great for the course. It's great for working out. You can do everything like an elastic top. It looks like that's cool. That's big right now too. That's not golf and short man. Yeah, man. We'll be comfortable when I fall. Like seriously, I'm not trying to wear a belt and tuck in to have a good time. I think these should be pictures of you guys all over the website, trying to close on like some of these models saying guys save a lot of money.

Robert (49:36): I mean, I think it's, it's phenomenal. Like your guys's growth, right? Like just, that's a hard, hard, hard market to be in. And the way you guys are where you guys have grown and then the products you have like a lot of cool products and like not like cliche stuff where it's like, oh yeah, that's somebody copied that idea, you know? And you guys brought it in and it was like, you were the first to like do it because I don't really know anybody who's doing. T-shirts like nice. T-shirts nobody was. I mean, really? What's cool. I'm really excited to have you guys on the show today. Like seriously, I've been a fan for a long time. You guys make some sick clothing and yeah. Thanks for being on the show. The website, what you need and we'll look you up. Oh, hell yeah, dude. I'm going to be your new best friend. I gotta play around together though. We should, we should play around. I look like when you come back, we'll take you out to boulders. We can do that. Having fun. I'll take you to Dobson ranch.

Robert (50:38): I'll take you that I'll take you to came. McDonald's like, all right, let's just close the rolling Hills. Or as Paul by the zoo. I've never played there. The most fun round. Oh yeah. There's that one? Muni is like down the street from me. I would take her pictures for Instagram. What's it called? Oh, are you talking here? Pavel go. Yeah. It's a fun track. Yeah. It's law. The fairies are old. It's an old course. Pro shop. One of the best pro shops. They do have a good one. Well, they just redid it like three years ago, someone told me it used to be like a trailer, like for ILS forever. It was like, yeah. Now it's like Instagram, Kevin. Right? That's like literally what it is that that opens up. It's cool. It's a cool place. I did it right. The ASQ training facility, you know, what's so sad is that when you go by ASU and like that whole course is all dead now and stuff like that, drive it every day.

Robert (51:34): Well, cool. Thanks for being on the show. You guys need to go Deborah's website. Was it Devereaux? Lots of DVR experts. You guys are a force to be reckoned with. I think I was only a couple of brands. I think that so you guys are cool and you're normal. You know, like I don't like on normal people that are like facetious and like fake and stuff. I wear my blue blazer on your show. No, you're good. You better go play golf. We're going to be wearing khakis and a blue blazer. What'd you get? What would you do? If I showed up in a khaki and blue blazer, be like, this guy is fricking knocked control and I'll teach you. I'll be like, oh, you're doing it wrong. This is how you heard the golf club. Just criticize every move. Yeah. I'll be like my dad that's my dad used to do, you're doing it wrong. You're like you yell across the fairway.

Robert (52:21): I never forgot my dad like ever seriously, even invited actually actually taking my son golfing right now. I should remember my poor. Son's going to be subjected to that my eight year old. So you guys are cool. So thanks for being on the show. Um, and let's do some more stuff together and thank you for your time, man. Appreciate it. It was awesome. You got to see the sun come up in Hawaii. I did. You started in the dark. That's a, that's a good thing. I got a lot of sunset. I saw the sun started to set it set in Arizona and Will's camera.

Paul (52:55): Cool. Thanks for being on the show. Thanks for listening to another episode of behind the golf bread podcast. You're going to beat me, stay connected on and off the show by visiting golfers authority.com. Don't forget to like subscribe and leave a comment. Golf is always more fun when you're winning, stay out of the beach and see you on the green.

Paul Liberatore

Paul Liberatore

Founder of Golfers Authority

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