Skinny Water Culture was started in 2007 with a handshake between friends. It was launched for many reasons. First, after the birth of Vince Stegura’s daughter Bevin, it became clear to he and his wife that he needed to be involved in fishing in some way, as a career. Secondly, while there was certainly clothes aimed at anglers, they weren’t the kind of clothes we actually wanted to wear, and they didn’t really reflect the people, or places of the fishing culture we knew. We didn’t know anything about running a clothing company but it was what we wanted to do, so we did it (Ray Slattery, his wife Melinda,Vince Stegura and his wife Jennifer). We decided to make clothes we wanted to wear. Not just tee shirts with different pictures of fish, but actual clothing with the DNA of fishing people. The SWC logo was Ray’s work. The tailing redfish and the push pole logos were the perfect symbols to reflect our brand. Understated, and recognizable by those in the know.
We got a lot of help along the way, and since we were starting out from square one, we needed all the help we could get. From the early days we met Dustin Johnson who converted our first illustrations, Matt Chandler who set up our first website and Chase Hancock whose first designs were jaw dropping and immediately led to him becoming our lead designer, and part owner. Skip Miller got added to the company as well, since he was a mentor and lifetime friend from the beginning. East Cape Canoes took us under their wing after meeting at a show, and helped us get recognition by the people that we wanted to target and get the clothing out to. All along the way people saw what we were doing and wanted to be a part of it.
By 2009 we were starting to build a recognizable brand in our industry. We did every boat show we could afford to go to. The feedback from the show attendees was exhilarating. The word started getting out quick. We had a small army building of people who were helping us. There is a long list of people we need to thank, and give some recognition to. In no order of importance or chronology, and more than likely leaving a bunch out that should get some props they are Jesse Wright, Merrick Westlund, the entire Hard Core kayak Angling Club including Russ Caipen, Adrian Correa, and Jose Chavez, Christopher Lewis, Jeremy Chavez, Bjorn Stromsness via www.bonefishonthebrain.com, Sam Root, Eric Estrada, Captain Mike Hinegardner, John Castellano, Amanda Miller, Glen Pla, Captain Tommy Zeisman, Adam Hope, Matt and Mark Erdosy, Stephan Gian Dombaj Jr., Dave Teper, Captain Jeff Legutki, Brian Jill, Thad Robison, Paul Gionis, Ryan Ford, Captain Derek Rust, DJ Dan Decibel, Paul Sonnen, David Wratchford, and the list grows on.....
Between 2009 and 2012, we have been learning and growing slowly and organically. We added another Family member to the team when Shane Alexander joined us. He has made a lot of progress in a short time getting our blogs built, creating the dealer portals, implementing more refined business practices and helping develop a company framework. We have used our supporters as a gauge of what we can make well, and what else we need to make. There have been many ups and downs. We have made a lot of friends, and had lots of good times. We feel like we have only gotten better with time, and can’t wait to learn more. By late 2012 we took the venture into select retail stores, with the largest encouragement from Stacy Lynn at Sportsmans Finest in Bee Cave Texas. She really was the spark that lit the fire. We think that you will see the line in a wide variety of stores in the near future. Our product base will continue to grow with products that are 100% original, and dependable. Any fisherman can tell you that the more confident you are when you’re fishing, the better your results will be. We want to be a small part of that for you on and off the water.