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As outdoor enthusiasts, we don’t simply love the outdoors, we have a connection to it. Edgar Diaz of Austin, Texas is one of us. He too was called by the ocean and mountains and quickly realized he had a full-fledged addiction to the peace he found in all outdoor endeavors. It was this connection to his passion that inspired the startup of his brand, Sight Line Provisions. We recently caught up with Edgar to learn the story behind this young brand as well as the inspiration behind the new limited-edition Wader Maker Bracelet. https://vimeo.com/user4911878/...
Simms: It seems like you can’t go to a fishing event or hang in any kind of a fishing circle without seeing at least a couple people rockin’ a Sight Line bracelet. Can you tell us a little more how you found your niche?Diaz: I’ve been a full-time artist since 2000. Back then I was doing pretty much all wall pieces and other 2D art. In 2010, I started making leather cuffs that were inspired by antiques. This allowed me to begin the process of becoming a designer and not so much an artist. Creating these pieces for the next 5 years provided me with the foundation and experience to start Sight Line Provisions.
Simms: Was it challenging to consistently find antiques that caught your eye?Diaz: Absolutely. That’s really what kind of lead me down the path of where Sight Line Provisions is today. Making the cuffs using antiques was cool in the sense that each piece was a one-of-a-kind piece, but it was incredibly difficult to consistently find objects to work with. I really liked what I was creating but it didn’t take long for me to start trying to figure out a way to do a Retail Offering Collection.
Simms: I assume that came due to your love for fishing?
Diaz: I wouldn’t say it was because of my love for fishing alone. It had more to do with my overall connection to the outdoors. I would say the moment of clarity behind Sight Line happened during a trip I took to the Yellowstone/Grand Teton area. That’s when I had the idea to make my own designs and streamline the whole process that would allow me to create a consistent product.
Simms: Interesting. As popular as your bracelets have become with the fly community, it’s kind of surprising that fly anglers weren’t exactly your direct target.Diaz: You know, I did not launch Sight Line Provisions as a fly focused brand and really, fly anglers and conventional anglers alike have really gravitated towards our bracelets. I will say, the fly side of the business has been a huge part of our growth and the support of our customers has been instrumental in growing our brand globally. Earlier I mentioned I was a casual fly angler and now, I’m all in but that’s only because of the connections I’ve made through Sight Line Provisions.
Simms: What do you mean by that?Diaz: Sightline is an outdoor brand, but as it turned out, I built my original network primarily through specialty fly shops one by one. At the time, nobody had really seen anything like what I was doing, and for whatever reason, this new thing I created really resonated with the fly fishing but we are excited to expand into the Outdoor Market with our designs.
Simms: How did you come up with the name “Sight Line Provisions”?Diaz: Yeah, coming up with the name was tough. I just kept thinking, what can I call this brand and it really took me back to the epiphany I had while I was in Yellowstone. What’s in your sightline can be so varied, it’s all over the place. When you’re out hiking, fishing, hunting, or exploring, everything that you’re observing and experiencing is right in front of you, or in your Sight Line.
Simms: Being that your product is hand made in Austin, Texas coupled with the fact that it has become super popular, has it been tough keeping up with the demand?Diaz: Not especially. As I have been getting ready for this opportunity since making my first leather cuff in 2010. By the time I launched Sight Line Provisions in late 2015, I was using dies to cut out my patterns and was able to hire an assistant (that I couldn’t afford at the time) to create our first order of bracelets to our initial retailers in the fall of 2015. We have made an effort to scale our brand responsibly and that has created a strong network of retailers domestic and worldwide.
Simms: What is it about your bracelets that you think captures your customer?Diaz: You know I think in essence, it’s a way for outdoor enthusiasts to identify themselves as such. It’s a subtle way for them to show their passion. That, and I also think they act as a reminder of all the great outdoor experiences and memories they’ve had.
Simms: Can you tell us about more about Simms’ Wader Maker Bracelet.
Diaz: For sure. It was a great collaboration between a small brand [Sight Line Provisions] and a larger brand [Simms]. It was a really cool way to create a bracelet inspired by a brand that I love without simply slapping a logo on a leather bracelet. I wanted the bracelet to have a little more soul, which is why we decided to work in the GORE-TEX® wader material and use it as the wrapped textile around the leather base. In the end, I really think this bracelet identifies the culture that Simms brings to their consumer. In my mind, Simms GORE-TEX® waders represents hand made in the USA. So sure, the GORE-TEX® included in this bracelet is a decorative element, but it’s much more than that. It’s a nod to Simms’ most iconic product, it’s a way to honor the men and women who build them, and it’s a way for passionate consumers to take a little piece of the brand with them whether they are on, or off the water.