Before I get into my spiel, I just want to introduce myself. My name is Jennifer, and I'm the real life human behind Green Trout Outfitters. I have 2 Boston Terriers, Mia and Watson. I love tea (coffee always gets all the love, so where are my fellow tea lovers!?). And in my "off" time in the summer, I garden. Everything from vegetables to flowers & herbs.
Green Trout Outfitters started about 6 years ago on a whim. I needed a creative outlet, so I bought my first sewing machine and a bunch of leash making supplies. From webbing to rope, dog coats & booties to t-shirts, I was trying it all. But I got the most satisfaction in making rope leashes, and decided to see what the world wide web thought of my creations.
At first it was a nice hobby that brought in a little cash on the side. But it turned into so much more. I was hooked on being my own boss, and determined to make it happen!
These last couple of months have been totally insane, but SO worth it! Between holiday orders, and working on the final odds and ends of 2019, I was also working on finding ways to make Green Trout Outfitters everything I could really ever want. 2019 was rough for me as far as GTO goes (otherwise, I actually had an amazing year!). I'd lost my passion somewhere along the line - probably bound to happen after 6 years! - and it started feeling like "work".
Looking back, I can see that over the last 6 years, Green Trout Outfitters has grown in so many ways. What started as a small creative outlet to make a little cash on the side has become my full-time job. With all that growth, it's no surprise that things have changed! What I wanted GTO to be when it started is completely different than what I know it can be now.
After some thought, and serious consideration to create an entirely new shop that revolved around things I am passionate about, I realized, "DUH! I can infuse my own passions into GTO!" Hello!? Why wasn't that my first idea?
Nature has always been a huge part of my life. Camping was how my family spent time together. We often took 2 big camping trips every summer - visiting State and National Parks. I spent countless hours outside, exploring the puddles and tall grass. When I was old enough, I ventured into the woods next to my house searching for treasures (read: someone else's garbage). Fast forward a bit more to my middle school science classes where I learned about the environment and human impact. I learned that if we don't take care of nature, we could lose it all.
Since then, I've always made the effort to recycle. Even when our garbage service didn't offer recycling pick-up, I'd load up everything me and my family had collected and take it to the recycling center myself. As I've gotten older, I've gotten even more proactive by working to eliminate waste. I've swapped out so many of my one-time-use items for reusables. I've upcycled things that usually would go into the trash. I've started shopping more at thrift stores, and searching for used items before buying new.
Fast forward again to now. I started Green Trout Outfitters on a whim, without any real plan. But as it's grown over the last 6 years, I've been able to use this business as a platform for change, and for helping others in need. From this day forward I am pledging to give back to the environment and continue making eco-conscious business decisions. Every leash sold by Green Trout Outfitters will donate one native tree to a National Forest in need. From now until forever. And I am so thankful to have you all on board with me as we navigate this journey together!