First Descents is so lucky to have the opportunity to partner with amazing companies and organizations that are dedicated to making a difference in the world, and Fishpond is no different. FD and fishpond have been partnering for several years, and their commitment to spreading and supporting our mission has helped the growth of our organization. We took the time to interview Ben Kurtz, President of Fishpond, and he shared with us how Fishpond is making a difference, and how their company stands apart from the others.
1. Tell us a bit about your company. How was it started, and by whom?
The company was started 17 years ago by our partner in the business. When he started it he felt that there was a huge lack in innovation within the fly fishing industry. Everything was khaki and green, and used inferior fabrics. With the launch of fishpond he brought practical designs, as well as color to a otherwise stagnant market.
2. How is your company influencing the outdoor industry?
We continue to push innovation of the industry the outdoor industry, as well as set benchmarks for others to try and reach. We recently became the first company within the fly fishing industry to become B-Corp Certified, and we believe that by leading the charge we will push others to evaluate their commitment to the environment and ethics. We also are currently the only company within the fly fishing space that makes nearly our entire line out of recycled fabrics.
3. What is your connection to First Descents? Tell us what First Descents means to fishpond.
I was introduced to FD back in 2008 when I was living in Vail. I instantly admired the organization, energy, and mission. My mother was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer before I was born, however she is living cancer free to this day, so it’s something that resonates with me at my core.
4. First Descents’ motto is Out Living It. Can you give us a description on what that means to you, and fishpond?
For me personally it means to live life to it’s fullest, and to be out enjoying the outdoors. Life is full of challenges, but it’s how you approach and tackle those challenges that dictates the outcome. At fishpond we have always believed that it’s not about the fish, but it’s about the journey that fishing takes you on.
5. Why is it important for your company to give back?
Giving back to organizations and causes has always been at the core of our business. Being a small company we cannot always financially afford to write checks, however we try and be dynamic in our approaches to maximize the impact. We often donate through percentage of sales efforts, time, outreach, and political means. We feel that we have a responsibility to give back by whatever means we can. Through our voice and support we hope to bring exposure to whatever issues are at hand.