Fishewear: angling for a niche market expansion.

Author:Anderson, Tasha

It's been about two years since Alaskan Linda Leary founded FisheWear with a vision to create comfortable, functional, fashionforward clothing and accessories for Alaska's abundance of fisherwomen.

FisheWear sells belts, dry bags, leggings, neck tubes, hoodies, and totes in various original designs. Leary says that she initiates concepts for FisheWear products and then collaborates with an artist and graphic artist for product design.

Leary says, "My goal is to try to change the way fishing is for women and that (fishing gear) doesn't have to be olive brown, black, or tan; it doesn't have to look like your dad's clothes; and it can be fun and comfortable."

Kickstarting FisheWear

On October 4, 2016, FisheWear launched a Kickstarter campaign to promote both FisheWear as a company and their new line of wool clothing. Kickstarter is a global crowdfunding platform through which individuals and companies can set rewards to raise funds for a wide array of projects.

"I like new technology and new concepts," Leary says. "Kickstarter is a fun, young, energetic way to promote your business."

Leary says that in FisheWear's case, the Kickstarter campaign wasn't just about raising money. "I definitely needed the capital because 1 was funding everything myself, but that was an added bonus for me," she says. "It was more of a marketing opportunity and a way to expose our product to a larger audience and create some excitement around it."

FisheWear's Kickstarter campaign was centered on FisheWear's new wool line, which includes a pullover wool top, skirted wool leggings, and a wool tube, which is worn around the neck. Additionally, the Kickstarter campaign introduced leggings, tubes, trucker hats, and dry bags in their new design "Troutrageous Rainbow."

As with any Kickstarter campaign, FisheWear contributors could pledge various amounts of money to receive differing levels of rewards, according to their budget. FisheWear's lowest contribution was $1, rewarded with a thank you email. On the other end, the $10,000 limited reward promised a fishing trip with FisheWear founder Leary and one each of the new FisheWear line of items, including a Kickstarter exclusive print-athome FisheWear coloring book.

FisheWear's Kickstarter campaign began in October and concluded in March, with 298 backers pledging $66,030 to the company, allowing FisheWear to surpass their original goal of $50,000. "We had some wonderful people supporting us," Leary says.

According to Leary...

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