My dream had started to come true. I outgrew my folks’ garage and moved into a warehouse with a makeshift office. At the start it was tough but I managed to hold it together doing all accounts, sales, marketing, warehousing, and dispatch myself. At this stage business really started to progress. Our waders and anglers vests were selling well. We were the largest neoprene wader wholesaler in New Zealand in our first year. In the second year, a couple of staff were employed to assist with warehouse work and accounts.
I started working closely with some of New Zealand’s leading guides and we started to produce some fantastic gear, the market responded and Riverworks, as it was called back then, really started to take off. In 2006 I received the “Most improved suppliers of the year award” from Westpac Bank and the New Zealand Sports Industry Association. This was positive and showed that my customers had noticed some of the back-breaking efforts I had put in.
New Zealand is the perfect playground to test and develop fishing gear. We travel excessive distances on foot over harsh and diverse terrain. As Riverworks® took off we launched Hunters Element®, a range of high-quality technical hunting products along with Evolve® hiking footwear. Branching out into these areas has allowed us to build experience and knowledge by developing products that are used in a wider variety of very harsh environments.
20 years later we have outgrown three warehouses in New Zealand and one in Australia. Our head office, including the design team, is still proudly based in Wellington, New Zealand. I am proud to say we have an awesome team between New Zealand and Australia. We distribute to a multitude of stores throughout Australasia and sell our products to fishermen all across the globe.