Marolina’s Huk and NOMAD brands find nationwide appeal
Huk ladies’ “Icon Hoodie” and NOMAD “Turkey Vest”; Marolina’s (left to right) Josh Reed, Jason Hart, and Doc Reed
How do four buddies—including three who went to Clemson and three who worked at Under Armour together—grow a fishing and hunting apparel startup into a nationally recognized brand in less than five years? By making clothes they actually want to wear.
When Jason Hart and his friends started Huk (pronounced “hook”), a performance fishing brand, in 2014, they didn’t just move into a new office—they spent two years on the water, competing in fishing tournaments and growing their reputation. Their adventures were documented in a TV show, Money Fish, on the World Fishing Network and Sportsman Channel, and professional fishermen like Kevin VanDam repped their gear.
Parent company Marolina took a similar approach with its hunting line, NOMAD, partnering with Drury Outdoors, a big name in hunting television programming. Since 2017, the Drury team has worn nothing but NOMAD gear on its four shows and in videos and social media content.
“Sportsmen realize that the guys behind these products are consumers just like them,” says Hart, who emphasizes that user feedback shapes items like NOMAD’s new turkey vest and the aqua-camouflage shirts that helped Huk gain ubiquity. “We try to make our clothes look cool, but ultimately, if an item doesn’t perform in the field or on the water, it’s useless.”
Huk “Attack” fishing shoe
Just how well is Marolina performing? Take a look
- About 40 people work full-time at Marolina’s Clements Ferry Road headquarters and Ladson warehouse (also staffed by a part-time team of off-duty firefighters).
- Early this year, the company garnered $37.5 million in a single round of investment.
- Huk and NOMAD clothing is sold through retail outlets in 50 states. Locally, find it at shops including Field & Stream, Dick’s, and Atlantic Game and Tackle.
- Spring 2019 brings a 100-percent redesign of Huk’s apparel, including an expanded footwear line.
Photographs by (Marolina founders) Lilia Montero & courtesy of (Marolina products-3) Marolina