DRYFT designs waders and fishing gear that achieve high technical performance, with style.
Nick Satushek grew up fishing for salmon and steelhead with his father, as well as friend and DRYFT co-founder Sam Thompson. His passion for fishing remained, even as he turned his attention to business and marketing studies at Washington State University.
After a decade in advertising sales, a riverside conversation between Nick and Sam led to the pair dreaming up a crazy idea – high-performance fishing waders that were also stylish and affordable. There was a gap in the market, and the guys knew that they were onto something.
“…we knew that style wasn’t enough to build a business on”
“From the very beginning, we knew that style wasn’t enough to build a business on,” says Nick. Adopting a direct-to-customer model allowed this newly-formed company to use higher quality materials, include more features, and – importantly – offer customers a better price point.
That’s not to say that it was all smooth sailing for the newly-formed DRYFT, however. To start, Nick and Sam ran the business as a side hustle, spending long nights shipping orders out of their homes and garages. “After three years, we went full time and moved into our own dedicated space, a small single overhead door warehouse.”
“The first year after going full time and moving into a dedicated space, our sales grew by over 50%.”
Over the following two years, this increased demand allowed DRYFT to triple their storage, shipping, and office space in Bellingham, WA. As the business expanded, DRYFT’s WooCommerce-powered store was able to grow and adapt to their changing needs, too.
“We had experience working with WordPress and WooCommerce, so choosing it for this store was a natural choice,” says Nick. “We started selling with WooCommerce in early 2013 – we love how customizable it is. There seems to be a plugin for just about everything, and getting support is easy.”
After going through several different payment processors, experiencing issues with failed payments, and “just plain technical problems” on the user side, Nick discovered WooCommerce Payments.
“[WooCommerce Payments] is the easiest, most integrated system we’ve seen – payments go through with no problem now.”
“It’s the easiest, most integrated system we’ve seen, and instantly resolved the problems we were having with the others,” he smiles. “Payments go through with no problem now, users don’t have issues with submitting payment, and it’s nice to see all of our payments, transactions, and deposits right within WooCommerce.”
As for the future, Nick plans to continue supporting the evolving fly fishing industry to change it for the better. “We’ve been seeing steps towards a more inclusive experience, and are glad to be part of it,” he explains. DRYFT’s goal is to expand its reach and product line to positively influence new anglers as they join the sport.