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  1. #1
    Senior Member SoundMan's Avatar
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    As the "Hammock" cottage industry evolves

    After several months of perusing this forum I am really intrigued by the cottage industry surrounding hammocking. It is exciting to see so many ingenious entrepreneurs growing their business. While it seems that Hennessy has made considerable in roads into the consumer market, I wonder how long it will be before one of the current cottage guys breaks their hammocking product out in a mass market fashion to compete with Hennessy? With the rise in interest on this site alone as a gauge- it seems inevitable. Maybe the answer will be more of Co-op solution where several entities combine to share synergy? At any rate, several of the cottage guys have the drive to make great product and desire to see a satisfied customer, these ingredients typically bring success and expansion.

    Does anyone else think about this kind of stuff?

    Sorry for all the text-it just interests me.

  2. #2
    dejoha's Avatar
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    I think many of the manufacturers think about it and we at HF have debated about it. When Brandon/Warbonnet began outsourcing to meet demand, it caused a bit of an uproar. It's a natural evolution and I think it is great when they can move their success "out of the garage."

    I also respect those who decide "mass market" isn't for them and stick with a hobby they love. Ultimately, this may mean the gear they make may not always be available, so enjoy it while it does.

  3. #3
    Deadphans's Avatar
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    Yes, I think of this often. In fact, I see it as such a huge growing market I sometimes debate if I should jump in on it. I think there will be a surge in hammockers and with that, surge in profits

    I actually did a demonstration speech for my public speaking class tonight. I did my speech on hammock camping basics. Sparked a lot of peoples interest. I heard a lot of "wows" as I pulled off the snake skins to expose the hammock. I also made mention of cottage industries, I put some of their (possibly yours!) company names out there hoping to bring some business

    I wish there was a hammock company in the public market so I can buy some shares
    "In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy." -D'Signore's, Tide Mill Farm, Edmunds, Maine.

  4. #4
    kayak karl's Avatar
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    This book "Growing Pains" : Transitioning from an Entrepreneurship to a Professionally Managed Firm was a good read. it is the one of most difficult business moves. many companies fail when they try to grow. not all craftsman are good at managing people.
    i think the next one to grow big will be a company that sells products for hammocking and tenting.
    It's not procrastinating, its proactively delaying the implementation of the energy-intensive phase of the project until the enthusiasm factor is at its maximum effectiveness.

  5. #5

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    For starters you can find similar consolidations and new starts in canoes, outdoor clothing. and packs. If you can crack into the mainstream like clothing did you may be able to support a corporate structure but you always will have somebody with a sewing machine in their workroom making something you are not able to compete with.

  6. #6
    Senior Member KerMegan's Avatar
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    Then there is the cachet(sp?) of the handmade artisan product; limited availability; increased prestige. Picasso never merchandised- the museums did that after he died...but the prestige goes to the owners of the originals, not the posters. just saying.
    KM(who likes 'starry night ' much better than 'Sunflowers'..)

  7. #7
    Senior Member ShadowAlpha's Avatar
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    Many consumers want their product from cottage manufacturers. You get quality specialized product. when it hits the mass production - it looses that specialty.

    IMO there are different levels? of hammock users. I would say casual users & those who want the specialized gear (whether its wanting the newest technology or UL, etc..) and perhaps there's a inbetween user?

    Casual users might be happy with the mass produced items. Those who want specialized gear will always go to the cottage manufacturer.

    With that said, if cottage industry disappears into mass production - I feel R&D would disappear. making product stale.

    IMO cottage manufacturers are like the Steve Jobs of hammock gear.

    You can find a Co-op -- see my sig line below.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ShadowAlpha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KerMegan View Post
    Then there is the cachet(sp?) of the handmade artisan product; limited availability; increased prestige. Picasso never merchandised- the museums did that after he died...but the prestige goes to the owners of the originals, not the posters. just saying.
    KM(who likes 'starry night ' much better than 'Sunflowers'..)
    ++1 Exactly!!

  9. #9
    Senior Member SoundMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowAlpha View Post
    IMO cottage manufacturers are like the Steve Jobs of hammock gear.
    Great responses everyone! This is what I see also(Steve Jobs= Cottage industry)-but keep in mind that Apple is now one of the most valuable companies in the world.

    I agree Karl-the transition is hard for some to make from craftsman to management.

    Consumers do like the fact that they are getting something special-something "boutique". Maybe that fact alone is why hammock campers are seen as such zealots!

    There will always be the "early adopters" that live on the "bleeding edge"-in hammocking it is the users who are embracing the new light weight fabrics and other techniques-our cottage industry definitely pushes those boundaries.

    How rapid of an expansion do you guys see--are we on the verge of a mainstream manufacturer jumping in? Who is poised to break out in the cottage industry?

  10. #10
    Senior Member enoorange's Avatar
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    ENO ?

    Started in '99, now I see their product in most outdoor stores I visit.
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