ATA Trade Show-Innovative products and inspiring outdoorsmen
It may surprise some folks to learn that January through March is the busiest time of year for the outdoors industry. We don’t call it the tailend of winter; it’s referred to as sport show season. My suitcase is worn out and I long for the comfort of my own bed. It’s the price I pay – traveling from show to show and viewing the most innovative products on the market. I just unpacked my bag full of brochures and business cards when I returned this week from the ATA, the Archery Trade show, which was held in Louisville, Ken. Luckily I have a couple of days to get my laundry done before I pack up again and leave for the SHOT Show next week in Las Vegas. Sure, it’s hard work walking the show floors and sitting behind the Outdoor News booth, but I wouldn’t give it up. It’s more than just products and sales. More importantly it’s about the relationships and personalities that work in the outdoor Industry. Most people I know are not in it for the money. They are in it to grow and support the industry that they love.
While I was at the ATA show, I met Beverly and Randy Taylor. Their son, Drake Taylor (also known as Little D), created jewelry reflecting his passion for the outdoors. Drake found great confidence and inspiration through hunting. Sadly, a few months ago, Drake lost his silent battle with Moya Moya, a complication associated with his MOPD Type 2 dwarfism. Instead of closing the doors to their son’s hand-crafted jewelry business, they overcame the tragedy and kept the business going with a purpose. They are in the process of creating an organization to pass on the blessing of outdoor adventures to other special-needs kids. Drake’s family motto lives on “Do you best, have fun, and hang around good people.”