Breaking News

How America’s First Black-Owned Outdoor Gear Shop Inspires Adventures

Becoming launched to the outside as a result of the Boy Scouts can be a crapshoot. Some fellas have incredible encounters that propel them to search for lives filled with wilderness adventure, other people have a lackluster or downright depressing time that can eternally flip them off to the wonderful outside. For Jahmicah Dawes, his time in the Scouts tended to the latter. “It was the worst!” claims Dawes, the founder of SlimPickins Outfitters in Stephensville, TX, who counts additional formative encounters in college as his legitimate intro to the outside. “I’ve constantly beloved to skate, and I had a selection of boards that I would [supply to] people to come out and skate the campus with me.”

Those mates manufactured though carving up the concrete turned out to be out of doors junkies who speedily made available other invitations for adventure, even even though he didn’t have the necessary equipment. “They created possibility and removed the excuses and hurdles for me to accessibility the identical outside they have been encountering,” claims Dawes.

Those twin functions of generosity and kindness proceed to advise Dawes in his life as the proprietor of the very first Black-owned out of doors equipment store in the nation. With racial tensions scarcely simmering soon after the early-summer spate of hugely publicized circumstances of law enforcement brutality on minorities, he’s had to equilibrium the positives and the negatives of an industry ultimately making an attempt to handle inequalities—not just endemic in the nation, but in accessibility and acceptance in the out of doors place by itself.

Superior then that Dawes and his SlimPickins store have constantly been a haven for like-minded, adventurous people that are not concerned of a problem, whether in the wilderness or in just culture by itself. “We constantly wished to be a suitable location for our community, to replicate the local tradition, and equip and inspire the innovative out of doors enthusiast,” he claims. “We felt that people desired a spot they could obtain collectively, or equipment up to #AdventureOut. There wasn’t a spot like that listed here, so we created one particular.”

Jahmicah Dawes Slimpickins Outfitters Stephensville, TX
courtesy Jahmicah Dawes

Title: Jahmicah “SlimPickins” Dawes
Title: Founder, Operator, and Imaginative Director
Spot: Stephenville, TX (but we phone it Stephenchill, TX)
Several years on the Work: 4

Men’s Journal: How has your work/life modified since May possibly 25?
JAHMICAH DAWES: Function has absolutely modified. The point that we are the very first Black-owned equipment store in the nation has received us followers and relevancy. No matter whether it transpired for the right reasons or to just serene people’s consciences, we want to make the most of the possibility and be redeeming of the time by demonstrating the narrative of the realities of the numerous outdoors—and but the realities of representation of people like me in my position in the out of doors industry.

As far as my particular life, I have to fight in opposition to cynicism and bitterness all the time in regards to how I’m considered and addressed in equally my particular and professional circles. As the artist Propaganda mentioned in a tune with Kings Kaleidoscope, “I shouldn’t know how a human body goes limp when it hangs, bro.”

I try to remember when I was younger, looking at textbooks or museums looking at images or exhibits of lynchings. I, nor any kid, teen, or grownup really should never ever know what that appears to be like like. Specially at these kinds of a amount or regularity wherever that turns into a normative perception or expectation. I would appreciate to say this was a “shock,” or that the gatherings of May possibly twenty fifth have been unexpected. But sadly, there have been gatherings of Black men and ladies dying unjustly at the palms of negative law enforcement way right before then and you have seen it proceed to transpire since May possibly twenty fifth also.

Jahmicah Dawes Slimpickins Outfitters
Jahmicah Dawes

How has your community modified?
My reaction to that would be “To Be Continued”—the community is modifying. Just one is that people are starting off to talk about these troubles. I would not suppose that your visitors would know a good deal about Stephenville, Texas, but in 2007 there was a KKK rally listed here in assist of some learners who have been expelled from the college (which is my alma mater) for getting a blackface party—2007 wasn’t that extended in the past.

Rapidly ahead to now, wherever we had a BLM and Justice for George and Breonna march. Marches that not only law enforcement have been current at, but law enforcement marched with us. And it was rather evident that there have absolutely been some adjustments from then to now. So as I mentioned before, “To Be Continued,” but we have seen and felt a local paradigm change and this time momentum is developing.


Have your prospects been supportive?
They have but it was also amidst the corona pandemic. So I couldn’t say for guaranteed what has enthusiastic them to be supportive. And in that identical breath, it does not actually make any difference to me I need it either way, ya know? As I like to say, “encouragement is encouraged.”

For these looking at this and consider they might’ve skipped the boat to assist us or, and other local corporations: It is never ever also late to begin and it is constantly desired. “The luxurious of the option of participation is wonderful, right?” (another from Kings Kaleidoscope and Propaganda).

Jahmicah Dawes Slimpickins OutfittersWhat is the best problem at hand, relocating ahead?
Access to models, accessibility to capital, and much better phrases from the models we have or want to carry—we have had these kinds of an uphill battle with receiving certain models.

A reoccurring phrase we proceed to hear is, “We are not opening new accounts at the instant,” which is comprehensible to a place. Having said that, my rebuttal to that is if there are only two Black-owned outlets in the nation, and we, as an independently owned tiny brick-and-mortar store (with the finances of a tiny brick-and-mortar store), are basically inquiring for the prospect and possibility to partner with your model, and if you come again with that reaction, do the models actually price and advocate for additional variety? We are not REI, so the orders we place in or open with are not likely to make or split these models and firms.

Not to point out, we are the purveyors of the [the latest] narrative the out of doors industry is [now] trying to tell and market place to a team of people that we stand for. However, we really don’t get the best phrases that models can supply. It baffles me how I can glimpse at these brands’ social media feeds and see how they are making an attempt to financial gain off of the plight and persecution of a people but then really don’t acquire or [won’t] make the possibility to much better assist the tiny sect of people that are essentially in the industry, that essentially are modifying the narrative.

Representation also matters, but I’ll acquire that one particular additional stage to explain, “Real Representation Matters.” [What I imply is that firms shouldn’t] basically use Black or other indigenous people of shade. Use serious kinds in your publications, print advertisements, and visual campaigns—the genuine people accomplishing and putting in the work. We are listed here, we exist, but in order to remain, we need support!

In some cases I experience like Black corporations in the out of doors industry really should be on some form of endangered record, you know? I experience like we just acquired listed here and we are now about to turn into extinct.

Do you see signals of hope or adjustments in your community?
Certainly, I do see signals, but the adjust will involve a generational adjust of brain and working experience. For occasion, we had a BLM march to convey recognition of what transpired to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many other ladies and men that have been disproportionately brutalized by negative law enforcement. Having said that, one particular adjust that I have now seen, and had the privilege to be a portion of, is a collective of community members and law enforcement officers getting discussions and discord about these troubles. We are essentially about to do a pretty cool undertaking involving the collective that I’m hyped about.


Jahmicah Dawes
Courtesy Jahmicah Dawes

What can visitors do to support?
Nicely putting pride aside…support us by obtaining from us. We have the capacity to order anything from the models we offer. So visitors can make the intentional final decision to obtain from us rather of the brand’s websites—or the significant box stores—and then acquire that identical state of mind and life-style adjust to assist local corporations in and all around your very own community. We phone it Regard(ing) the Locals. Also, consider letting us outfit you or your group for your up coming adventure. Advocate for us to your out of doors community, your out of doors businesses, your church buildings, and your community groups.


Any extra resources / businesses that our visitors can assist?
We outfit community groups, businesses, and affinity groups. So consider us when you are needing your up coming fix of out of doors apparel, footwear, or equipment. We are functioning on enhancing our web site so we can approach additional transactions on line so be on the lookout there.

We are also an outfitters store for missionaries. We outfit missionaries for their excursions to different locations. We do this as a result of an initiative known as Outfitting The Saints and we just started the OTS podcast as effectively.

But just stick to us @spoutfitter or go to and subscribe to our email record.


For accessibility to distinctive equipment films, celeb interviews, and additional, subscribe on YouTube!