The original idea behind Outlying Outfitters was to create a new take on the "Southern Prep" style of leisure clothing. My partners and I would keep to the trends of bright, pastel colors and a simple, versatile logo, but change the focus of a prevalent nautical theme from sport-fishing and modern yachts to the mighty wooden ships of the 1700's.
Once we nailed down a logo that embodied that vision, I began experimenting with a few different styles for the first shirt illustration: a fictional tallship that we had already christened "The Forerunner" before pen was ever put to paper. The style that won out as the favorite was a gestural, organic-looking ship with clean, flat colors that I created by hand-drawing the ships and then digitally coloring them.
After ordering and selling a few small batches of "Forerunner" shirts, Outlying Outfitters used Kickstarter to raise money for a bigger production push. We raised 120% of the pre-determined goal, and were able to print large batches of four new shirts, embroidered sportfishing hats, beverage koozies, and a boatload (ah?) of stickers.
Two of the new shirt illustrations were limited-edition designs that departed from the classic ship vision. We did this because those two boats are, both as an incentive and as a gesture of gratitude, based off of boats owned by supporters who gave to our Kickstarter campaign at the highest tier.
The company had an exciting start, but there came a time when the original founders, including myself, had to choose between pursuing Outlying Outfitters or pursuing other dreams. Medical school, a coveted accounting job in Chicago, and (in my case) Pen & Mug creative lab won out over the apparel line. But Outlying Outfitters wasn't finished yet...
Just recently, after a year-long Outlying Outfitters hiatus, a duo in Florida reached out to ask us if they could pick the brand back up and run with it. We were thrilled by their request, and happy to agree. Today, the guys in Florida are starting to breathe life back into Outlying Outfitters.