Outside Business Journal

From the editors: Help save the nation’s first Black-owned gear shop

A history-making gear shop is in dire trouble. Let's rally together to save it.

Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+.

“Act justly, love kindly, serve humbly, and adventure out.”

That’s the motto of Slim Pickins Outfitters, the first Black-owned gear shop in the nation, founded in Stephenville, Texas, in 2017. Let that sink in for a moment: the first Black-owned gear shop, in business just four years. It’s no exaggeration to say that Slim Pickins is a pioneer in our industry, a courageous groundbreaker, heralding a new kind of outdoor culture—still so young and fragile—rooted in representation and inclusion.

It is also in trouble. As a direct result of the pandemic, the shop’s revenue is down 50 percent, and it has taken on debt to keep its doors open. If something doesn’t change, it’s very likely that we’ll lose it forever.

We’re coming to you with this letter because our commitment to the ideals of the outdoor community demands that we speak up. We believe, plainly and simply, that our industry cannot afford to lose this shop. Because of what it represents, it would cost us—the very soul of what we stand for—too much.

We’re asking you humbly, in whatever way you can, to help us save Slim Pickins. The shop has started a GoFundMe page to raise capital from across the industry.

Whether you can give $1 dollar or $1,000, every bit helps. So does awareness. If you are unable to donate funds, please share this message everywhere you can. The strength and goodness of the outdoor community—its commitment to the ideals of equity and inclusion—are tested in moments like these. We, at OBJ, believe we can come together and prevail.

If you’d like more information about Slim Pickins, The Outbound Collective has released a new film about the business, available on YouTube.

promo logo