Montem Outdoor Gear
Fed Up With Overpriced, Low-Quality Gear Being Sold As High End.
Pick Up Gear from Montem & Choose High Quality Gear Without Breaking The Bank!
To find out more behind how Montem Outdoor Gear got its start and what’s in store for the future, Josh interviews Montem Outdoor Gear co-founder, Joseph Passalacqua
More about the episode...
Josh sits down with Montem Outdoor Gear co-founder Joseph Passalacqua. Montem creates gear that was crafted with all the best parts of your favorite gear without any of the downsides and at a fraction of the cost. Although Passalacqua was born and raised in NYC he still was able to keep his passion for the outdoors alive especially after being introduced to his partner and fellow hiking finatic, Kevin Urrutia. It wasn’t long after that the two took a step back to look at the state of affair of outdoor gear in the market. After testing critically and physically testing various brands, they took note of the things they liked, the things they didn’t like, and started craft their first product, Ultra Strong Trekking Poles. Since then, they’ve add quite an impressive array of products all with the mindset of pushing the envelope on gear quality set at a competitive price point. Join us as we discuss the past present and future of Montem Outdoor Gear!
Have an opinion? We want to hear it! Join the conversation and leave a comment, check out show notes, and get all the links mentioned in this episode below
- Check out Montem Outdoor Gear website
- Shop all things Montem and find the gear you’ve been looking for
- The Wirecutter’s review of Montem Ultra Strong Trekking Poles
- Follow Montem Outdoor Gear on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
- Chat about all things hiking with like minded individuals on Montem’s hiking Facebook group
What is Montem Life all about?
“We’re basically an outdoor retailer. We design our own outdoor gear, we basically look at what the market is missing and what we want, then we make our own gear…”
What made you decide you wanted to start an outdoor company?
“I grew up in New York, so really not a lot of options to get outdoors...I had a passion for the outdoors but, couldn’t really act on it...I started to talk to Kevin who was a friend of a friend and Kevin is huge into the outdoors...I started to hike a little more with him and just go out as much as I could and that’s what’s pushed us in that direction…”
How does Montem stand out?
“...We took everything we loved about all the major brands and we took everything we hated and we changed it...what we did is we made sure the quality was identical to the ones we loved and we decided to charge as little as we can while still being able to produce it...we’re not really in it to steal this huge profit, we’re in it to enable people…”
How did you develop your first product, the Ultra Strong Trekking Poles?
“We thought of all the poles that we’ve used, brought them all in to my friends apartment, ….we combined those into what we would call our first iteration of the product and then we tested that and, as we test it we came up with more and more changes...The traction really pushed us between getting featured on The Wirecutter…”
How did you market your brand while being based in New York?
“We were just honest. A lot of companies will say they’re doing this or that...we didn’t want to market traditionally, we didn’t want to say ‘these are the best poles’...We basically started out by talking to local people and trying to get into local hiking groups and offering it to people to try…The quality is identical to the people charging x amount and it’s the same quality with what we consider better features at basically half the price...”
Would you say most of your growth just came from word of mouth?
“100% word of mouth. We don’t do marketing, we’re not marketers, we don’t really focus on that… We focus heavily on word of mouth so, we would just be really involved with the customer base…we check in with our customers a couple months after sales directly ourselves and we actually act on feedback...”
Did you have an prior expertise or did you figure things out as you went along?
“We just figured it out as we went along. We could have taken a really long time and made excuses but we realized the only way to learn is to do. We did get lucky, we have a family friend who actually has handles on manufacturing so, we were able to maintain a super strict quality control without actually knowing how...now we know what to look for and know how to do it…”
What is your commitment to sustainability?
“We’ve developed such close relationships with all of our factories that they know that we don’t except unfair or unsanitary conditions. They’ll focused on recycling and trying to use as little energy as possible and we visit to ensure that…”
Did you have any mentors along this journey?
“I don’t feel like there’s one person in particular that I can give credit as a mentor it was honestly just a learning experience for everyone involved… as corny as this might sound failure was kind of our mentor. When things went bad, that was basically how we were taught what to do, and how to do it…”
What made you decide to name the company Montem?
“That’s actually a funny question. We had no clue what to name it...We were sitting in my friends living room and we were five or six hours deep into this conversation on the name and then someone just yelled out Montem…”
What does a normal day look like for you guys in the office?
“We all come in, everyone has their coffee because it’s New York and, we just get started...Everyone has their set daily tasks that they want to accomplish...Then we get into the fun part, we brainstorm. We sit there and we go ‘ok, why are we doing this, what’s the goal?’...a lot of the things that we’ve done have some from basically these half joke-y, diving into business conversations…”
What has been one of the hardest parts of starting Montem?
“It’s gotta be the days that you fail...You’re so invested in it. When everything is yours, this is your idea, this is how you wanted to implement it, this is what you wanted to do, and it doesn't work that’s probably the hardest part because that’s a direct blow at you…”
What would you say is your greatest fear?
“The answer evolve as time goes by. When we first started there’s this fear that it won’t work but it’s not really a fear...once your ideas are in play and things are growing your fear is ‘am I good enough? Can I grow this?’...Right now the biggest fear is ‘What if this all goes away?’...”
What would you say are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made so far?
“Our biggest mistake by far is too many products at once. We made our poles, our trekking poles clicked, everyone was loving them, we were getting great reviews...I spent way too much time launching all these items but they were half launched. Nobody knew these products were there and they just popped up on our website…”
What advice would you give someone who wanted to start a business?
“I would say just do it… Everyone's so afraid of failing but, you have to fail...Embrace it, enjoy it, that’s how you learn…”
Where do you see Montem headed into the future?
“Who knows. Hopefully a nice huge company, helping people get outdoors, making some awesome products, and providing a livelihood for as many people as possible. That’s the goal…”
What’s the best part about running Montem?
“Everything, it’s a blast everyday. I get to see all of my best friends, I get to do what I love, and I get to learn new stuff, that’s the most awesome part…”