This cool company from Missoula, Montana has been on our radar for a while, and we’re happy we got the opportunity to catch up with one of the founders and learn what Flyvines is all about!
What is Flyvines and how did it start?
Flyvines started about six years ago, my business partner is an Outfitter, and was looking for a simple lanyard for his clients to use on the Missouri. After picking up some fly line and braiding it, the Flyvines lanyard was created. For the first year, it was developing the bracelets/lanyard/sunglass retainers and giving samples to the shops and guides to see their feedback.
What inspired you to start making products out of fly lines?
Fly line is such a durable product, and when you spend a lot of time in communities such as Craig, MT, you see a ton of it all around. It is strong, colorful, waterproof obviously, and makes for a great product, and on top of that we are recycling a raw material that was just getting thrown away.
I know all of your products are handmade. How do you keep up with the current demand?
At Flyvines, every piece of product is hand made, so we had to find a work force who could create a good quality item, we found that stay at home mom’s was the perfect fit for us. We pay them per piece, so if they have something come up with the kids, they are not feeling the pressure of trying to balance too much, but they tend to take pride in their work and like the extra income that Flyvines provides them. The hardest part, as we grow, is to train folks up and figure out how much product they will most likely be able to produce, so that we can figure out how many people we need working. We tend to hire every few months to keep up with the growing demand. We use to have a few down months in Oct/Nov that we could stockpile… but those days are long gone! Myself and my business partner can still bust out product faster then most if needed!
What is one of your best memories from a day on the water?
I would say any day that LG, my business partner, is in the boat with me is a pretty good day… he may be one of the funniest people around! My favorite day would probably be my husband and I’s first date, which was fishing the Missouri River in Craig, MT.
What are some of your favorite products that you make?
Well that is tough, I like them all, since I have spent years making them!! I would say my all time favorite are the bracelets, they are just an awesome product that everyone seems to love. I have seven on my wrist at the moment. Our new Strand bracelets are a great new item, along with our coasters and dog leashes. The coasters are what I would call a conversation starter, great for a gift for someone who sits at a desk, or has a cabin. The dog leashes are awesome because they are super strong, waterproof, and lightweight, perfect to put in a boat or in your pocket. Most of the products we create are based on things we use in our own lives, so it is always fun to see what we come up with.
What is next for Flyvines?
Flyvines has been growing incredible fast in the last year, it is pretty exciting! After working for a few years trying to get an injectable mold for our sunglass retainers, we are extremely excited to announce that we partnered with Chums this year, and recently released our new Chums/Flyvines Sunglass retainers that will be sold nationwide. This is a huge contract for us, and we are excited to see the popularity of these new retainers. We are also looking to work with a company to make a higher end version of the Flyvines Lanyards, hopefully you will see that next year!
Where can we buy Flyvines?
You can go to our website www.flyvines.com and order directly through us if you are looking for a certain color combo. I also encourage people to go to their local shops and pick their own out, if your shop doesn’t carry it, make sure you touch base with us so we can work with them. We are also in a number of outdoor stores and everywhere that Chums is sold worldwide!
How can people send in their old fly lines?
We encourage all of our shops to collect their old fly line as they swap out folks with new stuff! We also tell folks to send it to us at our office, shipping address below, and we send the a piece of product as a thank you! We always want to send a big thank you to the line companies – RIO, SA, Cortland, LOOP, and Monic who recycled their blemished line – it has allowed us to expand the colors of our product and we couldn’t do it without them!