Jan 24, 2024 - News

The Shift: Marketplace hidden in plain site

A briefcase covered in camouflage print, on a red background.

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A love of hunting and swapping stories led Logan Webster to create a niche online marketplace for vintage camouflage.

Why it matters: Webster's company, Camoretro, is an example of the many outdoor recreation businesses driving NWA's shift to a diversified economy.

The aha moment: "When I think about my Uncle Randy … you can look on the walls in the [family hunting] cabin and see him wearing the same hat for 30 years," he told Worth.

  • "So, I just asked him a simple question: Tell me about that hat. And all these stories that I had never heard before and some stories he'd forgotten" were reignited, Webster said.

Details: Camoretro is a consumer-to-consumer site similar to eBay or Etsy, where an owner of, say, a Sanderson Farms Mossy Oak snapback cap, can post it for sale at a certain price.

  • An admittedly small but passionate audience of hunting apparel aficionados may search Camoretro for that particular design of Mossy Oak, see the cap and add it to their collection.
  • Webster collects a percentage of each sale.
Logan Webster (right) poses with others as they show off their recent purchases at a trade show. Photo: Aleah Garner

When he started the site in 2019, the focus was to elevate awareness of "heritage and legacy" goods and provide others a chance to own them.

  • He realized that definitions of legacy and heritage are different for everyone, he told Worth, so now modern goods are also exchanged.

Webster travels to trade shows to promote Camoretro, hauling along his own collections for sale. More than anything, he relishes the stories he hears when browsers spot a particular piece of clothing.

What he's saying: "After Dad's gone, his jacket stays, and I'm able to pass those stories that Dad's jacket has to tell to my children one day … that's something that can't ever be taken away," he said.

The bottom line: Webster, a serial entrepreneur who also consults via Levee Strategies for online presence, bootstrapped Camoretro.

🦌The Shift is a regular feature to catch up quick on what's happening in Arkansas' economy and entrepreneurial ecosystem.

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