#dayinthelife with HoldFast Gear

 

 

This #dayinthelife spotlight is with Matthew Swaggart, owner of HoldFast. Matthew, a very family-centric and creative individual can quickly be identified as a photographer, creator, and storyteller.  Matthew started HoldFast with “the belief that history is waiting to be captured and made.”  The company offers a wide range of tools and accessories aiding photographers in their pursuit to capture these moments.  From bags, straps, apparel, and their signature Money Maker strap, the spread of products Matthew has conjured is quite impressive and always top quality.  Check out what makes Matthew tick, and why he’s such an important ambassador of the American-made movement. Check out their interview below, plus REGISTER HERE for your chance at winning a HoldFast purse.

 

INTERVIEW WITH MATTHEW SWAGGART

1. What’s the inspiration for your name?

Holdfast. There are a few pillars I’ve built my life and mentality upon. Whenever situations arise, they filter through this lens and I can then address anything head on. With this in mind the meaning comes from this quote “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering”. So to me the word Holdfast has become a word of encouragement. It’s a breath of confidence. It’s a reminder that all things are possible if quitting isn’t an option. 

 

2. What pushed you to start your own company?

When working professionally as a photographer I always struggled to find products that fit my style aesthetically and functionally. From shooting humanitarian work to weddings, there wasn’t a product the seamlessly crossed those lines with style and ability. After many shoots ending with back pain and never being able to look the way I wanted to look while shooting I decided to make my own gear, I made everything for myself and it caught on.

 

3. Why did you choose your current product line?

I started with the RuckStrap as my first design and everything thereafter just flowed out of what I felt like I needed to work my shoots. 

 

4. Where do you grab your inspiration for new ideas?

When lightening strikes. I take influences from everything, but they usually originate out in the field when I discover there’s something I need to perform a specific function.

 

5. What’s your goal for the company in the next 5 years…10 years?

The sky’s the limit. Referring to the question above, when inspiration hits I chase it. So there’s no telling where HF will be in 10 years but one thing I can say for sure is that it will be in the midst of an adventure. 

 

6. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far in your journey?

You’ve only lost when you’ve given up. Setbacks are just opportunities to perfect the idea. An idea or invention isn’t necessarily bad if it flops. It just lets you know you still need to work on it or make a better presentation with it. 

 

7. What key component has made your business successful?

I believe my faith has everything to do with it. On a very practical level however it comes down to a unique idea and the heart/faith to see it through. I measure success not by sales but by influence. If something we do can lift others up or encourage them then that’s success for me.

 

8. Why is making by American hands important to you?

I want to be involved in the growth of my own community. I started out by sourcing my materials and manufacturing within my own state. When I couldn’t find it near me I went to New York for a few things so it’s all done within Oklahoma except for a select few items which are produced in New York. I believe in our country, our freedoms, and our unique heritage of story-telling. And I am committed to creating economic opportunities for my fellow citizens. If my business was only about making money, it would be a different story. I’m more concerned about quality and community. 

 

9. What ways have you benefited by focusing on “American-made”?

Well it’s a strong movement right now, people are wanting to get back to their roots. People are looking for great ways to boost their community and this just falls in line with that. Consumers are really searching for true American items which is why I draw so much of my aesthetic from classic Americana. 

 

10. What message would you like to give American consumers?

You always get what you pay for. Never “invest” in copies because it hurts you and the makers struggling to bring unique and original items to market. You buy fakes, knock-offs or cheapies because you think it’s a good deal but it breaks in the long run costing you much more than just buying the original. Also what you need to think about is rewarding hard work. Small companies like mine work day and night to make cool things without huge budgets, reward that by buying their stuff. What buyers need to remember is that small businesses built this country. Allow inventors to chase dreams and artist to make beautiful things, this inspires growth throughout any community. American consumers should feel some responsibility in continuing that “American Dream” attitude by investing in companies that are helping make that dream a reality. 

 

 

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