Being launched to the outside via the Boy Scouts is usually a crapshoot. Some guys have unimaginable experiences that propel them to hunt lives crammed with wilderness journey, others have a lackluster or downright depressing time that may endlessly flip them off to the good outside. For Jahmicah Dawes, his time within the Scouts tended to the latter. “It was the worst!” says Dawes, the founding father of SlimPickins Outfitters in Stephensville, TX, who counts extra formative experiences in school as his true intro to the outside. “I’ve at all times cherished to skate, and I had a group of boards that I might [offer to] folks to come back out and skate the campus with me.”

These mates made whereas carving up the concrete turned out to be out of doors junkies who shortly supplied different invites for journey, despite the fact that he didn’t have the mandatory gear. “They created alternative and eliminated the justifications and hurdles for me to entry the identical outside they have been experiencing,” says Dawes.

These twin acts of generosity and kindness proceed to tell Dawes in his life because the proprietor of the primary Black-owned out of doors gear store within the nation. With racial tensions barely simmering after the early-summer spate of extremely publicized situations of police brutality on minorities, he’s needed to steadiness the positives and the negatives of an trade lastly making an attempt to handle inequalities—not simply endemic within the nation, however in entry and acceptance within the out of doors house itself.

Good then that Dawes and his SlimPickins store have at all times been a haven for like-minded, adventurous folks that aren’t afraid of a problem, whether or not within the wilderness or inside society itself. “We at all times needed to be a related spot for our neighborhood, to replicate the native tradition, and equip and encourage the inventive out of doors fanatic,” he says. “We felt that folks wanted a spot they may collect collectively, or gear as much as #AdventureOut. There wasn’t a spot like that right here, so we created one.”

courtesy Jahmicah Dawes

Title: Jahmicah “SlimPickins” Dawes
Title: Founder, Operator, and Inventive Director
Location: Stephenville, TX (however we name it Stephenchill, TX)
Years on the Job: 4

Males’s Journal: How has your work/life modified since Could 25?
JAHMICAH DAWES: Work has undoubtedly modified. The truth that we’re the primary Black-owned gear store within the nation has gained us followers and relevancy. Whether or not it occurred for the fitting causes or to only calm folks’s consciences, we need to take advantage of the chance and be redeeming of the time by exhibiting the narrative of the realities of the various outside—and but the realities of illustration of individuals like me in my place within the out of doors trade.

So far as my private life, I’ve to battle in opposition to cynicism and bitterness on a regular basis with reference to how I’m considered and handled in each my private {and professional} circles. Because the artist Propaganda stated in a music with Kings Kaleidoscope, “I shouldn’t know the way a physique goes limp when it hangs, bro.”

I keep in mind once I was youthful, seeing books or museums seeing photographs or reveals of lynchings. I, nor any child, teenager, or grownup ought to by no means know what that appears like. Particularly at such a charge or consistency the place that turns into a normative perception or expectation. I might like to say this was a “shock,” or that the occasions of Could 25th have been surprising. However sadly, there have been occasions of Black women and men dying unjustly by the hands of unhealthy police method earlier than then and also you’ve seen it proceed to occur since Could 25th too.

Jahmicah Dawes Slimpickins Outfitters
Jahmicah Dawes

How has your neighborhood modified?
My response to that may be “To Be Continued”—the neighborhood is altering. One is that individuals are beginning to speak about these points. I wouldn’t assume that your readers would know rather a lot about Stephenville, Texas, however in 2007 there was a KKK rally right here in assist of some college students who have been expelled from the college (which is my alma mater) for having a blackface celebration—2007 wasn’t that way back.

Quick ahead to now, the place we had a BLM and Justice for George and Breonna march. Marches that not solely police have been current at, however police marched with us. And it was fairly evident that there have undoubtedly been some modifications from then to now. In order I stated earlier, “To Be Continued,” however we’ve seen and felt a neighborhood paradigm shift and this time momentum is constructing.


Have your prospects been supportive?
They’ve nevertheless it was additionally amidst the corona pandemic. So I couldn’t say for certain what has motivated them to be supportive. And in that very same breath, it doesn’t actually matter to me; I want it both method, ya know? As I prefer to say, “encouragement is inspired.”

For these studying this and assume they could’ve missed the boat to assist us or, and different native companies: It’s by no means too late to begin and it’s at all times wanted. “The luxurious of the choice of participation is nice, proper?” (one other from Kings Kaleidoscope and Propaganda).

Jahmicah Dawes Slimpickins OutfittersWhat’s the best problem at hand, transferring ahead?
Entry to manufacturers, entry to capital, and higher phrases from the manufacturers we feature or need to carry—we’ve had such an uphill battle with getting sure manufacturers.

A reoccurring phrase we proceed to listen to is, “We aren’t opening new accounts in the intervening time,” which is comprehensible to a degree. Nonetheless, my rebuttal to that’s if there are solely two Black-owned retailers within the nation, and we, as an independently owned small brick-and-mortar store (with the funds of a small brick-and-mortar store), are merely asking for the possibility and alternative to associate along with your model, and for those who come again with that response, do the manufacturers actually worth and advocate for extra range? We’re not REI, so the orders we put in or open with aren’t going to make or break these manufacturers and firms.

To not point out, we’re the purveyors of the [recent] narrative the out of doors trade is [now] making an attempt to inform and market to a gaggle of folks that we signify. But, we don’t get one of the best phrases that manufacturers can provide. It baffles me how I can take a look at these manufacturers’ social media feeds and see how they’re making an attempt to revenue off of the plight and persecution of a folks however then don’t take or [won’t] make the chance to raised assist the small sect of individuals which are truly within the trade, that really are altering the narrative.

Illustration additionally issues, however I’ll take that another step to make clear, “Actual Illustration Issues.” [What I mean is that companies shouldn’t] merely use Black or different indigenous folks of colour. Use actual ones in your magazines, print adverts, and visible campaigns—the precise folks doing and placing within the work. We’re right here, we exist, however to be able to keep, we want assist!

Generally I really feel like Black companies within the out of doors trade must be on some type of endangered listing, you recognize? I really feel like we simply obtained right here and we’re already about to develop into extinct.

Do you see indicators of hope or modifications in your neighborhood?
Sure, I do see indicators, however the change will embrace a generational change of thoughts and expertise. As an illustration, we had a BLM march to carry consciousness of what occurred to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and numerous different men and women which were disproportionately brutalized by unhealthy police. Nonetheless, one change that I’ve already seen, and had the privilege to be part of, is a collective of neighborhood members and cops having discussions and discord about these points. We are literally about to do a reasonably cool venture involving the collective that I’m hyped about.


Jahmicah Dawes
Courtesy Jahmicah Dawes

What can readers do to assist?
Properly placing satisfaction apart…assist us by buying from us. We’ve got the aptitude to order something from the manufacturers we promote. So readers could make the intentional resolution to buy from us as an alternative of the model’s web sites—or the large field shops—after which take that very same mindset and life-style change to assist native companies in and round your personal neighborhood. We name it Respect(ing) the Locals. Additionally, think about letting us outfit you or your group to your subsequent journey. Advocate for us to your out of doors neighborhood, your out of doors organizations, your church buildings, and your neighborhood teams.


Any extra assets / organizations that our readers can assist?
We outfit neighborhood teams, organizations, and affinity teams. So think about us when you find yourself needing your subsequent repair of out of doors attire, footwear, or gear. We’re engaged on enhancing our web site so we are able to course of extra transactions on-line so be looking out there.

We’re additionally an outfitters store for missionaries. We outfit missionaries for his or her journeys to numerous locations. We do that via an initiative known as Outfitting The Saints and we simply began the OTS podcast as effectively.

However simply comply with us @spoutfitter or go to and subscribe to our e-mail listing.


For entry to unique gear movies, celeb interviews, and extra, subscribe on YouTube!

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