Shadow: Mo Elliott
Job: Outdoor Apparel
Fayettechill. The perfect word to describe Ozark style – both in clothes and living. Mo Elliott, CEO of Fayettchill, came up with the idea for his outdoor apparel company as a junior while attending the University of Arkansas. When he was home in Dallas for a break one of his friends asked when he was heading back to “Fayettechill.” That saying spurred Mo to make his first product after realizing there wasn’t a brand that represented the outdoor sports community in the Ozark region. He ordered stickers with the classic Fayettechill hammock logo on it and started passing them out to some of his buddies. They would go on late night long boarding missions and slap the stickers all around town. Like the stickers, the brand stuck.
From there Mo began making t-shirts with the money he saved from a landscape company he started while at Lake Highlands High School (which I am proud to also have attended). He got another LH Alum, Grant Holden, and friend from college, Devin O'Dea, to join in growing the first outdoor brand in the Ozarks. At first, Grant was working for Fayettechill during the day and bartending at night. While Devin was working for Fayettechill on the side before heading to med school with a biochemistry and philosophy major. However, their thirst for adventure, calling to the unknown, and comfort with community, lead Grant and Devin to partner with Mo fulltime. The company continued to grow naturally as they started hiring on more friends from college who lived the lifestyle the company represents.
“I like that we have been able to grow on our own. Leave the decision making up to me and the team and not having any outside investors dictating where the brand is heading.” ~ Mo Elliott, CEO
Fayettechill headquarters is located at the base of Mt. Kessler in the original Ozark Smokehouse building. Outdoor enthusiasts from all over gather in Fayettchill’s parking lot day after day to live out the experiences that inspired the original brand. The location of the building allows the clothing and culture to stay in its original state as well as keep Fayettechill employees grounded in their mission. All of the shirts are USA made, organic cotton, and recycled items, which sets the production of Fayettechill’s products in a sustainable direction.
The company branches out beyond just being a clothing company. They also support a variety of non-profit organizations and outdoor athletes. Some of these include the Nature Conservancy, Ozark Highlands Trail, Arkansas Climbers Coalition, Buffalo River Foundation, Buffalo River Foundation Trout Unlimited, and Ozark Outdoor Cyclists. Through these initiatives, the company helps develop and maintain the outdoors in an environmentally conscientious way.
Mo Elliott not only believes in his brand but actively lives it out. He finds inspiration for his products by wandering through natural spaces and engaging in mountain biking, fly-fishing, surfing, & paddle boarding. This summer he will leave for a year long road trip across the USA & Canada to learn the culture of the sports Fayettechill represent and create seasonal collections of outdoor apparel that compliment customers’ lifestyle. His girlfriend, Gracie, and rescue dog, Olive will be joining him on the journey. Who Knows, you might just see some of Mo’s inspiration in next season’s line and I might see him again on the road!
Like their clothes, everyone is organically drawn to Fayettechill’s products and what they represent. If you haven’t checked them out already visit: www.fayettechill.com.
Putting an idea into production:
- It starts with an idea
- Get inspiration from the world around you
- Turn the idea into a sketch
- Pick a fabric
- Decide on trims (inside tags and labeling on the main tag that explains the product)
- Receive samples of prints
- Have a fit sample
- Make a tech pack
- Create a salesman’s sample for companies
- Forecast demand of particular style
- Place orders for the season
- Construct analysis of direct online and wholesale distribution
- Wear the items you designed
*But as a rule never wear more than two pieces of the brand.
Tips of the Trade:
“Off the start it was quality and sustainable materials. Most people think you have to sell at a price point that can cater to the masses but selling a quality product and knowing the story behind it and knowing it will last you a long time is really important.” ~ Mo Elliott, CEO
“There is kind of an underlying meaning behind the brand to inspire people to take life slowly. The youth that we get the brand out to are so fast-paced, and the kind of inspiration we are creating as a brand, I think, will [resonate] across the nation.” ~ Mo Elliott, CEO
“There is no reason to get into an industry with no experience, if it’s a time sensitive idea that’s one thing but take an internship, take a job for a year, learn from the best.” ~ Mo Elliott, CEO
“Every day we come to the Smokehouse with the goal to master the products we produce so that we can make them in a way that makes the lives of our customers easier, more comfortable, and consistently inspired.” ~ Devin O'Dea, VP of Marketing