Fish Hard Industries – The Solution Company
From the very beginning, FHI had a lady’s touch.
Since its beginning in 2017, Fish Hard Industries has become a common name among the catfish community. Founders Eddie and Ann White are more than product vendors, they are tournament anglers, tournament producers, and general supporters of the catfish world.
Ann and Eddie keep their fingers on the pulse of the sport and are constantly looking for more ways to support the catfish community with an eye on other anglers in need of their professional services in the future.
“Fish Hard Industries is a family-owned company,” explained co-founder Ann White. “We provide a variety of support services to anglers and tournament directors as well as hosting several tournament series around the US.”
The number one product they provide are professional-grade fishing jerseys. After years of working with other jersey companies and being frustrated with poor customer service, inconsistent products, and a complicated ordering process, they decided to create their own company that would eliminate those issues. Now, they provide jerseys for sponsored pro-staff anglers, professional anglers, and weekend warriors alike.
“We work with the majority of the companies in the catfishing industry,” continued Ann. “We have a huge catalog of logos on hand, making the ordering process simple and easy. Fish Hard Industries back our jerseys with a 100% satisfaction guarantee and we make personal contact with every customer we have. We walk them through the ordering process and following up to make sure all our customers are happy with their final products.”
Whether customers are ordering one single jersey for personal use or are a major company outfitting their extensive pro-staff, Fish Hard Industries can fill the bill. And, rest assured that every customer is important and every order gets the same quality customer service and follow-up.
“Fish Hard also offers affordable banners, awards, posters, feather flags, embroidered hats, screen printed shirts, and design services,” added Ann. “These services are available to everyone from tournament directors to the general public. Several of our regular customers ordered tournament-specific products then turned around and ordered something for their personal business or company.”
“I don’t feel like we are necessarily just a clothing company or a graphics company or a jersey company,” confided Ann. “We are more of a ‘solutions’ company with an emphasis on building working relationships with each specific company or individual. We enjoy working with our customers to find out what their needs are and then coming up with affordable, quality products that fit their requirements.”
Fish Hard Industries has always been a collaboration between Ann and Eddie. They understood from the start their partnership gave them a unique advantage.
“Working together has served our customers by providing a unique dual perspective,” explained Ann. “Women are joining the professional fishing realm in unprecedented numbers and by having a female perspective in our business, we can offer solutions and products to this new demographic. We also work hard to recognize the female anglers in not just our own tournaments, but the tournament trails we support as well. We have sponsored and provided Top Lady Angler awards for events all across the country.”
Ann put her tournament experience to good use in 2018. She joined Melinda Folsom to kick off the first annual Chick Fight, an all-women tournament.
“I was honored to bring my expertise as a tournament director to the national level,” offered Ann. I served as co-host to the nation’s first female-only catfish tournament. Together with Melinda Folsom, we hosted 45 teams of women from 16 states. Chick Fight was a huge success and the friendships and connections we made that weekend have grown and strengthened to this day.”
A significant result of that single event has been the increased recognition of female pro-staffers by many major companies. That trend continues to grow today as more and more female anglers are being recognized for their ability to perform on tournament trails across the nation.
It is no longer considered unusual to have a husband/wife team or other male/female team compete and win at the local and national level of tournament catfishing.
“I think of teams like Kyli and Chris Baldwin,” said Ann. “Lisa and Terry Haraway, Chad and Beth Bryant, Diane and Terry Stone, and Dawn and Lonnie Fountain are challenging the stereotypical of ‘men only’ teams. These male/female teams have brought home huge wins in the last few years and are familiar faces on the national stages.”
Women like Robin Allen, Tyra Williams, Angie Stover, and Ann White are all examples of women who are active participants in fishing-related businesses. They’ve become recognized as savvy business-women operating their respective companies while often juggling other full-time careers, children, and households. And, on top of that, they still make time to get out and fish. Trailblazers all, these women will have a lasting impact on the fishing industry.
Understanding that most men’s clothing on a female angler is unacceptable Ann took action. Men’s clothing on a lady tends to be baggy, oversized, too long, too tight at the hips, bulky, and generally ugly. Ann solved those problems and added a lady’s touch to Fish Hard Industries through the sizing and design of women’s jerseys.
“Fish Hard Industries is one of the first companies to offer a women’s cut jersey,” Ann said. “This jersey features a shorter hemline, slimmer sleeves, and a contoured body. Biologically speaking, us ladies are generally a bit smaller than our male counterparts and one of the number one complaints I hear from other female anglers is the lack of female-specific clothing choices in fishing.”
Ann used solutions generated at Fish Hard Industries to develop a complete line of clothing geared specifically towards the female angler when she announced Pink Catfishing. She wanted the ladies to know that they can look good and be professional at the same time.
“Pink Catfishing features clothing that is practical for wearing while fishing,” explained Ann. “But still looks great. I considered some of the typical issues that I have had on the boat and selected items that solve those issues. Simple things like higher necklines and longer hems make a big difference in feeling comfortable while pulling anchor, launching the boat, or reeling in fish. Easy to wash durable cotton, quick-dry fabrics, colors that hide slime, and sizes up to 4XL provide solutions to other issues I have had as a female angler.”
The future looks bright for Ann and Eddie. Fish Hard Industries is working to expand all of its services to the catfish community while reaching out to other market segments.
“We have started to work with the professional Crappie and Walleye industry,” announced Ann. “We attend a Crappie Expo in October. It was one of the few in-person fishing expos to happen last year.”
“We will always be closely tied to the catfishing world,” continued Ann. “We have no intention of changing our connections to that group but we would like to provide our products and services to everyone who fishes. Catfishing is where we started and we consider our catfishing friends to be more like family. However, there are tournament trails and fishermen all across the country who need jerseys, banners, and awards and we would like to provide those services.”
“When starting Fish Hard Industries we both had to make some adjustments to our lives,” concluded Ann. “Plus we had this new business that we were determined to make successful. It was super scary for a while not knowing if Fish Hard Industries could support us, but despite the national pandemic and all the related hurdles, we had a very successful year. I have adjusted to not having a 9 to 5 job anymore and I am looking forward to enjoying some time on the road revisiting our friends and getting back into competition again.”
Visit the Fish Hard website at https://www.fishhardindustries.com/ to view their full line of catfish gear.