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Southwest

Black-owned outdoor business spotlight: Slim Pickins Outfitters

A GoFundMe campaign saved this Texas-based outdoor gear shop.


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Owners: Jahmicah and Heather Dawes

Year founded: 2016

What we do

Slim Pickins Outfitters is a specialty outdoor retailer focused on building up our outdoor community through education and community events. We are the first Black-owned outdoor independent retailer. However, we aren’t the only ones anymore, and we won’t be the last. Our aim is to be a relevant space for our local community and cater to creative outdoor enthusiasts, while diversifying the outdoor industry, as it pertains to ownership and positions of leadership.

How do you feel about the response you received from your recent GoFundMe campaign?

We were not prepared for the overwhelming response shown by the Black community, the outdoor community, the Black outdoor community, and others. Outdoor enthusiasts are vested in our survival and continued success so that we might thrive.

The GoFundMe campaign is a chance for us to clear our liabilities—invoices and debts—and start on a more sure footing. We hope people continue to support the campaign as it will give us a cushion and allow us to be our own bank and financier because we were never successful at securing a loan or line of credit. Furthermore, it will help us increase our financial literacy, and ensure a sustainable future for our business.

What are your plans for the future?

We aim to be a mentor to other Black-owned and minority businesses. In the past, I have reached out to outdoor associations, brands, and even business organizations about starting an incubator & accelerator for Black-owned and minority-owned businesses, brands, etc. It never gained any momentum, but we hope that will change in the future. We have always dreamed of having an intern program connected with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) where we would have interns work at our company for 6 months. This would allow the interns to accompany us to trade shows and network with brands, companies, and other organizations. This is one of the ways we invest in our mission to diversify the outdoor industry as it pertains to ownership and leadership.