Emerger Strategies: Our Story

Our story really begins in 2008 when Rick Crawford read “Let My People Go Surfing” by Patagonia founder, Yvon Chouinard.  Crawford adopted Chouinard’s business philosophy and to this day the following quote is a guiding principle of Emerger Strategies:

Who are businesses really responsible to? Their shareholders? Their customers? Their employees? None of the above, I have finally come to believe. Fundamentally, businesses are responsible to their resource base. Without a healthy planet there are no shareholders, no customers, no employees.

That very same year (2008) Crawford also learned to fly fish in Wyoming and spent the next eight years searching for a way to marry his two passions: fly fishing and sustainability.  After doing some research on the fly-fishing industry Crawford noticed a trend where a few fly fishing brands give money and time to conservation groups, but aren’t necessarily doing anything to alter their own behavior to reduce their impact on climate change.  Having spent several years in the sustainability field, Rick saw the opportunity to help companies in the fly-fishing industry to minimize their impact on climate change.  The first step was launching Emerger Strategies in July 2016.

Image: www.delawareriverguide.net

The name “Emerger Strategies” is an obvious reference to the mayfly lifecycle and is a perfect metaphor for the transition that businesses make implementing the sustainability and marketing strategies we provide.  Mayflies are extremely focused and their purpose is to emerge, reproduce and fall back to the river so that the next generation can survive.  Just as in business, the nymph that isn’t focused gets swept away downstream and eaten by hungry trout; however, the mayfly that understands its purpose will emerge from the river and fulfill its purpose of reproducing and then positively impacting the environment that was responsible for giving it life.  Businesses would do well to be as focused as the mayfly.  Having a clear understanding of what their purpose is critical if they want to concentrate on accomplishing their goals and giving back to the river, community and environment that contributed to their success.

Emerger Strategies is bringing sustainability to the fly-fishing industry and our mission is to build purpose-driven brands that inspire solutions to social and environmental problems.  We are based in Charleston, SC and work with a variety of retailers, lifestyle brands and manufacturers who seek to discover how sustainability can be used as an effective business strategy to increase competitive advantage, brand value and profitability.