What do you get when you combine owner Marc Williams, an outdoor sporting lifestyle store, tons of fun (including oyster roasts), a dedication to supporting local businesses and the best button down shirt you’ve ever owned? Equal parts shake and stir and you’d get The Sporting Gent, a fantastic neighborhood shop that specializes in men’s goods and gear. It wasn’t easy, but we caught up with Marc to see why he does what he does and to see how we can get invited to his next pig picking.
C5: Why did you decide to open The Sporting Gent?
MW: I wanted a brand and neighborhood shop focused on providing goods, gear and experiences of the sporting lifestyle. We came up with a simple phrase – bow ties to dry flies – which is our trademark. We opened in October of 2013 and we’ve had some serious good times creating our own clothing line, throwing the occasional oyster roast or pig picking and finding some great local companies to work with.
C5: What types of local brands do you carry?
MW: We pride ourselves on finding the best clothing and gear. We carry a variety of great brands from across the country including Filson, Duck Head, Dubarry and more. We are also incredibly lucky to have local folks making some excellent gear. Companies like Ole Mason Jar, Heritage Handcrafted, Bulletprufe, Kerf & Burled, Traveller Trading Co. are just a few of the companies in and around Charlotte.
C5: Why is carrying local brands so important to you?
MW: Charlotteans have tremendous pride in our city and we are fortunate so many incredible people make so many quality goods that our customers love.
C5: Does having local products and brands make a difference to your customers?
MW: Carrying local goods gives us the opportunity to share stories and create a deeper connection between us, the store or business we work with and the customer. It also gives the customer the chance to support local people, which is always a feel good moment.
C5: Can you tell me about a few of your favorite products that are made in or near Charlotte?
MW: The guys at Ole Mason Jar make the best suit I’ve ever owned and it’s made right here in the good ole US of A. One of the best pair of pants I’ve ever worn is from the folks at Bulletprufe – a Charlotte company. I’d like to also give ourselves a pat on the back for our own goods – especially our button downs. The Revelry Collection are our “slow clap” shirts. That’s what you’ll be doing as soon as you put one on.
C5: What do you see as the future of local companies in Charlotte and the surrounding area?
MW: The local business folks in Charlotte love to collaborate and I’ve seen a lot of companies coming together. The Sporting Gent is consistently working with new and established businesses in the Queen City to develop new ideas and goods. When we work together, we foster a strong foundation. One big enough to take Charlotte to the next level.
With a few days before the holidays, there’s no better time to get to The Sporting Gent. Soak up the local atmosphere, find the perfect gift, pet the shop dog and put your name in for the next oyster roast. We did.