Taylor Moyer has a hard time sitting still.
The 29-year-old race engineer for NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne was in perpetual motion at his Olive Branch home and design studio, giving me an early morning tour mere hours after returning from Daytona qualifiers the day before. (For those not well-versed in small-town N.C., Olive Branch is in northeastern Union County.)
Moyer proudly showed off his custom outdoor gear storage systems and the ruggedly handsome logo apparel he created under his outdoor-lifestyle brand, Oakmulgee.
“Oakmulgee has a singular purpose,” said Moyer, who launched the brand in 2013. “We get people outdoors more, and maximize people’s time outdoors. We do this by protecting their gear and storing it in a way where it’s available and ready to go whenever they find the precious moments to get outside.”
A Vermont farm boy, Moyer spent his younger years chasing beef cattle, racing dirt bikes and Sprint cars, and playing sports. His eyes set on a racing career, he came to Charlotte at age 18, got a degree in mechanical engineering at UNC Charlotte and never looked back. Moyer joined Hendrick Motorsports in 2008 and has been with Kahne’s No. 5 car for the past three years.
As much as he loves his time at the track, Moyer looks forward to his downtime, usually in pursuit of good times outdoors.
“Oakmulgee grew from issues I was having with my outdoor gear,” said Moyer. “I wanted to use my design skills to create a product to organize, protect and store my gear – bikes, fishing gear, snowboards, wake boards, kayaks, paddles and the like.”
With younger brother Cole, 26, as chief marketing and operations officer, Oakmulgee has expanded beyond a garage-start up to a full-fledged LLC, selling various products online. Oakmulgee contracts with a local manufacturer, fabricator and fulfillment operation, freeing up the Moyer brothers to concentrate on research and development, marketing and growing the business.
“People have a significant investment in their outdoor gear that should be protected,” Cole Moyer said. “It doesn’t make sense to take a $1,000 bike and hang it on a $2 hook. Our flexible racks are anodized aluminum and have rubber seals that protect your investment.”
The bike racks ($169) are versatile allowing you to hang the bikes by their handlebars, seats or frames. Board racks ($159) allow for vertical or horizontal storage and are easily installed and configured. The systems are elegant in their simplicity.
New products transitioning into prototype include the Stomp Stand, an independent kickstand of sorts that holds a bicycle upright while you get ready to ride.
“I saw people leaning their bikes up against their cars … and came up with a solution to that,” said Moyer, a constant tinkerer.
Avid skiers, mountain bikers and outdoor enthusiasts, the brothers see their time outdoors as therapeutic.
“Free time is everything,” said Moyer. “If we save people 15 minutes a week by organizing their gear, that’s many hours over a year that folks are outside enjoying themselves – that means a lot to us.”
More information: http://www.oakmulgee.com/.
Photos: Courtesy of Oakmulgee; Michael J. Solender.