You don’t have to conduct a survey to intuitively know that a lot of hunters and anglers are dog owners. That just goes with the turf. “Man’s (and woman’s) best friend” has been a faithful hunting and fishing buddy forever. Simply pay a visit to any boat dock, bait house, or hunting camp, and, trust me, you’ll find a dog or two hanging around.
C4 Belts & Dog Collars was already producing dog collars with their own unique designs when an opportunity at the world’s largest sportfishing trade show, ICAST presented itself. Mossy Oak was in attendance and was featuring its new fishing and water-themed camouflage prints. “It had the makings of a perfect relationship,” said C4’s CEO, Michelle Der. “Like Mossy Oak, the C4 brand and the benefits we offer resonate with outdoor enthusiasts. And we have similar roots in dedicating ourselves to great causes. We offer waterproof, stinkproof products with a lifetime warranty that appeal to this outdoor audience. It was a ‘can’t miss’ partnership.”
A give-back program is something else that C4 and Mossy Oak have in common. Both companies are fervent about their causes, sharing a percentage of their proceeds with various causes. C4 has a select group of charities it supports, and Mossy Oak is keen on habitat conservation. “Sharing similar community involvement philosophies just made the partnership that much more exciting,” said Michelle.
Mossy Oak was founded in 1986, eventually morphing from a product supplier into a company licensing its proprietary camo designs to a variety of manufacturers and retailers catering to the outdoor/wildlife market. C4, on the other hand, is a newer player in online and retail sales. It was launched by a group of friends in 2011 who decided that the dull, drab, and boring brown and black belts available at retail needed new life.
With vibrant colors and creative designs—and what the company calls “simple sizing,” being cut to fit—C4 made a huge initial splash in the equestrian world. Repeat sales developed at the outset, and word of mouth spread quickly. C4 soon found it had wider appeal in additional audiences with its compelling product features and benefits.
C4’s belts and dog collars are made from a thermopolymer—similar to what’s used in the manufacturing of treads for snowmobiles. Weather does not affect them. They’re crack-proof and stretch-proof, and the printed designs look terrific on the belts and collars. Buyers can select from a variety of styles and designs, or they can even have their company logo printed on them when purchasing in bulk.
The C4/Mossy Oak partnership was officially created in 2019. As a licensee, C4 now has a new line of products for the hunting and fishing markets. But that may be only the tip of the iceberg. Camouflage is not necessarily market specific—it has become a fashion statement in many cases. To that end, Wildlife Enthusiast Magazine tapped Michelle for details about what the future holds for C4’s foray into the world of camo. We asked her five questions:
How has the Mossy Oak brand impacted C4’s future?
“Our new partnership with Mossy Oak gives us the opportunity to reach new audiences, particularly those in the hunting and fishing community.”
As a licensee, does C4 have access to all the Mossy Oak designs?
“Yes, we do. And that just broadens our opportunities. From the iconic original Bottomland pattern to the new Elements prints, we have a wide range of appeal.”
Dog collars are a natural for C4, but what about the other products in your portfolio? Will we see belts with Mossy Oak camo? Or watch bands?
“We do currently offer belts with all the same Mossy Oak patterns, but not watch bands—at least not yet. We hope to continue broadening our assortment of Mossy Oak products.”
Overall, what percentage of C4’s customer base is women?
“With our strong presence in the equestrian industry, we have a large female audience. However, we offer designs that appeal to both males and females. As we broaden our scope in the outdoor world with a brand like Mossy Oak, we will undoubtedly attract a great mix of fans.”
Strategy-wise, what can you tell us about the current plan for tapping into the hunting/fishing market?
“We’re looking to the Mossy Oak team and their great partnerships and affiliates to help introduce us to key players in this market. We love the Bassmaster High School Fishing Series they have developed. What a great initiative! We also hope to partner with the National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited, and the NRA with logoed products and cause-related participation. By partnering with these various groups, we can introduce our unique products to a new fan base.”
To learn more about its various products, in particular C4’s new line of Mossy Oak camo dog collars, visit the C4 Belts & Dog Collars website.
~ By Bill Newton
Bill Newton serves as the Business Development Director for Wildlife Enthusiast Magazine. Bill has a keen interest in wildlife and habitat conservation and also is an accomplished writer and acknowledged wine aficionado. In addition to his role at Wildlife Enthusiast, he is the Managing Partner for Rutting Ridge Cellars, where he oversees all of the company’s activities, including the promotion and sales of the Rutting Ridge proprietary brand of wine to Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s 220,000+ members. Rutting Ridge is proud to be a founding supporter of this digital magazine. Bill really enjoys pairing fine wines with fine dining, and you’ll often find him in the kitchen, masterminding the evening meal.