Not unlike the stories you hear of businesses beginning in a person's garage, the concept of Pariah Outfitters had similar humble beginnings ... only in a United States Marine Corps barracks room. Pariah Outfitters was conceptualized and founded by former U.S. Marine Matt Power. His journey into, and through, handmade leather-crafting is one that has both practical and philosophical roots. For the whole story, we invite you to read the letter below, written by Matt specifically for you.
Letter from the Founder
Hi All, Matt here,
First and foremost, I'd just like to express my gratitude to you for taking the time out of your day to pay us a visit here at Pariah Outfitters. Your interest in, and support of, our brand means nothing short of the world to me. And I genuinely mean that. If I could give you all a huge bearhug or a hearty handshake, believe me, I'd be giving it to you right now. And on that note, welcome to the Pariah family. Allow me to give you all a little insight into our roots. Into what makes us, us...
For starters, I began Pariah Outfitters on the floor of my small barracks room while serving as a Marine Infantryman (only slightly cooler than a garage, but still, take THAT Bill Gates!). And like many of the best things in a person's life, my foray into leather work was entirely unplanned. I mean entirely. Let's backtrack a bit...
In college, I stepped off on a path leading toward the medical field. And even though I'd enjoyed and excelled in my studies, fast forward four years and I found myself in a different state of mind. Slowly but definitively, I'd developed an overwhelming NEED to serve people in another way. A way that better suited my personality at the time. And whether it was having relatives in the military or whether it was being at the Twin Towers 30-some hours before 9/11, I decided it was time to serve my country in a branch that could put me up close and personal to the people who'd threatened my neighbors, my friends, and my family. The 5 five years I'd spent in the Marine Corps taught me more about being a man and being a human being that any single undertaking in my life. And a byproduct of my time spent in the Corps was coming to terms with my true self. That, combined with the untimely death of my younger brother, Chris (a casualty of the opioid epidemic) literally forced me to realize that life is SIMPLY. TOO. SHORT. to live in any other way than one that is true to who you are, to what you believe in, and to how YOU want to contribute to society. NOT society's prescribed plan for YOU...
I believe that life is a truly precious adventure. One that should never, ever be wasted but instead, be nourished, fed, and ever expounded upon. Because the truth is, we are all journeying through a world that can be chock-full of happiness, opportunity, and excitement if only we would take a moment to notice. But therein lies the problem. Many people never truly take that moment to genuinely notice. Many people, myself most certainly included, have at least once found themselves at a familiar intersection in life: Do we pursue our PASSION or do we pursue the “normal” next step in life. Do we follow our GUTS, or do we follow someone else’s lead. All too often, people will choose to pursue what’s “normal”, all while sacrificing their true inner-selves, values, and potential. Why? It's simple: Fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of being a “Pariah” — one who goes against the grain. Fear of crafting your own adventure, with your own two hands. For me, this company represents the first venture in my life that is 100%, entirely in line with how I genuinely WANT to contribute to society. By being true to myself, and true to my passions, I've not only become adept at genuine craftsmanship, but more importantly, it's made me a better man. And that’s the truth, because being true to your own compass, and pursuing what truly matters to YOU, really is the way to a better world with nothing short of a life well-lived waiting for you at the end.
And then there's the practical reason behind starting Pariah Outfitters...
American manufacturing used to be a true art form in which the artisan actually gave a damn. With a pair of rough hands, hard work, and some genuine creativity, the American-standard was born. And it was something to be proud of. Fast-forward several decades, however, and that genuine craftsmanship has become a rare breed in the marketplace, succumbing to a largely impersonal assembly line method.
As someone who's always appreciated the value of handmade, small-batch goods...I decided to pick it up as a hobby. As time went on, and as skills, techniques, and passion for the craft were honed, the decision was made to transform that hobby into a growing business. The impetus behind that decision was bolstered by the realization that I wasn't the only one who appreciated handmade goods in a post-handmade world -- far from it actually. Simply put, when you a have genuine care for the product and an equally genuine respect for the building process itself, you'll find yourself holding a far superior good in the palm of your hands. One that was crafted by hand entirely for you and you alone. Whether practical or philosophical, Pariah Outfitters is a physical manifestation of a belief in forging your OWN life in a way that YOU see fit.
Again, I could not be more thankful for your interest in this brand and I invite you all to come along for the ride. It's gonna be a great one.