There are some simple reasons why a metropolitan area needs an “outdoors” store—though they are often more commonly found in rural areas—but Marc Williams, owner of The Sporting Gent, has one simple answer, and that is that anybody can enjoy the outdoors.
With that mission in mind, The Sporting Gent has been serving the Charlotte area since 2013 as a unique place to shop for all your outdoor and menswear needs. Marc sat down with us during a busy work week to discuss the brand, his love of outdoor apparel, and why Charlotte needs brick and mortar.
As a hands-on-deck business owner, how do you enjoy the sporting side of life?
My advice is to enjoy what the world provides to us. The sporting life is more than just harvesting an animal for food or catching and releasing a fish. It’s about the camaraderie, the good times before and after a day in the woods or on the river.
Why did you choose the name “The Sporting Gent”?
Well, it’s how you’d describe our store. There’s the “sporting” part, and the “gentleman” part. Who says that great adventures can’t also include dinner at a club or an evening cocktail party? We focus heavily on making every aspect of our shop and the goods inside of it all work in balance, just like the everyday life of our customers. Some days you can’t fish because you have to be a dad, so we have stuff for that, too.
Why Charlotte for your store location?
Charlotte is a growing city and a melting pot of folks from all around the country, from big cities to small towns. Most importantly, Charlotte is our home. Everyone wants to feel at home, from day one. I think it’s our responsibility as shopkeepers to extend a warm welcome and help folks feel at home the moment they walk in the door.
How would you describe your range of products?
We sell everything from local-as-it-gets honey to cast iron pans and dress shirts. Some come from companies and some come from a normal dude we know who has a real talent for making that specific item. It’s part of our ethos to keep an eye out for goods and gear. We seek clothing that is a mixture of classic and modern features with an attention to detail. In a fast-paced society so we need apparel that can keep up, be comfortable, and also look good. It’s our job to find the best stuff out there, and thankfully a bunch of it comes from our backyard. We love it when folks support local businesses so we find every opportunity to return the favor.
What do you see for the future of The Sporting Gent?
Our future is an even more robust offering of great products from great companies and people. We have a ton of projects in the works, from developing our own casual and sporting apparel lines to promotional events. Not everyone likes shopping, so we try to keep it easy going fun, and be as helpful as possible. Guys can be hard to shop for, no matter the age, so we strive everyday to be experts in helping folks find that perfect gift or item.