By Dawn Watson
Mark and Matt Hubschmitt love to fish and sail around Montauk.
The two brothers, ages 30 and 36, grew up spending summers on the water with their parents, David and Maureen, at their home near West Lake Drive. Some of the pair’s earliest and best memories were made at sea, they say, while out on the boat with their dad.
And even though the New Jersey-based siblings aren’t able to live out east year-round, they have figured out a way to bring the tides with them wherever they go. Taking their inspiration from the waters of The End, the pair founded Montauk Outfitters apparel two years ago. Now, even when they aren’t out on the briny looking for shark or tuna or casting for sea bass or fluke from the shore, the brothers are able to keep at least a token of the fishing life close at hand.
“It was a way for us to bring our love of the water home with us to the dock,” says Mark of creating their small start-up clothing company.
The niche retail business began when the two fishermen discovered that nautical rope sailing line made for a pretty good belt. After some discussion, it was decided that Mark, who now manages the social media and marketing aspects of the business, would get samples made from 5/8 fishing line, brown leather trim and a brass buckle. Soon, sporting a few select prototypes themselves, the duo saw interest grow among their friends and fellow fisherman.
This past season, the company grew to include a larger selection of East End-themed belts, including The Culloden, The Ditch Plains, The Gin Beach, The Great Eastern, The Rum Runner and The Shagwong. They retail for $49.50 and come in a variety of colors, including white with green, white with blue, red with white, blue with white, green with white and solid pink.
Starting this summer, Montauk Outfitters also started selling nautical-themed tee shirts and hoodies, which range in price from $25 to $45, reports Matt, who handles the company’s financials. The blue, green, red and white short- and long-sleeved shirts come in a number of styles—including those emblazoned with the company logo, a swordfish, a burgee, a tuna, a recreation of an East Hampton Town Beach Vehicle Permit, a “No Bananas” shirt and even one that says, “A Bad Day of Drinking Beats A Good Day At Work.”
The nautical-themed unisex apparel is meant to capture the free-spirited lifestyle found in Montauk, say the brothers. It’s made for sailors and landlubbers alike, and is all about celebrating their love of the East End.
“Wear them proudly out on the water or back at the dock,” says Mark of his and his brother’s belts, crew-neck tee shirts and drawstring hoodies. “They add color and style wherever you go.”
Soon, Montauk Outfitters will offer sea-themed bracelets and other nautical apparel, according to Matt. He adds that he and his brother are also on the lookout for a few retail outlets that are in keeping with their brand philosophy.
The intention, he says, is to grow the business to a niche lifestyle brand that is in fitting with the essence of Montauk. But, he adds, he and his brother don’t want to grow too big, because after all, “we most enjoy spending our time on the water,” he says.
Montauk Outfitters apparel is currently being sold at Beach MYC at the Montauk Yacht Club Resort and Marina and online at the Montauk Outfitters website at www.montaukoutfitters.com.