From the Archives: Leigh Perkins on the Growth of Orvis

December 14, 2007 By: Marshall Cutchin

Perhaps by choice, Orvis has had to address the challenge of selling good fishing gear to a marketplace that often identifies it with doggy beds and plaid towels. We found this New York Times piece from 1992 where writer Carol Lawson got then-CEO Leigh Perkins to weigh in on the challenge just before turning the business over to his sons. “Some purists in the fly-fishing population grumble about such commercialism. They sniff that Orvis has strayed from the essence of the sport. ‘That’s too damn bad,’ Mr. Perkins snapped. ‘The fact that we sell wastebaskets with ducks on them doesn’t have any effect on the quality of our fly rods. Our strategy was to build a business that would thrive.'”