Outdoor apparel company recruits two Steamboat natives to road trip cross country | SteamboatToday.com

Outdoor apparel company recruits two Steamboat natives to road trip cross country

Liz Forster

David Mucklow

Steamboat Springs natives David Mucklow and Drew Ruff have spent much of their lives together, from when they met in kindergarten to their time at the University of Puget Sound. So, when the outdoor apparel company Howler Brothers announced for the first time an opportunity for a pair passionate about fishing, swimming, and surfing and spreading the Howler brand, the two partners jumped on the chance to continue their journey together as privateers.

"It all started because, as a small company, it's very taxing to be out of the office at trade shows during the summer," said Howler Brothers' CMO Rick Wittenbraker. "We'd love to be the ones driving across the country to the shows, but we knew we couldn't, so we brainstormed ideas on how to recruit someone to do it for us."

In the spirit of their motto, "Heed the Call," Howler Brothers knew they had to design the job around empowering their employees to get out in the water, not just dream about it in the driver's seat.

"We thought, "How can we make this the ultimate summer job?" Wittenbraker said. "From there, we knew if we made it into a huge road trip, we could set up things for them to do while they traveled from our headquarters around the country."

After submitting an online and video application and interviewing with Howler Brother's, Mucklow and Ruff were on their way to road tripping in the Howler Brother's black and orange van across the southern coast, from Austin to Florida and the West.

The Steamboat Springs High School graduates are now back in Steamboat for a short hiatus during the middle of their trip. They had spent the fourth of July in New Orleans then in the Florida Keys and Orlando to meet partners of the Howler Brothers, showcase Howler Brother's brand at trade shows and make some of their own memories along the way.

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"We've been able to meet a lot of really nice people along the way," said Mucklow who will leave the roadtrip before a surf expo in early September to attend graduate school. "It’s been a lot of windshield and downtime in between, but we've still had people take us out on their boats on private waters and show us around."

Even from company headquarters in Austin, Wittenbraker recognizes Mucklow and Ruff's enthusiasm to fulfill their job requirements and spontaneously create their own adventures.

"They've done a lot of DIY stuff even though our only requirement was to get to Key West from Austin," said Wittenvraker.

Mucklow and Ruff document their travels on Instagram and Twitter using the handle @howlerprivateer and on weekly blog posts on the Howler Brothers' website. Both the pair and Howler Brothers executives have received positive attention from the trip.

"We're posting every day so we can keep people updated on what we're doing," said Mucklow. "In general, we're getting cool people responding who are excited about the company."

"The response has been awesome," said Wittenbraker. "Our fan base has been really great, and through this road trip, Drew and David have really been able to tap into that."

For more information on Mucklow and Ruff's road trip, visit the Howler Brothers privateers blog at http://howlerbros.com.