over 16 years
Andrew Tuller has made functional, rugged outdoor clothing.
Tuller's business, Outa Ware, underwent changes but the quality of
his products and his business philosophy remained constant.
Tuller founded Outa Ware in Big Sky when he worked there as a
ski patroller and could not find mittens durable enough to withstand
his abuse. He decided to sew his own and soon expanded to vests,
jackets, bibs and other ski gear, requested by friends and other
patrollers. Tuller's hobby quickly grew into a business. Outa Ware
remained in Big Sky for eight years. As Tuller left ski patrolling
behind and moved away from Big Sky, he moved his business first to
Bozeman, later to Belgrade, and finally to Three Forks, where Tuller
now lives. Tuller now manufactures and sells all of his products at
his shop at
215 Main Street
in downtown Three Forks. Asked about these moves, Tuller replied,
"Today the catch phrase is carbon footprint. For me it was
also a matter of personal convenience and life style.
I hated driving to work. What could be better than walking or
riding my bike to work?"
The major change in Tuller's business is that he has greatly
expanded his product line. Outa Ware now offers custom crafted
clothing and gear for all seasons and for a wide variety of sports
and jobs, ranging from ski bibs, patrollers vest, snow mobile
suits, or carpenters bibs to river pants, camp kitchen tarps, oar
bags, and even including a line of safari clothing.
Despite these changes, Outa Ware has remained true to its business
philosophy. Tuller continues to rely on extensive field-testing and
continues to craft functional clothing and gear that withstands
severe weather. He also continues to rely primarily on word of mouth
advertising by satisfied return-customers. Outa Ware has no regular
hours of operation since field-testing is a major aspect of the
business requiring Tuller (or should we say giving him an excuse?) to
close his shop for weeks at a time occasionally. This fall, Tuller,
his wife and twelve friends field-tested river gear and clothing for
three weeks, rafting the Grand Canyon of the
. One evening, a severe
rainstorm caused over 35 waterfalls to explode over the canyon rim
around their camp. Within minutes, the rain hammered their kitchen
tarp and a flash flood washed over their sleeping area. For two
hours, torrential rains drenched their camp. "You can simulate
severe weather, but these field tests are more realistic and
enjoyable. My wife and my friends let me know pretty quickly if their
Outa Ware clothing and gear worked," said Tuller.
Another trademark of Outa Ware is that every item is hand-crafted by
Tuller in his Three Forks shop. And, remarkably, the Outa Ware
warranty is transferable and good for the life of the garment. Outa
Ware quality remains well above the industry norm. " My customers are my primary source of advertising. I want
them to use and abuse my clothing and gear." One
look at his clothing, and you can see its durability.