Margaret Eubank tackles women's fishing apparel
About fifteen years ago, MARGARET EUBANK’s husband first introduced her to fishing, and she quickly fell in love with it. Over the years, the North Carolina native became more involved with the sport, partaking in a number of fishing competitions or just simply fishing with friends and hanging out on the water.
“We fish in a lot of tournaments,” she says. “There is quite a competition, even just with the people that you’re fishing with for the day.”
As she got more and more involved in fishing, Eubank quickly noticed there weren’t a lot of fishing gear options for female anglers in stores. She’d go into tackle shops and only see men’s clothing options, which weren’t necessarily made for a woman’s silhouette or style. According to Statista, women made up 37% of recreational fishing participants in the United States in 2021.
After speaking with fellow women on the water, Eubank learned many other female anglers felt the same way she did.
“Ten years ago, I saw that there was just more and more women that are participating in the sport of fishing, but you continue to go into a tackle shop these days, you kinda feel like they’re underrepresented or there’s not nearly as many options when it comes to jackets and sweatshirts or just any sort of apparel in general,” Eubank says.
So, in 2021, after a decade of fishing, she decided she’d do something about it.
She founded her own fishing gear line for women, affectionately named Clearly Hooked Apparel. By August of last year, she was ready to launch her debut collection, which consisted of one of the most-used pieces of fishing gear: a rain jacket.
“I always think that’s the best example of a piece of clothing that I end up having to go and find the men’s version,” Eubank says. “My first idea was a rain jacket, something that you could pack in your bag that was lightweight, not necessarily a jacket, and that we can have on the coldest day in January, but something that was a little bit more seasonal. So, year-round it could be worn over a sweatshirt and then lightweight enough to be in your bag if you’re out on the boat in the middle of the summer and you get caught in a rainstorm.”
After starting with just the jacket, Eubank found herself excited by the idea of having a complete outfit in her apparel line. So, she added a lightweight summer hoodie to the collection, then high-waisted leggings – all staple clothing pieces for a day spent fishing on the water.
For now, her line is available online (clearlyhookedapparel.com) and in a select number of stores in and around the Cape Fear region. She hopes to expand and reach more female anglers on the water.
“That’s another thing, too, that excites me, just for a lady to walk into a tackle shop in her town and be able to see some support or encouragement for fellow lady anglers,” Eubank says. “So, today we are in Island Tackle (& Hardware) in Carolina Beach, and we’re in Eastern Outfitters, which is out in Surf City. And then there’s Rigged & Ready. That’s a tackle shop in Holden Beach.”
Moving forward with Clearly Hooked Apparel, Eubank hopes to one day address all the requests she’s received for youth and junior lady angler apparel. For now, she’s focused on the line she has but is excited with the ideas she has in the works.
In addition to owning Clearly Hooked Apparel, Eubank is a sales manager for a technology company based in Wilmington. When she decided to start the apparel line, it took a lot of research, networking, and time on her part. Eubank credits her “mindset” as the key element for starting her business.
“It’s always scary to start something new,” she says. “I think I was driven and motivated by fellow women that had an idea and took that leap and were successful. At the end of the day, I thought, you know, at least you tried. Try something that you’re passionate about and see what happens. Also completely understand that this is a new adventure, and you won’t have all of the answers.”
As she grows her business and angler knowledge, Eubank hopes to see more women out on the water, sharing their passion for the adventure.
“I think that’s exciting to see, that more and more women are getting out there,” she says. “I’d say long-term, it would be good to just continue to encourage more women to get out there and give it a try – take their kids fishing or friends or mom, and kind of celebrate in each other’s success.”
To view more of photographer and stylists Drewe & Kate’s work, go to dreweandkate.com
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