Falmouth-based clothing and merchandise line On The Water Outfitters recently opened a retail store at 261 Main Street. Two weeks in, owner Christopher J. Megan said foot traffic is steady and they have been busy selling performance T-shirts, sweatshirts, caps, dog leashes, and travel mugs with their striped bass logo.
He is leasing the 1,200-square-foot retail space located in what was the Harvest of Barnstable retail store.
The logo is befitting of the company that began in 1996 as a fishing and boating magazine called On The Water. The magazine focuses on coastal New England, New York and New Jersey, with roots in Cape Cod.
“I started to really look at what we were doing with the magazine and who our readers were, and wanted to expand on the lifestyle aspect of it. On the water means something different to a sailor, a fisherman, a paddle boarder and to the person setting up beach chairs and I wanted a brand that represented all of that,” he said.
The clothing is classic but relaxed, preppy but not fussy.
“I wanted to capture that feeling when you are on the water, when you are relaxed and all is right with the world—wherever that spot is for you,” he said.
He struck up relationships with companies like Columbia, Under Armour and Simms to create performance and lifestyle apparel on which the striped bass appears. Those companies account for most of his merchandise but eventually he wants to grow enough to be able to create his own apparel lines.
He had been selling out of his company’s building at 707 Teaticket Highway but was searching for a downtown space for years.
“The economy is so strong and downtown is sustainable, so when this became available, I jumped on it,” he said.
Mr. Megan has lived in Falmouth for 25 years and raised his four children in town. Mr. Megan and William H. Hough, owner of Falmouth Publishing Company, launched On The Water Magazine in 1996. Mr. Megan became the sole owner of On the Water in January 2005.
By Labor Day he plans on opening his second store on the Plymouth waterfront and is eyeing locations in Portland, Maine; Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Newburyport.