Joe Garland Part II: The Interview

posted by dpm on 02/09/2010


Joe, you have been an icon in this industry for a while now. Arguably, you are the most talked about individual at each Trade Show.
First off, thanks for allowing me the opportunity to get the word out and clear the air.  I didn't come from a wealthy family, I'm just an average recreational climber, I'm not famous, I did not inherit the family business, the company is not government subsidized, and I do not possess a business degree.  Perhaps a few people feel like I don’t belong here.
You are both loved and hated. There are rumors and speculation that suggest some of your business practices are unorthodox...
If you can give me a specific example or examples, I can try to address this question.  Because the people reading this are going to say the same thing:  "I heard..." As a small business owner and operator with limited resources, you run into a lot of strange situations and have to deal with them the best you can, ultimately it resulted in Mad Rock becoming one of the biggest shoe companies in our industry.
I’m proud of what was achieved in such a short time there.  For the record, many of the crazy and ridiculous rumors, slights, insults and lies being told right now are exactly the same as when we started Mad Rock.
Recently, you departed from Mad Rock? What sparked that departure?
If Mad Rock was a band, I'd say "artistic differences."  With regards to my old employer, one of us is John Lennon, and one of us is Ringo Starr. I guess we are going to find out who is who over the next few months.
Now that you are a free man, what is the future plan for Joe Garland?
My plan, my products and for the most part my team of distributors, reps, and climbing team members are going to be the same as it was weeks, months and years ago.  The plan remains the same as well:  Provide great gear and some innovations at fair prices to climbers around the world, have some fun, make some friends... Oh Yea, world peace and stop global warming.
Climb X? What is Climb X going to bring to our industry?
To repeat some of my previous answer:  great gear, fair prices and the occasional innovation.  We want to be in a position to work with and help small specialty shops and small specialty suppliers, and even some friendly competitors.  I have always considered myself the cure for some of the price fixing and unfair practices that have taken place in the industry often causing climbers to pay more for the gear and shoes than needed.
When will we see the first product line from Climb X?
A draft of the catalog will be available to you tomorrow.  I am now in charge of sales and marketing for the factory, company, development team and parent company that were responsible for the products that had previously been labeled "Mad Rock."  Basically, you have seen the product range and know it, and it's already popular here in the USA.
There are a lot of haters out there who are going to try to discredit this announcement as being some sort of ploy. What do you say to that?
I'm here doing what I’ve been doing for a long time in this industry. I don’t really need to say anything about my actions.  The loudest voices are probably the same group of folks who said I could never get Mad Rock off the ground.