The quick-thinking that comes from paddling paid off this spring for MTI Adventurewear owners Lili and Gordon Colby, who on March 31, at the peak of the PFD shipping season, found out they had only 60 days to move their business.
“Finding new headquarters for MTI and a home for a warehouse full of life jackets was not a small task,” says Lili.
MTI successfully made the move on June 1 to new offices at Cordage Park in Plymouth in a 100-year-old restored mill building near the waterfront. They also out-sourced their shipping operation to a 3PL in NJ, all without losing a single day of business.
"It wasn't easy, but sometimes getting pushed off a cliff forces you to make changes that you wouldn't otherwise have made," says Lili. "It gives you an opportunity to re-invent your business."
With advice and encouragement from industry friends, MTI made the decision to outsource their warehouse and distribution operation to Tigers in NJ. "After 25 years of doing our own shipping, it was not an easy choice,” she adds. “Without being pushed we wouldn't have done it."
MTI ended up keeping all full-time employees making the move to 3PL and Cordage Park. They also added new two new in-house sales/customer service reps to the company, Kandyce Sampson and Jim Travers. Both bring solid paddlesports experience to MTI, Sampson working for EMS for nine years and Travers with Mad River Canoe and Extrasport previously.
"Gordon and I are excited about being able to shift our focus on product development, sales, branding and marketing in the future,” Lili adds. “It forced us to change and look for the opportunity to make our business stronger for the future." MTI will be attending all three key trade shows this summer: Outdoor Retailer, Paddlesports Retailer, and Surf Expo.
Founded over 25 years ago outside Boston, MTI specializes in USCG approved life jackets for human powered boating. Canoe, Kayak, Raft, Sail or SUP - if it's powered by the paddle or wind, MTI makes a life vest of it. MTI life jackets can be found online and at leading retail locations across the United States. Learn more at www.mtiadventurewear.com