An exert from a recent Monkey Climber interview with the people behind the brand... we pick up how it all started with Director Darran Goulder...
I still remember getting your email in 2013, about you guys setting up Fortis. To be honest the whole idea sounded pretty cool but the name was a bit strange to me and a lot of Belgians as a then recent bankrupt big bank over here had the same name (did you know that, lol?). Anyway, where did you get the name and idea originally?
Sending out those initial Fortis emails to various people seems like an age away! Thankfully the take up was well received and we’ve made some good friends as a result of it. You too can surely relate to the difficultly of naming a brand… it took us literally months. We went through every English word… and then started going through the latin ones when we run out. Fortis actually derives from Fortuna, and that means “fortune favours the bold” and ‘Fortis’ is Latin for ‘brave’. Which is quite apt for an angler!
Was the idea something that grew naturally, or did you purposely look into something to fill a gap in the angling industry? (I mean: Monkey Climber was just started up without any business plan, nothing, we just created a first mag and saw from there on what happened)
It’s definitely just grown naturally in the way we’ve branched out with clothing and a few accessories, but the whole polarized brand came from a lot of thought. We were heavily involved in iPhone apps at the time, we wanted to start something bigger so we started sampling those portable chargers with a view to marketing them to anglers. At the time, there was just none on the market, but they were coming in way too expensive. Paul was fishing in France, and his girlfriend at the time was taking the piss out of his polaroids saying how “uncool” they were. He text me saying “How about some fashionable fishing glasses?” and it clicked. By the time he’d come back I’d ordered samples and contacted manufacturers, we were both super excited as we knew it had potential. It was niche, but there was a huge gap for it, and it went from there!
You were already active in the angling industry before, with iAngler, can you tell us a bit more about that?
Paul and I met at Art College, before we went off for Uni. iAngler was formed after we’d done our degrees and gained some experience working for agencies in the City. It was just when the app market was talking hold around 2011, and we developed some unique fishing ones at the time, rig apps, weather and moon phase ones etc etc. Along with those, we also built quite a few websites for various brands in the market like Korda, SubSurface, Guru Tackle, Urban Bait, Monkey Climber and Gigantica etc etc. All that funded Fortis.
Read more in the blog post.