Sales Rep Feature: Catapult Agency
* This post was originally featured 23 May 2013
This week I had the chance to connect with Garett Halayko from Catapult Agency in Vancouver. Garett told us about his beginnings in the action sports industry, the formation of his agency and what it is like to work with friends and family.
HEY GARETT, TELL OUR READERS WHO YOU ARE.
I am originally from Victoria BC now living in Vancouver BC. Married to Mara Halayko and I am the father of Calla Halayko. Calla has truly changed our lives. My life consists of growing up on the Island, living in mountain towns for 12 years before moving to Vancouver. After spending 10 years in Whistler an opportunity at Supra Distribution brought me to the city where I met my wife and started a family. I get to travel a lot for work but always look forward to coming back to the west (wet) coast. My interests include spending time with family and friends, snowboarding, golf, travel, music, my truck, work, and of course beer.
Garett, Mara & Calla Halayko
PLEASE TELL US ABOUT THE CATAPULT AGENCY.
Catapult Agency was the result of working with Mr. Dave Halliwell at his Whistler base agency. Dave was nice enough to take me under his wing before a brand conflict opened the opportunity to start my own agency. Back then I work as a server full time in order to afford things
like samples, food on the road and a tank of gas or two. My first stable of brands were Capita Snowboards, Coal Headwear, Union Bindings, Defcon Gloves, Sessions Outerwear and Airblaster. I worked out of my house and towed a U-Haul down for trade shows behind my Pathfinder. Fast forward to 2013 and things have charged a lot. We have showroom based in the Endeavor offices near our friends at OB1, Feedback Managment and C1RCA in Gastown. Our lines represented are Hurley, Endeavor Snowboards, Airhole Facemasks, Colourwear Outerwear, Skullcandy Headphones, Arnette Eyewear and 31 Bits Jewellery. There are 3 of us at the office including my wife Mara and best friend Marcos Da Roza. Working with people you are close to seems to go one of two ways, great or terrible, and we are doing amazing. The perks of the job are great like cat boarding or the many trips to California for meetings but it's all the hard work in the background that really keeps us healthy as a business. We are in the people business and I love the people we get to work with.
WHAT IS IT LIKE WORKING WITH YOUR WIFE?
As you can imagine I was a bit set in my ways before we started working together after working alone for so long. Mara set me straight right away and we've been great ever since. I knew her as an amazing rep before we started our relationship so to get to work along side her is a privilege. It's great having someone to bounce ideas off or get another perspective on things. Mara heads up Hurley YC and has added her own offering to Catapult Agency as the Western Canadian rep for 31 Bits Jewellery.
WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE ACTION SPORTS INDUSTRY THESE DAYS? THE INDUSTRY SEAMS TO BE AMIDST SOME MAJOR CHANGES.
Well for me seeing all the turmoil only solidifies how lucky we are to be with the brands we sell. Hurley is growing consistently. John Florence was signed and the entire Nike surf team shifted to Hurley. Nike backs Hurley, it's mentioned at every meeting. We don't have to worry about resources. You would have to be totally oblivious not to be concerned when you see giants like these having issues but they aren't going anywhere. It's an opportunity for others to shine. On the snow side of things we were part of the biggest fallout of the season loosing The Program brand in Forum, Foursquare, and Special Blend. Life goes on and we were able to start a new partnership with Endeavor Design Inc because of it. Seeing the Elan snowboard factory close is a tough one too. I'm sure there are still some brands scrambling but everyone will find a home.
John Florence page on Hurley.com
YOU SPEND A LOT OF TIME ON THE ROAD AND ON THE HILL DOING DEMOS. HOW IS SELLING A BRAND LIKE HURLEY DIFFERENT THAN SELLING A BRAND LIKE ENDEAVOR?
Hurley and Endeavor is like comparing apples to oranges for sure. Hurley is sales focused while Endeavor is very service focused. Hurley is a 4 season brand with capsules in between each of those. It's intense but I seem to thrive under the gun. Selling Endeavor means we get to partner with a Canadian brand, go to great events, and snowboard as much as time allows. My favourite part of the snow season is the Big White On Snow demos. I can't think of another job where competing suppliers and dealers can get together and have such a great time while getting work done. This past Knowshow was the first time we had all our brands under the same roof. Catapult Agency had six people working in 6 booths plus a huge amount of help from all our in-house people. It felt like the biggest test of my career and we passed with flying colors.
Catapult & Endeavor demo tent - Whistler, BC
THERE ARE SO MANY ELECTRONIC AND HEADPHONE ACCESSORY BRANDS OUT THERE NOW WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO BRING ON SKULLCANDY? AND TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE BRAND
I became interested in Skullcandy when I was working at Westbeach Whistler in 2003 as the brand launched. Back then it was fresh and I was listening to a ton of hip hop. They were the only headphones tuned for bass. The brand sparked my attention recently working with Andrew Hicks and Ian Nickson on other brands. They are the Skullcandy reps for Prairies and Ontario. It was obvious they were making a push to reclaim their spot in our independent dealers and we wanted to be part of it. Products like the Fix, Navigator, and Crusher would live on my desk even if I didn't work with Skullcandy.
Skullcandy started the category. It was all because Rick Alden sat on a chairlift in Park City trying to figure out how he could listen to music and take a call while snowboarding. We are very fortunate to have started with Skullcandy just prior to the 2.0 launch. The 2.0 launch consisted of a complete refresh in the look and feel of the brand from packaging to the offering. The biggest change is that Skullcandy now produces it's products from the ground up including the drivers instead of simply adding logos to OEM pieces. You can hear it in the sound and see it in the quality of the finished product.
WHEN YOU ARE NOT HARD AT WORK WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
These days it's spent with my family. We plan on lots of outside time this summer so hopefully the weather cooperates. If it's me time I'll be golfing.
I ALWAYS LIKE TO END WITH SOMETHING FUN...WHAT TYPE OF MUSIC WILL GENERALLY BE PLAYING AT THE AGENCY TO KEEP THE MOOD GOING?
It varies so much depending on who's around. If I'm here alone and need to get the day rolling it's some loud Diplo, A-Trak or Madoen. For the days when we are all in the office or showings it gets a little mellower. Friday afternoons are usually a dance party listening to Radiozero on CITR. Looking forward to beers on the roof this Friday!
- Vedika Soleki