En route to one of our favorite fly shops in the north, I mentioned to Lesley how I wanted to do a piece on the various questions and requests the shop owners get, what sells, what doesn’t, and how do we get more women involved in fly fishing. Conversation developed and she had the brilliant idea of writing a blog on how women feel when they shop for their male angling family members. Here is the wonderful and in depth point of view from Mrs. Koz>>
As a former salesperson for Victoria’s Secret, I often times watched as men would linger outside the store front, eventually work up the courage to come in. They were greeted with welcoming smiles and an abundance of assistance despite their hesitant manner and blushing cheeks. They would stare blankly at the bins of undergarments and beautiful lacy items along the wall. They would meander slowly through the store smelling lotions and perfumes to determine the exact scent their significant other had on her Christmas/birthday list. This was a major event for most men. They faced their fears head on in order to be the hero. Or, better yet, the men gallantly decided to hit up the nearest Victoria’s Secret to surprise their love with something pretty.
Either way….this is how women feel when they enter a fly shop.
So, the question remains: How do you make a fly shop more inviting for the wives and girlfriends of avid fishermen? If your husband is anything like mine, you get emails forwarded to you that contain links to their favorite fishing gear. You may have numerous magazines around the house with pages folded and items circled that make up their never-ending wish list. To me, looking at buffs, line, furry creatures that cost a small fortune, a gazillion different sizes of hooks, and headgear is foreign and uncomfortable. You want what size? What is that for? Why does that cost SO much? What does that do? Why do you need so many?
Then it hits me….THIS must be what men feel like when they enter “Vicki’s”…..
However, the usual VS salesperson sees opportunity when a man walks in. We are more than excited to guide them toward a large purchase that will most certainly make his woman swoon. We talk in layman’s terms about ‘sizing’ and we offer the opportunity to determine the correct sizing without embarrassment or humiliation. We eagerly walk them through the perfume, lotions, and other goodies that women love.
If only women were to be offered the same treatment at the local fly shop.
Now, I’m not knocking the friendly nature of most fly shop employees. They love to talk fishing and bullshit with the other guys in the shop. They give fishing reports and talk up new products at the drop of a hat. But, where’s the love gentlemen….where’s the love?
As the wife of a flyfisherman, I oftentimes can be found wandering the aisles at a fly shop. I stare at crazy flies made up of furry fun colors that sparkle and wiggle. I usually check out the small book collection and maybe the new coffee mugs. And, sometimes, if I’m really lucky, there might be one rack toward the back of the store that has some awesome Simms wear for women. Or, on a really good day….there may be a sale rack lingering close by. But, after five minutes, I’m bored and ready to go.
Here’s a note to the fly shop owners of the world – WOMEN LOVE TO SHOP! Draw us in with fashionable, warm clothing from Patagonia or Columbia. A little pink here and there never killed anyone, and most of the female population is drawn to this color on some level. If you get us in the door, and give us a few items to look at, my bet is that we may come back again, on our own, with our husband’s Christmas/birthday list in hand…and then like the salesperson at Victoria’s Secret, you can happily assist us in making a large purchase for the fisherman in our lives that will make us their hero!