I grew up in the country between Chester and Rock Hill, South Carolina. My dad worked in a textile plant, and my mom was a nurse. As a kid, everything we did was outdoors — from making BMX bikes with my brother and building our own off-road track to fishing in every hole big enough to hold a minnow. We carried BB guns, camped all over the woods, and terrorized each other with daredevil go-cart races.
In high school, I got into hot rods. We obsessed over Cragar wheels, Holley 4-barrels, and Hooker headers. It was the era of V8s, T-tops, speeding tickets, and ZZ Top — not necessarily in that order. It was during this time that I was first introduced to hunting by my buddy Charlie. We started with squirrels, and over time that evolved into deer, duck, and turkey hunting. If I wasn’t working, I was hunting or fishing.
My Roots - Screen Printing
At 19, I went to work for a local screen printer and discovered that I liked the ability to create art and turn that into a finished product. So after a couple of years, I started my own screen-printing business. In 1994, I married my sweetheart, Cindy. So there I was, a new business owner and newly married man, and I needed to pay some bills. Being located about an hour south of Charlotte, NC, the home of almost everything NASCAR, we began to produce T-shirts and headwear for many NASCAR teams, including those of Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett, Bill Elliott, Ernie Irvan, Kyle Petty, Richard Petty, John Andretti, Rick Mast, and the late Adam Petty. From 1996 through 2003, I spent 38 weeks a year at a racetrack selling official driver souvenirs. I would leave home on Thursday, and get back late Sunday night/Monday morning. I would dive back into production Monday through midday Thursday, then head to the airport to do it all over again. I loved cars and racing, and it made it easy to have a business that made racing souvenirs. We had 55 employees, from creative and screen printing to trackside sales, and life was good.
Finding a Passion for Hunting
It was during my NASCAR days that I was introduced to what has become my top hunting passion — green timber duck hunting in Arkansas. We hunted public ground, and it was crazy competitive. It was here I learned about Olt Cut Down calls, Benelli rampers, boat races, and black Labs. There is not much that compares to greenheads helicoptering down through green timber. When not duck hunting, I was deer hunting or working with my black Lab, Maggie.
In the early 2000s, NASCAR saw big changes, including the deaths of its greatest champion and two up-and-coming drivers. The landscape changed, and so had mine. My son Jake was born in 2000, and then Sam in 2003. I had missed the first two years of Jake’s life, so in 2003, I had the opportunity to walk away — and I did.
In 2004, I went back to my roots — screen printing. We grew our business and quietly built a mid-sized print shop. The best part was that now I had the time to introduce my sons to hunting, fishing, camping, and the outdoors. I taught them everything I knew from the duck blind to the deer stand to the dog kennel. Soon, my love of the outdoors became theirs. As they grew up, they both became outstanding outdoorsmen and competitive shooters.
The Creation of Heybo
In early 2011, I decided to tie my outdoor passion and screen-printing craft together. I felt like the outdoor-lifestyle space was missing a brand that really understood and celebrated the “doer” — a line of apparel and gear that proudly says we hang our own tree stands, plant our own plots and fill our own feeders, and that leather seats are for wet labs. I wanted to create something that was less about status and more about helping people enjoy and celebrate their outdoor lifestyle.
We agonized over a name for months, writing down thousands of possibilities. Then one day, my buddy Boo and I were offshore fishing. It was scorching hot, the bite was slow, and we were still talking about names. I remember looking at him and saying “Hey bo, if we don’t come up with a name soon, I am going to have to drop this whole idea.” Boo looked at me and said, “I think you just found your name.” So, that’s where the name “Heybo” comes from.
I came back to the shop and designed a T-shirt to sell at the South Carolina Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic, which was only a few days away. We took 100 Heybo T-shirts with us, and we sold out on the first day. My wife, two sons and I drove back to the shop an hour away and printed 100 more at midnight Friday night to be back at the show by 8 a.m. Saturday. We sold all of those, too. Saturday night found us back in the print shop robbing blank shirts from customers’ orders to print T-shirts to sell Sunday. We knew we had struck a chord, and we were off to the races.
That first year, our entire family would leave the house at 5 p.m. on Thursday afternoon and travel to deer shows and expos all over the Southeast to sell our T-shirts Friday through Sunday. We drove all night on Sunday to get the boys back to school on Monday. We did 17 shows that first year.
Heybo in Retail Shops
After two years of shows, a retailer approached us about selling our shirts in his store, and that year we opened our first retail account. People loved wearing our graphic T-shirts that celebrated their outdoor lifestyle, whether it was dogs, ducks, or deer. Soon, they began to ask us to make shirts they could wear fishing or hunting and even to work. So we slowly started adding performance fishing shirts, button-downs, shorts, hats, and a few camouflage pieces. Having a background in design and sourcing, I enjoyed the design process and using my knowledge and experience to design and make clothing and gear that help our customers live their best outdoor life.
A Family Business
In 2019, my oldest son, joined the company. He manages our social media accounts, develops content for various platforms, and works with our pro and field staff. Of course, he also helps to field test our gear.
While it hasn’t been easy to get here, we have been blessed with great customers who love our brand and what we do. They have helped spread the word, and today you can find us in over 300 retailers across the country — and the number continues to grow. As an outdoors-obsessed, family-owned company, our mission is to help our customers live their best outdoor lives by making affordable, versatile, high-quality apparel and gear that performs in the field, at work, and at play.
What we do really connects with people who love the outdoors, and we consider all of our customers to be part of our Heybo family. We hope you will join us, too.
Scott Clyburn - Founder