Skip to content

UW-Eau Claire student turns a hobby into a business – WEAU

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -A UW-Eau Claire senior took his love for all things fishing and turned it into a thriving business.

Gold Standard Outdoors is a custom fishing rod business owned by Joe Swanson who is majoring in marketing and professional sales.

Swanson has been making and selling fishing rods since he was 11-years-old along with his brother Ben.

Thanks to COVID and the free time that came with it, Swanson used this time to extend his services to the community. This past winter, there was a high demand for ice fishing rods, and Gold Standard Outdoors rose to the occasion. Over the winter season, Swanson built over 65 custom rods.

“It just kind of took off. Everybody seems to be going outside in Wisconsin, especially with COVID. It opened up an opportunity for me to take advantage of a need in the area,” Swanson said.

While Swanson takes care of the hands-on business, his brother Ben handles the digital side.

Ben is in the Air Force and stationed overseas, but still manages to find time to help out with apparel and the soon-to-be launched website.

Taking it a step further, Gold Standard Outdoors obtained an LLC on April 16 making the business official.

After graduation, Swanson plans to continue his business and expand it. He is already looking to hire an employee to help with production as well as getting his goods in stores.

“We’re looking to expand into local bait shops whether that’s over in western Wisconsin where I’m from or anywhere from northern Minnesota all the way to Michigan right now. Had a couple people reach out from Canada so we’re looking forward to that,” Swanson said.

While their website is still under development, click here for their Instagram page.

Copyright 2021 WEAU. All rights reserved.