Who we are
B.A.Gear was created when a few climbers started talking about what they would do if they could build their own gear. Whether we were in the gym, sitting around a bon fire, or gathering at the local watering hole we talked, designed, and dreamed. We took those conversations and made them into products.
At the time, I was living in my Subaru Forrester and working at an upholstery shop. After I clocked out at work I would use scrap fabric and try to turn the ideas into products. Eventually I found a laundry room for rent on the west side of Bloomington, IN and set up shop. I had a mattress, a pile of clothes, a milk crate of fabric, and a sewing machine.
I lived there a few months working and making products before finding a room in a friend’s apartment on the south side of Bloomington. By this time, I had left my job at the upholstery shop and started a long string of part time jobs including: being a cobbler, becoming the go-to guy in an embroidery and screen-printing shop, working at the climbing gym teaching kids how to climb, and running a mobile rock wall at events across Indiana. The sewing shop in the living room was starting to get crowded so I built shelves and an office in my bedroom. Fold out tables, a machine, and a shelf of fabric was all I needed to start working on designing chalk products, setter’s buckets, zippered pouches, and even a wallet or two.
In 2010 B.A.Gear became a legally governed entity and started selling chalk bags wholesale in southern Indiana and Kentucky. The increased demand from our orders led us into taking over the basement of my friends apartment for $50 a month. We stayed here for a few years focusing on chalk bags and filling orders to the growing Hoosier Heights gyms, Quest Outdoors in Louisville, KY, and Miguel's in the Red River Gorge as well as a few other shops in the area.
In 2012 I moved to the eastern most side of Bloomington to a house on two acres with a 20’x20’ garage. We have been producing and playing here ever since. Around that same time I started spending time with a wonderful young lady who would later become my wife. We spent most of our waking hours together having fun exploring, climbing and working on B.A.Gear. We got married in Smithfield, Ky in late 2015, and a year later we had our first child.
My wife Lizzie, our son Sam, and I live in Bloomington, Indiana and run B.A.Gear. This is a company started over 8 years ago with a sewing machine, a milk crate of fabric, and less than $300. We are a truly home-grown company reaching out to family and friends when we need help with one aspect of the business or another and always trying to spread our love of climbing and the outdoors by sponsoring nearly every competition, event, or fundraiser that comes our way. We are excited to be in a new stage in life as parents and as business owners focused on growth and nurturing. We are proud of where come from and look forward to the future.