Seizing Opportunity at TravisMathew

I came to TravisMathew by chance—and given all that’s happened since, I can hardly believe my luck.

Written by:
Jess Turner
Director of Product

I came to TravisMathew by chance—and given all that’s happened since, I can hardly believe my luck. After I finished graduate school, I started applying for positions at various companies when a neighbor of mine connected me to Ryan Ellis, now our CEO. He asked me what I wanted to do, and I was really candid—I told him I didn’t know. But TravisMathew was growing, and I think Ryan saw I’d work hard no matter the role. So he created one for me. I took the sales coordinator position because I loved the product, the working environment was great, and I knew there was potential for incredible growth opportunities. And that definitely proved to be true. 

Of course, we’re not the company we were 10 years ago. When I started, we were very small, which meant I worked on a lot of projects outside my job description. But that was exciting: We were all one team striving for the same goal of making incredible products and putting the customer first. Our goals have grown with the company but that mentality has remained the same. And all along the way, I’ve been so inspired by the people I work with. They motivate me to work harder, be better, and learn. I think we make incredible products, and we have the best fabrics and best design. For me, it’s not just a job. As corny as it might sound, I really believe in what we’re doing.

After seven years in sales, the department grew exponentially: It went from only two people to 12, and I was overseeing the entire national accounts business. I loved sales and being a part of this amazing growth—but what had always drawn me in was the product itself. I wanted to know more about how we actually made what I was selling. It seemed like the most fascinating part of what we do here.

Moving from Sales into Product

As we slowly built out an internal merchandising department, I would tell Ryan during our development conversations that I wanted to work with the product more. I was energized, enthusiastic, and passionate about our line of offerings. All I wanted to do was talk about fabrics and how the product was made and designed. Then I got the opportunity I’d been waiting for—I moved to the Product team, and I finally got the chance to work directly with my passion. About a year later, I was promoted to Director of Product. 

In this role, I work closely with Ben Donnelly, our Vice President of Product, and Rachel Hoffman, our Associate Product Line Manager. The three of us essentially build the line. We have meetings every day where we review and approve products. We also handle all of the strategy for new product development. For example, we focus on the goal of a particular piece. We brainstorm what the goal is of each piece in the line, channels we’re going to sell it in, and how long we’ll sell it there. We also work with our Marketing team to build out a plan to effectively communicate the product to the end consumer, so that we’re telling the full story of what we’re selling.

Seizing Opportunities of All Kinds

The story of TravisMathew is clearly resonating, because our business has grown rapidly over the last couple years. There’s so much opportunity ahead, too: There are product categories we haven’t created yet and territories we haven’t fully explored. It feels like we’re at the beginning of being a huge brand. So we’re hiring for a lot of different positions and creating new roles to maintain the operational side of the organization while still maintaining the core of who we are. 

At the same time, our rapid growth is also a big challenge. We have to take people who’ve been here since the beginning and are used to operating with a small-business mentality to the next level. We all have to be open to change and evolution. For me and my team, that means building products that push the brand forward—and that bring the customer with us. We’re doing more market research, expanding the channels we operate in. I’m also taking seasonal design research trips and visiting our production facilities in Peru. Because we’re getting so big, we have this great opportunity to be more specific with how we make products for different customers in mind—whether it’s golf, lifestyle, or women’s. 

Of course, over the time I’ve been here, my life outside TravisMathew has changed, too. When I started, I was young, fresh out of college. Now I’m married and I have three kids. The constant has been the support I’ve received from the team, and the opportunities I’ve been given. And I’m excited for whatever the next opportunity may be. 

We’re throwing a party, and you’re invited!

Bring your ambition and energy to a hugely successful brand as we hit our stride.