Bill Jordan – About Realtree – Camo Fabric,Realtree Camo,Outdoor Camo,Jungle Camo – Shenzhen Dayton Textile Products Co., Ltd

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A stone’s throw from the back porch of the home where Realtree ® founder Bill Jordan grew up in Columbus, Georgia, Lake Oliver provided fabulous bass fishing for a young boy. Bill also often hunted dove and deer with his father, Leon, a devoted hunter who owned a small farm.

The Jordan home was the meeting place for all the neighborhood kids, and was always alive with activity. In addition to hunting, fishing and roaming the hills, Bill played football, basketball and baseball on a nearby vacant lot. That’s just what boys did in Columbus, Georgia, in the 1960s.

Bill’s mother, Kitty, who still lives in the same home where Bill grew up, remembers many times when he would get up at dawn, jump in his boat and fish until the last minute before grabbing a quick bite and heading off to school.

His classic American boyhood shaped Bill’s natural athletic skills and his love of the outdoors, and provided tremendous family support and permanence.

Bill attended Columbus High School, where he starred in track, basketball and football. Baseball was actually Bill’s best sport as a youngster, but he gave it up before entering high school, because it was difficult to play four sports at the high school level. After earning all-state honors as a receiver on the school’s winning football team, several major colleges (the Universities of Georgia, Auburn, Tennessee, and Mississippi) recruited Bill heavily in football and basketball. Bill decided on football, his best sport, and chose the University of Mississippi, primarily because of the abundance of good hunting and fishing within a short drive of campus.

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At Ole Miss, Bill played on two bowl teams and started several games despite a problematic hamstring injury that sidelined him several times throughout his college career. During those years, one of Bill’s roommates was the great quarterback Archie Manning, who remains a good friend to this day.

When Bill graduated from college in 1973, his injuries kept him from considering a career in professional football, so he came back to Columbus to settle into the family boat business with his father and his older brother, Butch.

Bass fishing tournaments were quite popular at that time. Being an avid angler who was in the boat business, Bill made a natural progression into competitive fishing. Many of his customers and friends were also fishing the tournaments, which were a popular social activity in the Chattahoochee Valley. Bill competed well at local tournaments and earned a reputation as a top bass angler. After winning several tournaments, Bill entertained the idea of fishing the newly formed Bassmaster tournament circuit. Ultimately, Bill knew he needed to stay close to home to help his father and brother.

His competitive fishing skills were put to use, however. After starting his own business, Spartan Archery Products, in 1983, Bill continued to fish the local bass circuit to make an extra $2,000 to $10,000 a year to help pay his employees. After forming Realtree ® in 1986, Bill stopped competing in fishing events.

Spartan Archery Products grew out of Bill’s desire to own his own business in the hunting or fishing markets. He began by considering the things that hunters and anglers buy every year. He decided that camouflage t-shirts were a commodity item that he could easily manufacture locally and sell nationally. Bill made inroads to several major retailers with his Spartan brand t-shirts, but the profit margins were low, making it a tough business.

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By the mid 1980s, the modern camouflage revolution was just beginning. Bill was one of the first to join the market.

He believed that overlaying a leaf pattern on a vertical bark pattern would produce a three-dimensional effect that would blend well with hardwood trees. So, using paper and colored pencils, Bill sat in his parents’ yard and sketched the bark of one of the big oak trees growing there. That tree, which still stands today, served as the inspiration for the entire Realtree line.

After a few false starts and some trying times in the late 1980s, Realtree grew quickly throughout the 1990s, becoming a household name in the hunting industry. Bill has never stopped innovating. He and his company, Jordan Outdoor Enterprises, Ltd., stay at the forefront of the latest developments in fabric design and printing in order to advise customers (licensees who pay a royalty fee to use the camo patterns) about the best ways to maintain quality and performance.

Today’s camo designs are created using sophisticated computers, digital cameras, and photo-realistic printing, and Bill continues to oversee the entire process of creating and launching each new camouflage pattern.

In the late 1980s, Bill began to realize the value of television and video for reinforcing his brand and selling his camouflage patterns. Bill became a pioneer in the hunting television and video industry, hiring David Blanton from LaGrange, Georgia, in 1991 to launch the wildly popular Monster Bucks ® video line and Bill Jordan’s Realtree Outdoors ® television show.

Bill also developed an interest in NASCAR racing in the late 1980s. He shared many hunting camps with two of the best drivers of his generation, the late Davey Allison and the late Dale Earnhardt. His association with the drivers eventually led to a friendship with Earnhardt’s car owner, Richard Childress. Today, Realtree is a secondary sponsor of the Childress number 29 car driven by Kevin Harvick.

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Bill has never forgotten his humble start with a small company in the back room of his late father’s marine dealership. Despite many setbacks along the way, Bill persisted, creating an all-American success story. His genius for promotion has brought him, and Realtree, to where they are today. Bill remains a man of the people who is as comfortable among a group of Iowa farmers as he is meeting with the president of a large corporation.

Bill’s greatest joy is his family. Bill and his wife Shannon have three children, Tyler, Graycen and Colton. Bill and Shannon participate in every aspect of their children’s development. Their oldest son, Tyler, already appears in Realtree hunting videos and on television. And Bill loves the time he and Tyler share hunting and fishing.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>