Fred Bohm, the founder of Sage and Braker Mercantile, was kind enough to answer our questions about his new up and coming company.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Fred Bohm, the owner and founder of Sage and Braker Mercantile, about his company and what the future holds for it.
In case you've never heard of them, Sage and Braker Mercantile manufactures high quality bore snakes and a new line of revolutionary CLP (Clean, Lubricate, Protect) to help shooters and hunters take better care of their firearms.
They are also strong supporters of gun rights, conservation, hunting, and the American system of public land and are not afraid to put their money where their mouths are on those subjects.
Read on to learn more about the company and what the future holds for it.
What is the mission of Sage and Braker?
Quite simply, we are here to provide the absolute best equipment your money can by. The focus on our current products is to keep your firearms in the best shape possible. Our product line will be moving beyond firearm maintenance in the near future. Hunting dogs are near and dear to my heart, the company was named after my two pups (photo below) after all, and keeping them healthy and happy in the field has become a passion.
Why did you found Sage and Braker?
Find the why in life and you find your happiness. So, you'll find the company's war cry available for all the public to see. I have it on the "About Us" page of our website. Complete honesty and complete transparency. I've been told that telling everyone your plans might come back to bite you in the rear. That people don't care why you're doing something, just the end result. I beg to differ. Everything is in the why. If I didn't have this strong why, I would let my ethics waiver and just make this a company solely about profit. It's bigger then me as all good companies should be. So here is the war cry:
"I have to admit, I didn't start this company with the purest of thoughts. I started it to escape an industry that I really didn't like, to spend more time in the outdoors and of course with my family.
But as often happens, when you pour your heart into something it starts to take over. It starts to create a life of it's own. It gives you opportunities that you never thought were possible. Make a living for my family? That's cool. But to have an opportunity to help preserve the lands that I love so much? Never. How could that be possible. That's for the big guys, the Patagonias of the world, not the small Sage & Brakers out there.
But I said the hell with it. Even if it was a couple of hundred dollars a year to a good cause, I had to at least try. After all, it has to be more than just about me. I'm on this earth for a short time, but maybe the good my company could do would outlive me. Affect more people than just myself. Meh, who knows?
Then not more than half a year later it was solidified. The only thing that has made me weep in the last 15 years came into this earth as a beautiful baby boy: Atlas. And like my father before me, I now bear a tremendous responsibility. I am here to point him in the right direction, to show him the values that I hold so dear. And I realize that I have to SHOW him these values, not tell him about them. I don't remember a lick of advice my father gave me, but I remembered what he showed me by his example. That is what formed the man I am today, and Atlas's moral fiber will be learned the same way, by example, not by well meant advice.
The way I run my company will be the way my son will learn his work ethic and how to treat other people, whether I like it or not."
So I have a responsibility. To him, to the community I love and towards keeping our public lands in their most raw form around for his generation and the ones to follow. To give him the same opportunity to sit in the middle of nature and just listen. Not to the busy streets, to the beeps and chirps of a cell phone and not to the news on the television blaring the destruction of mankind. To search his soul the same way I continually search mine.
Just a company right? Just a way to pay the bills?
I did that before and it stole a part of my soul from me. A mistake. A costly one, but one that has set my path straight.
So what does this have to do with you?
Everything. You are the foundation of this company and without you guys there is no reason to have it.
This is what it means for you:
- I'm a hunter, a firearms enthusiast and the people who are the same are my brethren. So first and foremost I am here to create the highest quality hunting and shooting supplies. This means that no matter the cost, I want you to be happy with my products. Don't like it for any reason? Tell me and I promise to find a way to make it better.
- We're going to give back together. 1% of our sales will go back to help preserve our wild lands.
- We're working on bringing the production of all Sage and Braker products to the USA. It's been a long road and it will take some time, but I want this company to support the people who are out hunting the mountains with me.
- Transparency. I want you to know how we're doing together, this little relationship of ours. I want to let you know where your 1% is going. I will keep you up to date as we move our bore cleaning kit operation back to our soils. I am here because of you so to be honest, there really is nothing to hide.
A small company, yes. A small impact, perhaps at first. But I'm not a fella that likes to back down and I'm pretty sure you're not either. We can do this together. I encourage each and every one of you to reach out to me and I promise to listen.
Can you please briefly describe the products you currently offer?
Bore cleaning kits that can be broken down for easy cleaning (author's note: I've used them myself and Sage and Braker bore snakes are a clear cut above traditional bore snakes. Check out this article to learn all about them).
We also produce a CLP that is bar none best in the market. It's biodegradable, made in the USA, and smells great, but it also really stands out from the rest of the crowd because it is just a better CLP.
Cleaning: it gets down to a porous level. So much so that when I was doing demonstration videos of this stuff, I would tear down the gun and clean it before hand so it was clean for the video. I would reapply some of the CLP for the lubricating aspect and when I went to shoot the video, even before applying more of our CLP the rag I used would get dirty when touching the gun. While it say overnight it was still pulling carbon out of the pores. It was ridiculous! I cleaned an old Remington .22 lever action that my grandfather had given me (which he cleaned religiously with Hoppes #9) and it literally looked like mud was pouring out of the thing!
Lube: Where our CLP really stands out from the rest is that it has an anti-static property that is specifically designed not to attract sand and dust like other lubricants, making it great for use in dusty environments.
Protect: Our CLP helps with carbon, contamination and powder management - increasing rounds fired per cleaning cycle. It increases component durability and creates longer weapon life cycles and improved bore efficiency by helping with heat dissipation and friction reduction on moving parts or actually anything that is coated with the CLP. It also significantly helps prevent carbon, copper and other contaminants from adhering to the firearms surface with it's anti-static properties.
Do you have any new products or developments in the future that you would like to tell us about?
This is a big one for me. As you read earlier, I talked about earlier the plan is to bring the company completely to the USA. Our CLP is made here and I'm in the works of finishing out a new bore cleaning kit design that will be manufactured from top to bottom right here in the good ol' US of A. I started overseas because that was the way I could test the market to see if there was room for another product like this. Well there was, my customers spoke and I listened. I want to help provide jobs to the very same people that wander the mountains aimlessly chasing animals, just like me.
Currently we donate 1% of shotgun bore cleaning sales to Pheasants Forever. It's nice to be able to cut a check every quarter to those folks over there maintaining and increasing our hunting lands. Our donations will be expanded throughout all of our product line, I am in the process of talking with some non-profits that have the same vision for our hunting lands as I do.
As for more products? You betcha. A few more in the gun cleaning line, but we will be expanding into the upland dog arena soon. I am currently adjusting some prototypes that Sage and Braker (my hunting dogs) have been testing for me. Have you ever found a dog boot that hasn't fallen off? No? Well you will here in a little bit.
I really enjoyed talking to Fred about Sage and Braker and I sincerely appreciate him taking the time to talk to me about the roots of the company as well as what they are doing to support conservation.