Southern Trapper began when Dane grew up hunting & fishing his Grandpa "Pa" in the great plaines. Hunting traditions were quickly passed along to Dane and he grew to love all aspects of the outdoors. Having been taught to respect the land and animals, Dane always made the most of what Mother Earth blessed him with. He eventually learned you could hunt & fish year round the South, and decided to move to Charleston, SC to be closer to the dream he had as a child, to spend all his time outdoors.
In 2013, Dane began mentoring a troubled seven-year-old elementary school student, who came from a very impoverished community in North Charleston, South Carolina. The first three weeks of mentoring passed without the student saying a single word.
"Early on, I think he assumed that I - like every other adult male in his life up until that point - would judge him, and then exit his life as quickly as I entered it."
While riding bikes one afternoon, they stopped at a corner store to buy a bottle of water. Dane noticed that his mentee was admiring the wallet that Dane had originally made for a friend. At that moment, Dane realized he had the perfect project to help teach his mentee a skill he could use later on in life.
Southern Trapper started because Dane wanted to make a wallet with his mentee, that would never tatter or fall apart. It quickly turned into a company when the student said he wanted to make a second wallet to sell to a friend. Since Dane had all the raw materials, he let him keep all the money he made, and just like that, Dane's mentee became an eight year old entrepreneur.
"If I could somehow show him that if he worked hard towards achieving a goal, he would be filled with genuine happiness, and hopefully that feeling of self-worth would become contagious and he could continue to work towards something even greater."
Fast forward to today- Dane is still his mentor, and has opened a 529 College Savings Account in his student's name, so that a portion of the company's profits go towards his college tuition.
"It is important to me that I continue to make a positive difference in his life, and starting a college tuition plan is just the beginning."
— Dane Bligh, President