Editor’s Note: Mossy Oak camouflage was the brain child of Toxey Haas of West Point, Mississippi, 28-years ago. In the beginning, Mossy Oak was a start-up company with one pattern, Bottomland, but has grown into a multifaceted family of companies under the Mossy Oak brand. Why has Mossy Oak continued to grow? Why are thousands of outdoor enthusiasts joining the Mossy Oak brand? What’s in the future for Mossy Oak? To get the answers to these questions, we went to the source and the founder - Toxey Haas.
Question: Toxey, all the employees at Mossy Oak talk about the Mossy Oak Family. In most companies and corporations, when the employees talk about “the family,” they're only defining the family as the employees of that company or cooperation. How do you define the Mossy Oak Family? What is the philosophy behind using the term, the Mossy Oak Family?
Haas: When defining groups of people, the English language assigns labels to people who have similar philosophies - conservatives, liberals, hunters, fishermen, birders and bikers. These labels convey a message of what these people have in common. The Mossy Oak Family is made up of individuals who are aware of people and things around them. They’re more concerned with other people, the land, the wildlife and everything that’s country and wild than they are with other things. The Mossy Oak Family is also made up of people who are aware of the fact that their time is the most-valuable resource they have. They're also aware that the giving philosophy is much more enduring and rewarding than the getting philosophy. People in the Mossy Oak family have the servant spirit. They want to protect, preserve and perpetuate the land and the wildlife that lives there. They also have deep roots and traditional values. People who associate themselves with the Mossy Oak Family want to try to get the most out of life. They want the best relationships with their families, and they want to get the most out of their work and their recreation. The Mossy Oak Family wants to get the most out of every moment, even if they have to do things they don’t want to do. And, they try to bring joy to each activity. The Mossy Oak Family does the most they can do every moment in every day for themselves, their families, their employers and all the people with whom they work and recreate.
The leadership at Mossy Oak knows where the company is going - particularly where the family is going to prepare for the next generation to take over the leadership of the Mossy Oak Family. That’s why Mossy Oak has been such a successful company - it’s built on the philosophy that we all teach and help each other. The Mossy Oak family has listened to, talked with and learned from all the people we serve. We've all taught each other different things. This system of learning - trying to develop wisdom and passing on what we've learned - extends out to the individual who buys one product with a Mossy Oak label on it and to all the leaders of Mossy Oak. Many of the individuals who are in leadership positions at Mossy Oak have been with the company for 28 years – from the very beginning. We have quite a few employees who have been with the company 15 years or more, but the Mossy Oak Family extends far past that. We have hunters in the family who bought the first batch of Mossy Oak Bottomland that we produced and still are wearing Mossy Oak today. Their children and their grandchildren also are wearing Mossy Oak. The Mossy Oak brand belongs to everyone. The Mossy Oak Family is inclusive of anyone who wants to join it and live the outdoor lifestyle. We believe that our employees should have great family lives as well as be a part of Mossy Oak, and we hope that everyone who wears the Mossy Oak brand remembers to spend time with their families. The Mossy Oak Family wants everyone to live a full and happy life, enjoying the outdoors as much as possible. That’s what Mossy Oak is to me - our company, our employees and the people who wear the Mossy Oak brand.