Forty Under 40: Ryan Hodson
Ryan Hodson, 27, sacrificed his time outdoors when he helped open Ripple Outfitters Inc. in Fayetteville. The hunting, fishing and travel store occupies 45-65 hours of Hodson’s average week and produces annual sales of about $1 million.
Although Hodson has less time to enjoy the outdoors, he said running the business gives him the thrill of sport fishing.
In the company, Hodson primarily directs the Internet division and Ripple Outfitters’ travel business, which recently booked 55 doctors for a business-and-pleasure trip to the White River.
Hodson said he coordinates about 40 trips per year – usually for groups of two to eight – to more than 100 hunting and fishing destinations around the world.
However, it is the store’s Internet presence that keeps Hodson busy these days. Launching an e-commerce site, www.rippleoutfitters.com, took up about 75 percent of Hodson’s days. The Web site offers about 25 percent of the store’s merchandise, but Hodson wants to increase that to 100 percent by this fall.
Within 4-5 years, Hodson said, the Internet project could generate more revenue than the actual store.
Aside from his Ripple Outfitters duties, Hodson also has helped start HSG Partners. The fledgling company creates businesses to fill holes in the outdoor equipment market. Three unnamed ventures are in the works now, Hodson said.