Last fall, around the same time the high-quality, hardbound, 320-page Best Of St. Pete coffee table book showcasing life in St. Petersburg, Fla., came out featuring the company he founded with Todd Werner more than a decade ago, Statement Marine’s Nick Buis was in the midst of acquiring a different business. One that had nothing to do with go-fast boats, well not yet at least.
The business—the locally based and cleverly named Offshore Whoar—is an online fashion product provider focusing on the aquatic lifestyle with a goal to provide complete customer satisfaction. Its products rage from nautical-themed board shorts and a wide variety of stylish bikinis to diving rash guards and hoodies labeled Offshore Whoar Fishing Team and Offshore Whoar Spearfishing Team.
Buis’ boat business has obviously done many company-branded apparel products over the years, but that’s been primarily for Statement employees to wear at events and shows or for its customers to represent the brand on and off the water. A broader-ranging brand such as Offshore Whoar, which specializes in high-quality products that are comfortable, fashionable and fun, is a much different animal.
While he admits he doesn’t know a lot about the apparel business, Buis loves the concept of the brand and the opportunities it presents across all avenues of the marine industry. He especially thinks performance boat enthusiasts are going to embrace the brand once he starts getting it out there. He said he has no intentions of changing the focus of Offshore Whoar, just making a bigger “statement” with it.
Between the end-of-the-year blitz of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show and the Key West Poker Run, plus the barrage of holiday festivities, Buis said he’s just now starting to put some energy into growing the product line and customer base.
“The Offshore Whoar name and brand has a strong presence in the fishing and diving community, which definitely fits this area, and we think we can expand it by branching out to the performance boat community and beyond,” Buis said. “The logo is cool and the products that are currently for sale online are great. But there’s way more we can do. We’ve already started a bigger push online and on social media. We’re also going to start hitting some of the local shows with the gear and of course represent at poker runs and other events.”
Buis added that his wife, Priscilla, is very involved with Offshore Whoar, and that while internet-based business is not their “normal thing,” they’re looking forward to learning more about it.
Rest assured, Buis isn’t going to let Offshore Whoar get in the way of his responsibilities at Statement. If anything, he thinks the experience with the apparel business could help him in terms of understanding ecommerce and presumably bringing improved Statement gear to the masses.
Buis said Statment, along with its longtime dealer Randy Sweers of FB Marine Group, are going to have two performance center consoles in the water at the Miami International Boat Show next month (Feb. 13-17). He also said Statement plans to announce a couple of new projects sometime in the spring.
This feature on Statement Marine was part of the latest Best of St. Pete book.