Lakewood Products was started up in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. “We are in the sewing business; my actual company is Midwest Textile. We used to do work for Lakewood at least 20 years ago, and that’s how we got to know the Lakewood line,” said Steve Wagnitz, owner of Lakewood Products.
Lakewood was sold off a couple of times to different owners over the years, which caused a parting of the ways between Midwest and Lakewood. “We bought a different company, Metroline, which made dart cases. The technology, the materials were the same. In fact, we bought it from one of the owners of Lakewood about 10 years ago,” recalled Steve. He continued, “Then about six or seven years ago, the owner of Lakewood approached me and asked if I would be interested in purchasing Lakewood, and I said, ‘Certainly!’ That’s what got us started back with Lakewood again.”
Since purchasing Lakewood, a number of internal changes have been made to make it more of an international company instead of simply a strong regional company. At the time, Lakewood’s main focus was Musky lure cases. Although they had been making bow cases for 20 years, it wasn’t a strong focus. “I’m an archer and saw the need for a better bow case. That’s what really started the Bowfile, a drop-in bow case, and changed Lakewood’s focus,” Steve announced. He went on to say, “The Bowfile addressed some of the problems my friends and I saw. For example, having to remove your quiver from the bow to put it in the case and then store the arrows somewhere. Of course, back then it was aluminum arrows, so there was a huge concern of them getting bent.”
Manufacturing of Lakewood cases is still performed in Wisconsin. “We could outsource the production to a foreign company, but by keeping it here we can make changes on the fly. Mathews came out with the Z7, and this year the Z7 Xtreme, which is taller yet, so we have responded by coming out with the Tall Series Bowfile,” stated Steve. Another benefit of producing everything domestically is Lakewood’s ability to customize each order with the embroidered logo of a particular store or an individual’s name.
Although Lakewood’s cases have been primarily sold in black, it does offer a variety of other patterns. “Pink camo has recently started to move. It’s been in the line for a couple of years, but I made the mistake of not advertising it. Recently, we put it up on the Web site, and the response has been very favorable. The main point is our ability to spot current trends and almost instantly respond to them,” Steve proclaimed.
It seems everyone who hunts also wants to capture the hunt on film. Lakewood has responded with the Field Camera Case. “The camera cases were a huge hit at the ATA Show this year,” said Wagnitz. “In fact, Camo Cameras came over and insisted on seeing them, stating that a dozen people had come over and told them they had to buy this case.”
(800) 872-8458; lakewoodproducts.com