Written by Shawndra Russell | Photos by Evan Anderson
In Swain County Opposites Attract in a Leadership Team That’s Expanded Bryson City Outdoors to Three Locations in Five Years
The term “serial entrepreneurs” seems like an understatement when it comes to Ben King and Brett Hackshaw of the growing Bryson City Outdoors (BCO) empire. These co-owners, collaborators, and friends— “Brett is my first marriage,” Ben quips — are savvy businessmen who have opened a new location almost every year since 2013, when Ben first founded a rental company out of his home in Bryson City. Brett became a co-owner in 2015, the same year the company moved to its original brick-and-mortar location.
“We vowed to add some new element to our business every year since we teamed up, and so far, it’s mostly been locations,” Ben says. “One year it was shoes,” Brett adds with a wry smile. “Shoes are kind of a nightmare.”
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