Written by: Conor Hogan
Here at TheCageDoor.net, we pride ourselves on spreading the word about the Houston AND Texas MMA and BJJ community. This includes the people and companies who have consistently supported our community during its rapid growth. If you’ve been to any BJJ or MMA event in the past couple of years, you’ve definitely seen (or at least heard of) DOM Fight Gear. From fight apparel to functional gear, they have been providing TX and the rest of the world with gear since 2009. Their relentless support of Texas combat sports and fighters is second to none, and we were lucky enough to get the opportunity to talk to Rocky Haire about DOM.
DOM: Domaine de la Octade, Dom for short. The name came from a Food & Wine magazine! Domaine means home– together it means “The Octagon is my Home.”. The word “Octade” was made up so it would be original, unique and legally protected. The company is incorporated as DomCorp.
TCD: Tell us a little bit about the creation of DOM. Who/When/Where etc.
DOM: Dom was created as a high end gi company by Rocky Haire (Roc), Bryan Griffin (BG), and Siegfried Ehmke (Zig) in 2009 in Denton, Texas. We saw a need for high end tees and gear– there was not one gi we felt was truly comfortable and high quality. We continue seeking better cotton and more functional gear with low prices– which isn’t easy.
We formed Dom because we always wanted to be clothing moguls. Really. Roc is a Personal Injury attorney, BG is an Oil & Gas guy, and Zig is a Marketing Specialist. In 08′ Roc took the idea to a retail expert. The guy said for me to get a Business Plan– what a pain that was. When I showed it to him he got quiet. After about an hour of trying to find a hole in it — he got out his checkbook and became our first major investor. The market was wide open for a high end, low priced company and we started our engines. BG made contact with the President of Fighters Only and the MC for ESPN Radio, and they both took us under their wing and gave us wonderful exposure. Thank you, Gary & Adam.
Then the fighters started noticing Dom and wanted to come aboard — Johnny Bedford, Kyle Watson, Jonathan Brookins, Drew Ratichek, Chris “Cleveland Assassin” Lozano, Jason “Mayhem” Miller, Jay “Straight Jacket” Mendez, Joe “jitsu” Christopher, Alex Russ, Jason Sampson, JJ Pierce and JJ Sanchez — there are so many more– I’m having to leave a lot of them out– but they wear our gear with pride and helped us move into the mainstream and we will be forever grateful to them all. Their agents are wonderful, too– helping us make it happen. I also need to mention Bellator, XKO, Strikeforce, SharkFights, NAGA, IBJJF, Fight to Win–and many more. Those guys rock and they are a big help. Huge.
TCD: How many of the DOM guys/gals train jiu jitsu?
DOM: All of the guys at Dom roll. We have to be careful not to associate with any one school because our loyalty is to the sport and we don’t want any hard feelings with the guys who have been so supportive and generous. So amazingly willing to wear our gear, live in it, sell it, constructively criticize it– they’ve been our friend and we love every single one of you. We will never forget– and a lot of you know what I’m talking about.
DOM: With regard to the marketplace– we came into this business knowing there’s a sea of TapouT wanna-bes. We don’t do skulls, tribal, sex– it’s not us. The TapouT guys actually had a hand in getting us off the ground– Extremely bright business minds. Guys who aren’t afraid of the competition.
Our stuff stands alone and is growing so fast we can barely keep up. We support our competition– and have seriously pissed some of them off. Something we secretly like. God is the reason we are where we are, and that is something we will never ever change or forget.
TCD: How do you feel about being part of rapidly growing marketplace?
DOM: Our mission from the start was this: To get traction in the market with the best quality stuff– sell millions of Gis and gear– and put a stop the bullying epidemic. It’s a huge goal and we are getting there. At this point we have some major players looking at us– Academy, JC Penney, the PX in our nations military bases, and Sports Authority. It’s more like we are looking at them– but we do have 3 deals in the works and hope we can get one put together– which will help speed our growth. Right now we have our gear in 34 schools, sell our stuff at fights all over the country and have our primary sales coming from our website, www.DOMGEAR.com.
DOM: The reason we are so supportive of the fighters and MMA and BJJ promotions is hard to say. We love the people. Sounds cheesy– but those guys are family. It’s something we didn’t see coming. We expected to have to claw our way to the top– but the people in this community embraced us and carried us and loved what we loved. We love making our stuff the absolute best and we love seeing people look a little thrown when they put our gi on– and the way they over-do it at our counter feeling our shirts. The way they play with the zippers on our bags and yank it to test its strength. It’s a rush– and I guess the fact it makes us so happy is part of why we are so successful. We replace anything that doesn’t perform 110%, no questions asked. That, I think, is a big deal, too.
TCD: Thanks for time, and best of luck in the future.
DOM: Thank you.
You can check out DOM at any of the local events that they frequent or at www.domgear.com.