In 2011 business partners Travis Bauer and Josh Turpin decided to turn their hobby into a career. A decade later, their business is thriving at a time when many are hanging on by a thread. What began as a hobby most people associate with old men and geeks has become a booming business.
Travis, affectionately known as “Scrap Iron” in the world of treasure hunting has always had an obsession with finding treasure. He purchased his first metal detector in 2009 and began punching holes in the ground. Josh, a serial entrepreneur, started by following Travis around – watching him unearth valuable treasure and interesting relics. “I thought, wow, the earth is literally scattered with really cool valuables. I want to get my share!” says Turpin, who goes by the handle “Turp”. Josh soon followed Travis’ lead and purchased an inexpensive metal detector and from then on the duo immersed themselves into metal detecting, gold prospecting, and rockhounding.
It wasn’t long until both of the men outgrew their equipment. Seeing a gap in the Kansas City market for a store to purchase gear, the two, already business partners in other endeavors, decided it was time to make a splash into the treasure hunting outfitters market. Already having knowledge in the ecommerce world, they launched their website HighPlainsProspectors.com and the rest is history. They started a YouTube channel to record their ventures and now have over 16,000 subscribers and over 5 million view for their 100 plus videos. They started off selling only Garrett Metal Detectors but now offer a full line of all the top name metal detectors and a wide variety of gold prospecting and rockhounding supplies. They took the business from a hobby to one of the top brands in the treasure hunting supply world selling equipment around the world.
The recent Covid pandemic, has shuttered many businesses, but only added fuel to the fire for High Plains. The hobby of metal detecting and gold prospecting allow the participants to get outside to get fresh air and exercise but also provides an exciting way to social distance. The company has seen a boom in business since the beginning of 2020. More people have taken on treasure hunting than ever before and the company intends on continuing their expansion efforts to offer their customers even more of the best treasure hunting equipment money can buy.
As 2021 goes along, Travis and Josh are looking to expand their 5,000 square foot showroom and warehouse into a space that will allow them to continue to gain market share in the niche of highly competitive market of treasure hunting outfitters. They have doubled down with large investments in IT development and marketing and are preparing to give the big names a run for their money. Regardless the future of the industry, the two plan to be a big part of it as they blaze forward.