GASP and Better Bodies has set out on a mission to transform the world. This is something that would not be possible without our partners worldwide. Their dedicated effort day in and day out to grow not only their business but the brand has enabled us to take the brands to the next level together.
Recently we had the opportunity to sit down and speak with Debbie Judy and Will Hale the owners of Elite1FitGear (www.elite1fitgear.com) one of our top partners in the US. They are an online retailer of both GASP and Better Bodies apparel and training accessories.
They have a pretty interesting story in part because when they first approached us shortly after opening their online retail company they were turned down because their business did not fit what we were looking for at the time. Instead of moving on and looking for other brands they were committed to becoming one of our partners and made the decision to re-brand themselves and go back to the drawing board to build up their business again. “That was the best decision we ever made”, according to Debbie and Will.
Please describe your business in your words.
We are an online retailer of Gasp and Better Bodies apparel and training gear. We are extremely proud to be part of the GASP/BB family. They are the heart of our business.
How did you first come in contact with our brands?
We had been fans of the Better Bodies brand for a few years after we started our own online retail company. We finally decided to approach the brand to see if we could carry their product in our store. We were initially denied based on the fact our business model did not meet the high standards of Better Bodies and GASP. We made the decision to re-brand ourselves, starting from the ground up, so we could carry the brands and represent the company in the way they required. That was the best decision we ever made.
What do you believe makes you/your business successful?
We believe a lot of hard work, perseverance, dedication, a touch of humor, and a very active social media presence. We also attend local and National trade-shows, expos, and competitions in order to showcase the products.
What do you see are your strengths when it comes to your business?
Our willingness to not only work hard, but to reinvest in the business every chance we get. Even if that means we go without personal compensation, our philosophy is, when the business grows, we grow.
What have been some of the biggest challenges and how have you overcome them?
Our two biggest challenges are 1) Making ourselves stand out from the competition and 2) Positioning ourselves to be found online. In order to stand out from the competition, we try to do the simple things that many companies neglect, like great customer service, and having fun with our customers. Being found online takes a relentless concerted marketing effort every day, even on days when things are going great and you don’t think you need to do any work that day.
Tell us about your business; where did it start, where is it today, where do you see it in the future?
We started our partnership with the goal of being the number 1 retailer in the US. While that may never happen (thanks to Bodybuilding.com), we have be blessed enough to have had two account managers who saw our vision and tried to help us get there, Younes and Erik. These two have played a huge part in our past and current successes. While Younes is no longer with the company, our relationship with Erik has remained strong. He always has great suggestions on things to help promote the business, and works hard to give us support to continue to grow. We have always been made to feel like we were not just a retailer, but we were part of a family, and our success is their success. We look forward to continuing to work with Better Bodies and GASP to grow our business and brand bigger than we had even imagined.
What would be your advice to those looking to start (or just starting out) their own business?
Be prepared to work hard. Be willing to invest and re-invest in your business. Be patient. Be persistent. And most of all, take a moment each day for a laugh.
Do you want to find out more about Elite1FitGear, you can find them @elite1fitgear.
Debbie (center) showing her staff how to set up the booth at a recent expo.
Will keeping an eye out on the crowd.