Calling all gym rats, fitness freaks, and yogis! How do you carry your gear around? Do you have a nasty old duffle that smells worse than a high school locker room? Have you been considering upgrading your workout steez for the new year?
If you have, start (and end) your search with Fitmark, a badass startup that creates awesome bags for fitness enthusiasts. I caught up with founder and CEO Mark Samuel to talk Fitmark Bags, starting up, and why customer service is key when you’re first getting going.
So, tell me, what exactly does Fitmark do?
At Fitmark, we create high-quality, functional bags for all types of fitness enthusiasts. It’s our passion and our sole purpose. We don’t make shoes or shirts. We don’t sell hats or supplements. We craft bags that seamlessly integrate form and function to reflect the lifestyle and passions of people who enjoy all types of sports and fitness activities.
And who’s your ideal customer?
Every fitness and sports enthusiast around the world.
What makes Fitmark Bags better than the competition?
We don’t really look at anyone as competition. In fact, some of the brands that people would think we compete with, are brands we admire. We just know what we represent at Fitmark, and we aim to achieve our mission: put our high quality, functional bags in the hands of every fitness enthusiast around the world.
Let’s talk about feedback, an essential element to any startup success. How do you integrate customer feedback into how you create your products?
For instance, we just launched the Playing Field, which allows our customers to green light early stage bag designs that we’ve put up on our site for them to review. If enough people pre-order a specific bag design, of which they get a discount up to 50%, we’ll finalize the design and start shipping in about 90 days. We’ll bring all kinds of design ideas to the table, for our wide range of sports and fitness enthusiast customers.
What’s your best fundraising or bootstrapping tip for startups?
The best advice I could give with regards to fundraising is to raise more money than you actually think you need, because you will probably need it. Most startups don’t account for absolutely every financial aspect of the business that they’ll need money for.
And, if you know money will be needed in the second phase or any future part of the business, raise it early, don’t wait until you “need it.”
Any other advice for entrepreneurs?
Work harder than anyone else in your space. How can you quantify that, or know? You just know. Don’t ever be idle.
Where can our readers find you?