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Absolute Fitness Apparel
Anthony started Absolute Fitness Apparel in 2017. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: 
Q: How did you get started on Absolute Fitness Apparel?
I was heavily influenced by the fitness influencer Christian Guzman, who at the time had just started his own fitness-fashion brand Alphalete, and was providing a lot of insight into launching an running the brand in his vlogs. This sparked a fire in me and I became really interested in this area.
I didn’t have any experience within business, or fashion at the time of launching AFA. It was all pretty much trial and error. I always had a passion for both fitness and fashion. I was heavily involved in sports such as Karate and Kickboxing from a young age and decided to join a gym when I was around 15 years old.
Fitness and sport turned from a passion and hobby to a big part of my life. It gave me confidence, allowed me to focus on a particular task and gave me a sense of purpose which is something business has offered me as well.
I planned the first launch for about 6-8 months. I made a list of what needed to be done to build a successful brand and launch a line. The list never ended, it consisted of small tasks such as finalizing detailing on hang tags on the items all the way to building my entire website.
Sourcing suppliers became a painful process, as I had no idea where to start. After building social media platforms for my brand I began to realize that suppliers would come to me and I got around 2-3 suppliers to create some samples and picked the best one, then ran with that.
I did, and still do work full-time and run this business in the hours surrounding my full-time job.
Every garment goes from conception to market, but the process is a lot more difficult than most might think. When you’re designing you have this perfect picture in your head and that can sometimes be hard to convey into the information a supplier will need to piece that garment together for you. Here are some examples of initial sketches that are in the foundation of the design process.
Every garment I designed had inspiration from somewhere, but it doesn’t always have to be another piece of clothing. Sometimes colour-ways have come from the color of a car...literally. Regardless of where I started, I would always go through the same process for every item:
- Basic design- T-shirt, Hoodie, Joggers etc
- Colour-way or design on the item,
- Creating a sketch to articulate how the item will look,
- Asking myself whether the item has the three elements I want every item to consist of: Is it innovative? Practical? And is it going to provide my consumers with value for money?
- After I’ve gone through these stages we then move onto sampling with our supplier, which is where any last minute adjustments are made.
Manufacturing is a long-winded process, and sometimes can be a lot harder than it needs to be.
I sent a basic sketch to a manufacturer who then created a sample for me. We then moved into production and it was pretty fluid from there on in.
Not every garment I have sampled has been this straightforward though. As you start working with more complicated items- such as small detailing, custom zippers etc the process becomes longer as most suppliers outsource this kind of work, and that results in waiting for samples for longer periods of time. I found the best way to mitigate any issues with sampling was to be very, very specific from the beginning and to not cut corners with the design process, tech-packs and communication with the suppliers.
Due to the difficulties, I faced with manufacturing i recently decided to start my own Manufacturing Consultancy- White2Label Manufacturing, which is all about making manufacturing accessible to small businesses that operate within the fitness-fashion industry, particularly startups.
Contributors to this article:
- Pat Walls, Founder @ Starter Story
- Wiki Updater