We had the good fortune of connecting with Mike Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mike, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
When building my fitness clothing brand from ground 0 in 2016, it was never about the money. It was always about the future opportunity. I had an idea and turned it into a reality with a few months of persistency and hard work. Graduating high school with the chance to play college soccer at the University of Michigan, I always had fitness on my mind. I began to form my “brand”. I started with my own self image, of who I wanted to be and what I wanted to portray to others. I knew my goal was to motivate anyone to always give 110% effort and live a healthy lifestyle. I began to see brands like Gymshark, Alphalete, Live Fit, and many more emerge on social media. I thought to myself, why not try to build a brand that mimics these, yet has more of a personal feel to them. My only two goals were to create legit fitness apparel that fits well, and build a community of amazing people. So we went to work in November of 2016, with our first run of 100 t-shirts. Fast forward from there it was nothing but success, road block, success, failure, success, road block, repeat. I remember telling myself, if I continue this path in 5-6 years we will be doing alright. We grew an ambassador team to 500+ people and grossed 6 figures our second year. 2018 came and we got hit with a cease and desist from a VERY large clothing company, Columbia sportswear. We were ordered to change the name of our business “Titanium Fitness” or they would press legal action. We were in violation of a trademark infringement that Columbia owned. I was young and unaware at the time, and we were given 2 options. Option 1 was to close the business and cry about everything that we now have lost. All of the hard work and effort, gone in the matter of a day. Or we could chose option 2, and carry on with a new name and begin to adapt and overcome. We chose option 2 and changed our name to “TITAFIT Company”. This was something so unique that no one had the rights to. Fast forward from there, we decided to open a section of our brand for wholesale…where we would sell our items with other companies logos on them. This side of the business slowly began to outweigh the actual clothing brand. At the end of 2019, we made the decision to go full manufacturing and begin the TITAFIT MFG. brand. To this date we have serviced over 150 clients and have brought in over 400K in revenue. Our goal for all of 2021 is simply, GROWTH. We want to work with more start up, professional, and advanced brands. We can take brands as small as 50pc orders, and brands with as large as 30,000pc orders. We service everything in house from custom fits and fabrics, to custom private label hem, hang, and hang tags. All of our items are based off a per quote basis, and prices range depending on qty, colors, fabrics, logos, designs, etc. My biggest advice to anyone starting a brand, is continue the path. You must adapt and overcome in order to survive. We have seen this front line in 2020 with the pandemic. We never know what will happen even a week from now. You have to always be on your toes, to change the “plan” and just make it work! Hard work will always pay off in my opinion. It may not be in a month or even a year, but down the road it will definitely pay off. Feel free to check us out at @titafitco on Instagram or our website at www.titafitco.com
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We are a fully cut & sew clothing manufacturer. We essentially create custom clothing for a various industries, with the major being fitness. We work with a lot of start up clothing brands, supplement companies, and gyms. All of our fabric is custom sourced with private label tags. Our goal for 2021 is to work with 200+ clients. In the month of January alone, we serviced 37 new brands. Our min order is small at just 50pcs per item, color, design. We offer price breaks at every 50pcs. I fully believe we are on our way to becoming one of the largest fitness clothing manufactures in the world. Dealing with a supplier can be very difficult. Our teams make the process crazy simple; from idea > digital mockups > samples > approval > bulk order. We have the ability to hop on a phone call and chat with our clients, which not a lot of suppliers offer. We understand fabrics, patters, designs, and can speak in a way that is comfortable. We have a proven track record and hundreds of testimonials.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have to give a massive shoutout to my parents and grandparents first off. They have always been my rocks. Everything I do in my life, is with them in the back of my mind. My goal is to give back to them tremendously for continually helping me over the last 22, almost 23 years. I also want to give a huge shoutout to a few of my high school teachers for pushing me into the business related fields of marketing, finance, entrepreneurship. I would like to thank all of my professors at the University of Michigan as well. GO BLUE!