Cut From A Different Cloth

A story on how Size Up Supplements and Size Up Apparel started. This is our way of introducing our brand and what we're made of.

Long read ahead, you've been warned!

2011 - How Tragedy Became The Game Changer

LOST OUR HOUSE :-

Back in 2011, while I was in high school, my father’s job in Detroit, MI suddenly got outsourced overseas and he was left with no job. This was when the auto industry crashed and many others who were in the auto industry were left jobless. A few months later, we lost our house because we were not able to make regular payments since my dad was the only one with a Full Time Job.

NO MONEY :-

This led our family to be homeless having to bounce around to relatives houses. To date this was one of the toughest times in my life but also a very big pivotal point. I knew I had to make money to help my family out and get us back in a house but didn't no what to do. and make it fast so I hustled.

CONCEPT OF DRUG DEALING:-

Initially I was considering doing what everyone does who needs money fast and sell drugs but the risks outweigh the benefits to me and I knew I was better than that. I took the concept of “Drug Dealing” and started brainstorming ways I could do something similar but legal.

THE IDEA OF SUPPLEMENTS :-

At the time all my friends worked out and were into fitness, this led me to the idea of selling them supplements. Growing up my parents always beat 3 things in my head.
1.Never Give Up.
2. Be your own person.
3. Do what makes you happy.

I was always good at finding deals and making my dollar stretch as much as possible so what I began to do the is find out what supplements each of my friends took and find them at a better price than what they were currently paying. Basically I would buy the product and mark it up accordingly depending on how much they paid previously. Mostly all young kids are all about saving money so for the most part when I told them how much I could get it to them for, they would get more excited than me knowing they would save a few bucks. I went to 2 different high schools and played sports growing up so I had a pretty decent size network of people I could sell to.

However, one thing that always bothered me were the fees associated with the platforms, this is what lead me into creating my own site to sell the supplements (www.sizeupsupplements.com). Initially the site got little to no traffic at all and I almost dropped it but instead I had the idea of putting a postcard with a coupon code in every ebay and amazon order I shipped out that contained a very aggressive deal for the same product on my website which almost forced people to make a purchase from the site next time they needed to re-up on supplements. I also started to run banner ads on various forums and that really seemed to help.

(Top- Size Up OG HeadQuarters at my parents house 2011, Bottom- Size Up Shelby the Day we Got the Keys 2012)

NO ENOUGH SPACE :-

Eventually, it came to the point where I did not have enough space to store all the inventory and started thinking of options. Initially, I was set on getting a storage unit and running everything out of there but after weighing out the Pros and Cons it would have been a burden to do so and all the units that had AC built in costed a fortune.

WAREHOUSE BUT OUT OF LUCK :-

This lead me to shift my mindset to finding a warehouse but out of luck, the father of one of my classmates from high school had a vacant lot at one of the plazzas he owned that had been vacant for quite some time. He wanted to get someone to move in so he offered me a deal I could not pass up.

CREDIT SCORE IS NON-EXISTENT :-

Everything was looking good and I was expecting to get the keys in the next few weeks when one morning I got a call from him saying; “Sorry for the bad news but we can't lease the unit out to you, your credit score is nonexistent". At the time I was 19 years old, never had a credit card in my life, paid for everything cash which meant I had no established credit. He told me I could get my parents to co-sign on the lease it should work but what he didn't no was their credit was worse then mine from the foreclosure.

HIGH SCHOOL FRIEND :-

I was pretty beat down over the whole situation and thought it wasn't going to happen anymore. That's when Kristjan came along - Kristjan was one of my good friends at the time. We both transferred to a new high school at the same time and both played football so we shared some common traits.

 At first I only planned on having the space for the online orders and for local friends/customers to pick up their orders so I did not have to drive around and deliver anymore. The space had no sign or store hours. What started happening was when I would leave for food or whatever I had to do for the day people would leave notes on the door saying we needed to have set hours and such. I didn't consider this before because I didn't want to work there 7 days a week at all times but eventually after numerous notes and emails I said screw it and announced we would be open to the public. I moved an old couch I had to the back room, bought a fridge and microwave and ended up moving in and living there. I gave my car to my mom at the time since I was there 7 days a week and everything I needed was within walking distance. The Shelby Location is right in front of a Life Time Fitness so I would shower and freshen up there whenever I needed to.

The Start of a New Era

FREE SIZE UP SHIRTS :-

The days following I got a steady flow of new customers saying they saw half there gym wearing a Size Up shirt and wanted to see what all the hype was about. I continued giving all customers who made a purchase a Free Size Up shirt for the next 3 or 4 months. To this day this is one of the main reason why I believe I was getting the traffic I was getting.

FREE STUFF MAKES PEOPLE HAPPY :-

it was Free stuff makes people happy, very happy so how can I do something to make it work out for both of us and I came to conclusion that a Free shirt was my best option. In my opinion when someone is wearing a Size Up shirt they are a walking billboard everywhere they go.

IFBB Pro Sadik Hadzovic, Chase Campbell

Starting Size Up Supplements has blessed me in more ways than I would have ever imagined. The first picture on the very top of the page is the day before the “Grand Opening” at the Shelby store. I was a 19 year old kid who thought they knew everything; really knowing nothing. I never took a business class, never had a mentor, never had a ton of money. I'm thankful I never had any of those things though. I'm thankful for my parents being so hard on me growing up and always telling me to do my own thing even if it was different than everyone else. I learned more on my own through trial and error and believing in myself than I ever would have any other way. I'm thankful for all the people who didn't believe in me or blew me off. That lit an everlasting fire that will follow me for the rest of my life. It's a blessing to be able to go to work and see your friends and family, people who I actually enjoy being around with and share the same passion and drive I do.

If enough walking billboards are out there, it will cause hype and curiosity to customers who don’t know about the company already and to top it off, whenever I gave them a shirt they acted like I was giving them a bar of gold. This lead them to telling their friends and family how cool and different Size Up was. At the 8th month mark I was doing almost the same amount in store as I was online in sales which lead me to opening my second Michigan location- Size Up Supplements of Auburn Hills. After Auburn Hills came Chesterfield, MI. Fast forward to now and there are 8 Size Up Supplements in 3 different states with a total of 24 employees. A lot has changed since the OG days but the vision and mindset has remained the same. I don't get to spend as much time at the storefronts as I used to because of all the backend work that needs to get done but my childhood friend Len took over the reins to focus on the store’s growth and employee relationships. Me and Len played basketball together going all the way back to Kindergarten. We lost touch for a few years but when we reunited it was like we never missed a beat and we picked up where we left off. Len managed a chain of corporate supplement stores in our area for a few years but after they all closed down I got him to come join the Size Up Family..

Blog posts