Micki Krimmel is the founder at Superfit Hero a body positive lifestyle brand, launched with at Kickstarter at the end of 2015. The eCommerce store went live 2016, they’ve doubled sales each year so far, and this year are anticipating sales just under $1m.
About the Business
- Located in Los Angeles
- Products are made in Los Angeles
- Completely direct business—no wholesale
- International from day one
- Shopify Platform
How Micki Got Started
Micki’s background is in the tech world where she worked at startups, building brands and driving growth. While she has no formal experience in apparel, Micki was a long time competitive Roller Derby athlete and says that Derby was a transformative experience and a major inspiration for the business.
The Roller Derby World introduced Micki to a different side of fitness and athleticism that was more body inclusive. Her mission was in part to make fitness more inclusive and change the narrative that fitness for women is exclusively a tool for weight loss. Micki wanted to be part of change —and after researching the market, decided that fashion was a great vehicle for that.
The tech world that Micki was working in was hugely focused on growth and Micki said she wanted to sell a physical product because she wanted to build a long term, sustainable business. At that time, Micki saw a hole in the market for premium athletic apparel for plus-size athletes.
Listen to learn how Micki pivoted her relationship with Roller Derby into a successful business idea.
Shopify Day One
Micki did a lot of research about which platform would be the best fit and felt like Shopify ticked all of her boxes from day one. She aspires to run a lean company and even now only has herself and one other employee. Shopify facilitated that model with their sophisticated interface and huge range of plugins and apps.
Growing the Business
SuperFit Hero is growing at a healthy rate, and the team is beginning to outsource more as they are able. They have recently begun working with a product design company in L.A. to increase their product line and stay on top of releases and Micki is currently beginning to shop around for a fulfillment partner (she and her employee currently do pack, pick and ship themselves).
Micki is new to the fashion industry but was confident that L.A. would be an amazing place to grow an apparel business. She has no problem delegating to experienced people, who she recognizes know fashion better than she does. In a way, she says that not knowing fashion has allowed her to get out of her own way and just focus on areas that she is strongest in.
Micki wanted to grow her business slowly and was really committed to creating a community driven business. She started the SuperFit brand in the Roller Derby community as a way to connect directly with a niche community and build the brand from there. Today, she says that the community is still primary.
Micki tries to make sure she shows up anywhere her customers are and has developed a multi-channel marketing strategy to connect in the places most relevant to their customers. Of course, Facebook and Instagram are a main channel, but Micki also attends rollers derby events in person to connect in real life. The team also does ads on the live streams of international roller derby tournaments.
As the company expands into other sports, including powerlifting, weightlifting and yoga, they are staying focused on building the brand sustainably by connecting with those communities in the same way Micki had connected with the Roller Derby community.
The team also does ads on the live streams of international roller derby tournaments. As the company expands into other sports, including powerlifting, weightlifting and yoga, they are staying focused on building the brand sustainably by connecting with those communities in the same way Micki had connected with the Roller Derby community.
The Body Positive Fitness Finder
SuperFit has always targeted teachers and trainers who are already endorsing a body positive message. Not pushing diet and encouraging movement for movement’s sake has been a benchmark for the team when they are selecting someone to endorse the product.
The body positive fitness finder is an online tool that SuperFit developed to help connect customers with body positive classes and teachers. The result is a great tool that helps SuperFit serve and grow their community and has put them squarely in a leadership role.
Listen to learn how providing resources can help strengthen your community and strengthen business.
Micki is always looking at ways to improve the business and takes her time doing it. They started by selling leggings exclusively but continue to add products as they grow. SuperFit products are premium—and not inexpensive.
From the high-end material to testing the fit on the whole size range to including pockets (which Micki refers to as a feminist calling card) the high quality product range is built to last.
The SuperFit website offers a lot more than shopping and the team is beginning to cultivate a team of body positive athletes they call superheroes. This platform allows them to showcase athletes who are commonly ignored by mainstream brands. They’ve partnered with Olympian Sarah Robles and Instructor and Pole Dancer Roz the Diva among others.
For the partnership, each athlete is featured in a professionally produced video, inspires a collection named for them and are the subject of a variety of fun marketing pieces that Micki and her team deploy to connect with their community. Micki points out that who we idolize says a lot about our culture and she wants to broaden the field of people we look up to.
eCommerce Book Top Tip
- Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharada
- Company of One by Paul Jarvis
eCommerce Traffic Top Tip
Tool Top Tip
- Time Boxing – SuperFit is a small team, but Micki says it’s crucial that she has quiet time. The team works together 3 days a week and works from home 2 days a week.
Growth Top Tip
- Targeted Facebook and Instagram Ads. Google is less effective until you are bigger and can compete with bigger brands.
- How Xero Shoes have consistently grown at 80%+ for nearly 10 years. With Steven Sashen
- ROAD iD’s Edward Wimmer: lessons from 20 years in eCommerce, all about the customer
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