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BJJGround Forum >> Starting your own BJJ Brand. Ask me anything.


5/23/13 1:58 AM
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On the Mat
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jbelljitsu -  Do you guys ever enter into business agreements with new start up businesses? For example if someone came to you with a design or brand idea would you ever be interested in taking over manufacturing and distribution for a % on all sales? Phone Post

i have had a few offers but nothing i would put my money behind. i am always open new business ideas. BJJ business have to grow for the sport to grow. that i learned from snow boarding.
5/23/13 2:00 AM
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On the Mat
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aed333 - Hey Scotty,

I was really surprised to learn (in the OMR interview) that you were the same Scotty Nelson as the snowboarder - I remember reading about you back in the day in old snowboard mags!

I was wondering how your previous career influenced your bjj career/OTM?

Thanks

i forgot. I also learned that the Olympics can ruin a sport really fast. If you think IBJJF is bad... You have no idea. At least a Gracie run who knows BJJ and lives it runs the sport. When the rings gets a sport who knows what will happen. They will put judges in that dont even have anything to do with a sport.
5/23/13 1:35 PM
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athsportsnutrition
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How did you guys go about getting your initial customer base (say your first 1,000 customers)?

5/23/13 9:03 PM
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spider guard
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Who are the top gi (best quality, reliability and quality control) manufacturers in Pakistan?

Do you think that BJJ gear and stores are already saturated?

OTM never really spread outside of the Southwest, why is that?

Can you bring back the hooker logo and put it on a gi?
5/27/13 2:14 PM
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12
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my ? when you guys 1st opened up i would go into otm stores and all of them would carry a different inventory.

was this because of a franchise deal?  if so, did it effect your buying power as group and slow dn expansion at that time,or did you guys try use the target way of doing things and carry items for certain areas

5/27/13 2:54 PM
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shen
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On the Mat - 
aed333 - Hey Scotty,

I was really surprised to learn (in the OMR interview) that you were the same Scotty Nelson as the snowboarder - I remember reading about you back in the day in old snowboard mags!

I was wondering how your previous career influenced your bjj career/OTM?

Thanks

i forgot. I also learned that the Olympics can ruin a sport really fast. If you think IBJJF is bad... You have no idea. At least a Gracie run who knows BJJ and lives it runs the sport. When the rings gets a sport who knows what will happen. They will put judges in that dont even have anything to do with a sport.

Amen to that! I think people who push for BJJ to get into the Olympics because they have a feeling it would be kinda cool to see it there, have little idea of how that move could destroy it.
5/28/13 9:23 PM
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Bruce Hoyer
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Make it happen!! Ha Phone Post 3.0
5/28/13 10:05 PM
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Magic Mago
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Whats your personal inventory like?
Gis, shorts, etc? Phone Post
5/29/13 12:58 AM
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On the Mat
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athsportsnutrition - 

How did you guys go about getting your initial customer base (say your first 1,000 customers)?


I went to every tournament & MMA event there was but there were not that many back in the 90s. And, Gumby and i made the first BJJ Magazine dvds. i tried to copy skateboading videos. people used to mail us checks cause there was not credit card processing online for small sites and paypal didnt exist.
5/29/13 1:32 AM
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On the Mat
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spider guard - Who are the top gi (best quality, reliability and quality control) manufacturers in Pakistan?

Do you think that BJJ gear and stores are already saturated?

OTM never really spread outside of the Southwest, why is that?

Can you bring back the hooker logo and put it on a gi?

IDK who the best manufactures are in Pakistan. They all suck at some stuff and are good at other stuff. Depends what you want to do.

No i dont think either are saturated. BJJ brands are the new MMA brands everyone has one. some will stick others will not.

There are hardly any BJJ/MMA shops. So i dont think they saturated. More the opposite the sports are not big enough to support a lot of shops and retail is in the dumps.

ya which hooker logo? the old one with On The Mat on it? Or the OTM with the hot chicks kill logo?

Email me Ill send you the first one for free!
5/29/13 1:38 AM
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On the Mat
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12 - 

my ? when you guys 1st opened up i would go into otm stores and all of them would carry a different inventory.

was this because of a franchise deal?  if so, did it effect your buying power as group and slow dn expansion at that time,or did you guys try use the target way of doing things and carry items for certain areas


When we frist opened we didnt know WTF we were doing. People would come in with new products and we would buy them or try them. At one time we had like 180 brands in the shops.

Then you start doing some math and you figure out that 80% of your sales come from 10-15 brands. The rest just sit there. So you cash is just sitting there. And you cant buy new stuff if the old stuff is just sitting there. so then you got to blow it out. just to get some money to buy the stuff that does sell.

The worst is that if it sits there past the new year you have to pay the man taxes on your inventory. so you loose more money.

We lost our franchise deal because of the recession. We had 28 people lined up to open stores nation wide. then the recession hit and no one could get an SBA loan anymore. out of those 28 only one could still do it and he turne out to be a turd.

IDK what the target way of doing thing is? if i didnt explain it let me know and ill add more
5/29/13 1:41 AM
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On the Mat
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Bruce Hoyer - Submissions 101 volume 4
Make it happen!! Ha Phone Post 3.0

hoyer! miss you man! Hope you are well.

I got 104 about 30% done but really the work it takes to make the dvd isnt worth it. Guys like the guy on the keenan thread that come on hear and brag about bootlegging killed it for everyone. You just cant get enough money out of the dvds to fly to all the events, buy the tapes, film the matches, edit, author, duplicate and so on to make the dvds.

When we sold 1000s of them it was cool. but 100s forgetaboutit

coming to worlds?
5/29/13 1:44 AM
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On the Mat
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Magic Mago -  Whats your personal inventory like?
Gis, shorts, etc? Phone Post

my house is full of tshirts loads of tshirts. i got some super old ones. I got some of the frist shoyorolls. Old tapouts. HCK & Ouano. Shirt from Rickson's first school in LA.

Not so much in shorts. Lots of Dahui.

I wear a lot of the sample stuff we make to try it out. random shit. i get a lot of custom stuff made while im in Asia cause its cheap. you can get nice custom jeans for $12.

twice a year i take all my old tshirts and gear to salvation army by my house in redondo. im sure BJJ guys go in there and are like WTF is this doing in here LOL
5/29/13 1:46 AM
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On the Mat
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sickdarce - 
HITMAN DAN DIAZ - so i have an idea to make private label rashguards and also fight shorts for gyms and also for other small brands that are starting out. i would come up with my own closing system, patterns and also colors and materials. additionally i would like to make an idea i had for ranked rashguards and also some shorts along the same line. do you think this is a good idea what advice can you give me.

thanks in advance
Dan, wouldn't your margins be low because you'd be selling to Gyms that will want to resell? You'd have to sell at a wholesale price right? Phone Post

Yes your margins would be lower. You have to move volume.
5/29/13 2:40 AM
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YOURMMASTORE
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Hey Guys,

I'm in the research process of starting a drop shipping online store. I will need to brand it, promote it and get sales from there. Do you guys have any experience with this business model? How difficult is it to have different drop shipping suppliers on my store? i.e. customers ordering products from2 or 3 different suppliers, then having a problem with the products could be troublesome.

Thanks Guys.
5/29/13 3:12 AM
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kying418
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Scotty,

For the past few years, I thought it would be pretty cool to start a high end bjj belt company- with a price point around $60 or so.

It surprises me that people are willing to spend $$$ on gi's but don't give much thought about the quality of the belt they wear everyday.

I didnt have the resources or contacts to make this happen, but it looks like Eosin Panther and Kataaro have begun to make custom made BJJ belts (that are awesome- I have one).

I guess its pretty late in the game to start one up- but what do you think of the idea?

I still think there is a potential market for it, as 99% of bjj practioners don't know Eosin and Kataaro even exist.
5/29/13 7:41 AM
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CoreNobody
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CoreNobody -  I love the rash guards ,especially the longer ones,super comfy.
I want to get a few more from the site,also some other stuff,but it seems to always be in back order ..........
Example-I've never seen the Still Rollin rashie in stock (xlarge) ever.

How often do you guys restock? Phone Post

CoreNobody, thats an old rash guard. We havent made it in a while but we could if you really want one email me. thanks
And I got it!
Thanks! Phone Post 3.0
5/29/13 1:08 PM
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On the Mat
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YOURMMASTORE - Hey Guys,

I'm in the research process of starting a drop shipping online store. I will need to brand it, promote it and get sales from there. Do you guys have any experience with this business model? How difficult is it to have different drop shipping suppliers on my store? i.e. customers ordering products from2 or 3 different suppliers, then having a problem with the products could be troublesome.

Thanks Guys.

Yes we have some experience with this. its a pain but can be done.

Make sure you let your customer know right away that everything will not be coming in one box at the same time. even doing this you will get a lot of pissed off calls and emails.

Make sure you have some way set up with your suppliers to maintain correct inventory levels. If you sell a bunch of stuff that is sold out you will get a bunch of pissed off people that will not return for business.

the problem is you dont have control over your supply chain. you can still make it work but different problems.
5/29/13 1:15 PM
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On the Mat
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kying418 - Scotty,

For the past few years, I thought it would be pretty cool to start a high end bjj belt company- with a price point around $60 or so.

It surprises me that people are willing to spend $$$ on gi's but don't give much thought about the quality of the belt they wear everyday.

I didnt have the resources or contacts to make this happen, but it looks like Eosin Panther and Kataaro have begun to make custom made BJJ belts (that are awesome- I have one).

I guess its pretty late in the game to start one up- but what do you think of the idea?

I still think there is a potential market for it, as 99% of bjj practioners don't know Eosin and Kataaro even exist.

I'm doing some new high end belts too. The lucky gi belts are pretty nice but im working on a cool hemp one.

I dont think you will get rich or make a ton of cash selling belts. most people will only spend a lot of $ on their higher belt colors. a lot of black belts ask for free belts all the time. like someone sees a black belt in a brand of belt and runs out an buys a belt?

so if you are passionate about making the best belt ever, Do it. if you are doing it to make a little extra money and dont mind the headaches of manufacturing then do it.

But think about this. No matter what you manufacture to sell you will have to brand it. If its a Yaris or a Mercedes you have to spend time and energy branding. So why limit a brand to just one product.

Also advertising costs are the same if you just sell belts or you sell a bunch of products. SO even if you start with belts keep in mind you will most likely want to add products down the road.

i never thought i'd make lucky Rash guards or shorts but people been asking for them so now we are.
5/29/13 1:31 PM
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jorgee
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Hey OTM

I´m interested in starting a BJJ brand in Peru . There´s not much around here in terms of BJJ products, or support for BJJ practitioners. The whole point of starting up this business would be to give back a % of sales to the BJJ comunity here(sponsorships, prize money at tournaments, etc). I´d love to see the sport grow in my country and start seeing some top peruvian fighters in BJJ and MMA.

Hopefully you can point me in the right direction to find some good suppliers for rash guards, fight shorts, and gi´s.

Thanks,

Jorgee
5/29/13 6:24 PM
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Bruce Hoyer
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On the Mat - 
Bruce Hoyer - Submissions 101 volume 4
Make it happen!! Ha Phone Post 3.0

hoyer! miss you man! Hope you are well.

I got 104 about 30% done but really the work it takes to make the dvd isnt worth it. Guys like the guy on the keenan thread that come on hear and brag about bootlegging killed it for everyone. You just cant get enough money out of the dvds to fly to all the events, buy the tapes, film the matches, edit, author, duplicate and so on to make the dvds.

When we sold 1000s of them it was cool. but 100s forgetaboutit

coming to worlds?

I will not be... Wish I had the money to, but just got back from the Puerto Rico National Championships which was a bust because I didn't have anyone to go with but was a fun trip and the gym reminded me of the old school tennis club.

Yea next time I am in LA I will stop by the warehouse and make you grab a beer with me!

I would agree on DVD's its getting tougher and tougher for that. Oh well.
5/30/13 10:41 PM
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kying418
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kying418 - Scotty,

For the past few years, I thought it would be pretty cool to start a high end bjj belt company- with a price point around $60 or so.

It surprises me that people are willing to spend $$$ on gi's but don't give much thought about the quality of the belt they wear everyday.

I didnt have the resources or contacts to make this happen, but it looks like Eosin Panther and Kataaro have begun to make custom made BJJ belts (that are awesome- I have one).

I guess its pretty late in the game to start one up- but what do you think of the idea?

I still think there is a potential market for it, as 99% of bjj practioners don't know Eosin and Kataaro even exist.

I'm doing some new high end belts too. The lucky gi belts are pretty nice but im working on a cool hemp one.

I dont think you will get rich or make a ton of cash selling belts. most people will only spend a lot of $ on their higher belt colors. a lot of black belts ask for free belts all the time. like someone sees a black belt in a brand of belt and runs out an buys a belt?

so if you are passionate about making the best belt ever, Do it. if you are doing it to make a little extra money and dont mind the headaches of manufacturing then do it.

But think about this. No matter what you manufacture to sell you will have to brand it. If its a Yaris or a Mercedes you have to spend time and energy branding. So why limit a brand to just one product.

Also advertising costs are the same if you just sell belts or you sell a bunch of products. SO even if you start with belts keep in mind you will most likely want to add products down the road.

i never thought i'd make lucky Rash guards or shorts but people been asking for them so now we are.

Scotty,

Thanks so much for the response.

I thought about making these high end belts because at the time, I wasn't aware of any nice belts for the other ranks (other than black belt).

Now that Kataaro and Eosin Panter make such amazing BJJ belts for all ranks, I no longer have the passion/need to seek an alternative.

Best of luck with your high end belts- I will definitely be keeping an eye out for them! (Do you know when they might appear on the market?)
5/31/13 1:48 AM
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athsportsnutrition
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On the Mat - 
athsportsnutrition - 

How did you guys go about getting your initial customer base (say your first 1,000 customers)?


I went to every tournament & MMA event there was but there were not that many back in the 90s. And, Gumby and i made the first BJJ Magazine dvds. i tried to copy skateboading videos. people used to mail us checks cause there was not credit card processing online for small sites and paypal didnt exist.

Did you guys hand out flyers? Did you have to pay for booths etc.? 

Thanks for the response.

5/31/13 6:31 AM
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CacaDeSinge
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jorgee - Hey OTM

I´m interested in starting a BJJ brand in Peru . There´s not much around here in terms of BJJ products, or support for BJJ practitioners. The whole point of starting up this business would be to give back a % of sales to the BJJ comunity here(sponsorships, prize money at tournaments, etc). I´d love to see the sport grow in my country and start seeing some top peruvian fighters in BJJ and MMA.

Hopefully you can point me in the right direction to find some good suppliers for rash guards, fight shorts, and gi´s.

Thanks,

Jorgee

Hola,

soy frances y vivi un par de anos en Peru.

Voy a regresar en julio con mi esposa y su hijo por un mes y medio, sabes adonde hay gyms de BJJ in Lima? Si hay cursos para ninos (tiene 13 anos)?

Hay competiciones en Lima en julio/agosto?

Cuidate!
5/31/13 11:14 AM
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Gumby
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athsportsnutrition - 
On the Mat - 
athsportsnutrition - 

How did you guys go about getting your initial customer base (say your first 1,000 customers)?


I went to every tournament & MMA event there was but there were not that many back in the 90s. And, Gumby and i made the first BJJ Magazine dvds. i tried to copy skateboading videos. people used to mail us checks cause there was not credit card processing online for small sites and paypal didnt exist.

Did you guys hand out flyers? Did you have to pay for booths etc.? 

Thanks for the response.


Back in the early days we often did swaps for our presence at the tournaments. We would advertise heavily on our website, write up a story and post results and in exchange we could come in and film and have a booth. Bottom line, if we came to your tournament we would attract more competitors and spectators. A lot of times because Scotty and I were so busy filming and reporting and the like, we never actually manned a booth, but would leave some product at the Tapout table (usually video tapes) and they'd sell for us.

Speaking of the Tapout guys, the big thing that made them so successful (and why we're still around after all this time) is the sheer amount of work and hours devoted to building our brand. Mask (RIP Charles Lewis) and I would talk about how there might be other booths at events, but they were part time gigs. You might see them at one or two events, and then you would never hear from them after that. We went to every show we could (I racked up a lot of miles back in the day), sometimes multiple events in the same weekend. I made it a point to go to the East Coast and around the country. The Tapout crew at the time was more localized but would hit up every show and event that wouldn't throw them out, MMA, BJJ, Karate, Tae Kwon do, whatever.

Nowadays its a very different scene, and we were definitely helped by right place, right time, but two universal lessons that are applicable in any situation is the worth of hard work and marketing.

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