With vaccine’s slowly but surely rollout out, people hope to get back to their regular routines. For many people, that means getting back into gyms and dealing with any quarantine fat. Most people will also be in the market for some excellent new equipment when they get back to working out. We spoke to Lars Muller, the founder of techniques, a Martial Arts equipment and lifestyle brand that puts a modern and artistic style onto what is generally considered a more rough and hardcore fitness aspect.
Why did you start the business?
In university, I started to train in Muay Thai, and then I fought competitively for about six years. Unfortunately, I got into a car accident, and I herniated the C5 and C6 discs in my neck, and I haven’t been able to train at all. I still wanted to stay in the world in martial arts somehow, but I didn’t know how at first. One day I had a friend say that I should think about starting a brand, and I thought about it for a while. It took about two years to plan out and find suitable suppliers thoroughly. I launched in March of 2020, just two weeks before the lockdown hit.
What separates you from other brands?
Many brands in the martial arts space try to dig into something that martial artists aren’t, but maybe society thinks they are. You know, thinking of them as like savages or barbarians when they aren’t, but these other brands have things like skulls and crossbones and that type of thing. Whereas martial arts are about being an artist and about expressing yourself, and I think that our brand encompasses that idea more than others with a more classic design that isn’t covered with samurais and skulls and other stuff like that.
How Has The Pandemic Affected Your Business?
The Pandemic, for sure, has affected it quite a bit. We had pretty much no sales during the first lockdown, but when that ended, we were able to double our sales every month. I believe that we maxed out at 100 products sold in a month. Then the second lockdown hit, and so it went back down to zero pretty much. Then climbed back up, but now we’re back into lockdown. At first, we focused more on selling directly to gyms but now we’re focusing more on eCommerce.
How Have You Adapted because of the Pandemic?
Well, any gym, if they are going to take your product, is buying it because they want to have a good mark up if they sell it. So that will naturally cut into your markup. If I sell to a gym, I’m only making a 100 percent markup on the product. Whereas if I sell directly to a consumer, I’m making a 250 to 300 percent mark up. We are in gyms, but you want to make as much money as possible to help cover costs and pay yourself. I have had to adapt the outlook, and I’ve found that e-commerce is the better way to go.
What Are Your Hopes For The future?
I’d love for the world to get rid of COVID naturally. I want it to be a world leader in combat sports and apparel in terms of the brand. I want it to be a massive brand. I think at the start, I was too focused on trying to get into gyms. I called, emailed, and DMed them, and at the end of it, I only got into five gyms. The time versus the return on investment doesn’t make any sense. I think in the future I won’t take much time trying to get into gyms and work on word of mouth for that end. I know many people in the industry, and that type of thing spreads. I’m trying to learn more about e-commerce and work with more Pay-Per-Click companies and work on that end.
Gyms have been hit hard during the Pandemic, and this includes martial arts gyms. This means there isn’t much money for them to buy new equipment, and most of the practitioners of martial arts are also a bit strapped for cash and resulted in a drop in sales for most martial arts equipment. However, the product sales are expected to pickups as gyms reopen in the long term. Additionally, more and more people are likely to try new avenues of fitness to get back in shape after the lockdowns.
For more information kindly visit: