How it started (2019)
Jacqd was founded in February 2019 by two work colleagues who were looking at starting a business together but could not decide on a common interest.
After reading an article from a Shopify blog, they came across a gym clothing brand who were doing very well for themselves. Inspired by the brand's success story, they had finally found their common denominator as both had an interest in going to the gym.
Over the coming months, suppliers were sourced, designs were created and trademarks were registered. The brand was almost ready to launch in the summer of that year.
Due to a career opportunity, Carl left their common workplace in the July and Rob followed soon after. With Carl living in East Yorkshire and Rob living in Suffolk, it made communication harder and with both having children on the way, the project fizzled out by the end of 2019 and was effectively put on hiatus.
We go again (2020)
During the summer of 2020, Carl started a personal weight loss journey that saw him lose 53 lbs in 17 weeks and ignite his desire to finally launch Jacqd as a fitness brand. Motivated to finally do it for the right reasons, he approached Rob about trying it again but by this time, Rob was no longer committed to the project and felt it was the right time to exit the business.
In August 2020, Carl bought Rob's stake in the company.
The Vision (2021+)
Free to have full creative control over the direction of the business, Carl had an epiphany. What started out as an idea to replicate another company, no longer aligned with Carl's values. On reflection, he didn't feel that this particular brand represented who he was as an individual and so it made no sense to replicate.
With many sports brands, images feature muscular men and toned women and in many cases, the images have been airbrushed, which takes away the reality of what people really look like and puts pressure on younger people as they feel they need to look like this to be successful in life, which is really not the case.
You can understand why gym clothing brands use these models. It is because people aspire to be like these models and so feel that the first step is to wear the clothes that these models are wearing, which generates the sales for the brand.
What these brands may not realise is that when the average gym user tries these clothes on in front of the mirror, reality hits and suddenly their mood enters a depressive state and their confidence drops even further.
Carl realised that the vast majority of people who go to the gym, do not look like gym clothing models and he saw an opportunity to be the 'Jacamo' of the fitness apparel market. To create a brand that would feature models who look like the average gym user and not bulging with muscle. A brand that the average gym user can relate to and a brand that recognises their journey from fat to fit.
Carl was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in 2018, and had a BMI of 35 up until the end of May 2020, making him clinically obese. Since starting a healthy eating regime on June 1st, he lost 53 lbs in the 4 months that followed and continues to work towards getting his BMI down to 25.
His vision for Jacqd is to create a global brand that both inspires and motivates people to make healthy changes to their lives and start a journey that will improve their confidence, fitness and mental health.