The first week back of spring semester, a majority of students prepared themselves for the school year by buying books, going to class and planning out their tentative schedule. Two students that have taken the unconventional approach to college did the opposite — mid-syllabus week, they took a U-Haul and drove out to Los Angeles.
Trevor Beck, a senior economics student, and Zachary Drier, a junior studying political science, are the founders of Local Athletix. Created in March of 2015, the athletic apparel company has made major strides since its founding in Fort Collins, and has since been making waves in the fitness fashion community with trendy but functional athletic attire.
“Obviously, our stuff is in the gym and made for running, but whatever you do to stay active — but our things are pretty simple colors,” Beck said. “So, black on black — that’s the look.”
Last month, along with friends and models, the students drove to Los Angeles to showcase their products and themselves at the LA Fit Expo, a convention for the biggest celebrities and companies in fitness.
“We had to do a lot of marketing tactics to steal people away from Live Fit’s booth, or Aesthetic Revolutions’ booth,” said Beck, CEO. “People were there to buy things from companies they already knew of.”
Spending only hundreds of dollars on their booth while major companies spent $50,000, Local Athletix had to separate themselves from the other athletic brands there. Josh Beacham and Mckenzie Evers, Local’s models, gave away bands and generally showed off the lifestyle that Local promotes. People would see them and admire how ridiculously fit they were — it was the LA Fit Expo, after all. Videographers would conduct interviews on the Fort Collins brand, and people would come around, drawn to the buzz surrounding the booth.
“We had a ton of success — more success than I thought,” Beck said.
There was no understatement in that. Companies like Live Fit are millionaire-dollar companies and the LA FitExpo had media sponsorship from the likes of Men’s Health and Women’s Health. I asked Beck how such a large event impacted their business.
“More than anything, we had a ton of people reach out to us,” Beck said. “They wanted to get involved.”
In addition to the amount of connections they made, one of the best parts of the trip for them was going to the fitness Mecca: Gold’s Gym. They were with Live Fit, their competition, where they felt like their team and models could stand alongside the more experienced brand.
“It was cool to say that people recognized passionate people,” Beck said. “The most important is these other companies know exactly who we are — that these dudes are young, and they’re hungry, and they’re motivated.”
Their youth is by far the most amazing part. As full-time students at CSU, creating a successful company, running a successful company and not even by students who had graduated, what they have achieved so far is astounding. They are both taking 18 credits, running a business and skipping class to drive to LA to pursue their dream.
“People were amazed by that. We always made it a big point of emphasis to show them that,” Beck said. “We wanted people to know how invested we were in this company and how committed we were to being great.”
To the people that approached them, they were left in utter surprise when they found out that the two founders of Local were college students, especially college students from out of state. Most thought they flew, but were impressed that they had the dedication to drive 17 hours in a U-Haul to gain exposure. Beck attributes his ambition and discipline to providing motivation for everyone else.
“It gave them the mentality that there was no excuse to why I can’t be doing something like this. I want Local to be as big as Nike in five years,” Beck said. “And if, you know, we’re not the size of Nike in five years, we’re still going to be making giant steps.”
With participation in the 2016 LA Fit Expo, Jan. 22-24, Local made huge milestones as an apparel and athletic company, creating an impact in California with a cool Colorado look.