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Rising Stars: Meet Chris Cirillo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chris Cirillo.

Hi Chris, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I wanted to start a clothing brand that would embrace the values and of true old-school bodybuilding and honor those who live the lifestyle. In 2017, I designed a logo and walked into a local print shop and said “I want to start a clothing brand. Here’s the design. Let’s run 2 dozen shirts.”

I started this brand with 2 dozen shirts and no website. Just selling shirts out of the back of my car at local gyms. Since then, I’ve managed to build a brand that has a strong following in the northeast and is worn across the country.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Really, it came naturally to me. I love bodybuilding and so in most cases, I can relate to other competitors and put out products that they can connect and identify with. I also had a background in graphic design and screenprinting so when I began doing the printing myself that experience was obviously very useful.

However, the brand was not an overnight success. In my first three years in business, I wasn’t necessarily making a profit every month. Many times I’d only sell one or two shirts online and that would just cover my web hosting fees.

Persistence and belief in what you’re doing are what will carry you. Most people fail because they give up when they don’t have instant success.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I’m proud of what this brand has become known to represent. In a time that social media influencers, fad diets, and participation trophies are the norm, Kodiak Bodybuilding Apparel stands for values and principles that have been forgotten.

The brand embraces the idea of training hard for the sake of training hard; not just “doing it for the gram.” It’s about holding oneself accountable and making sure your actions make the people who know you proud to know you.

Who else deserves credit in your story?
Of course, this brand would not be where it is today without every person who’s ever purchased from me over the past four years. Most of the customers are repeat customers who are loyal to the brand and that’s not just because I continue to put out new products that they are drawn to.

It’s because these people know I support them as well in all of their goals and the things they want to achieve. I strive to keep things as real and as personal as possible.

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