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In my endless pursuit of attempting perfection, there is no product we’ve ever launched that has put us to the test more than our leather gymnastic grips, the RAW Grips.
Launched in 2016, they were revolutionary compared to traditional leather grips in both shape, design and quality. However, after a pretty stable launch and delivering on quality for a couple of years, once the prominent athlete Jacob Hepner’s YouTube video, “The Great CrossFit Grip Dispute” went viral, ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE!
If you haven’t seen it, Jacob Hepner took the top 30 grips from around the world and put them through a series of tests that really put them through the ringer. Things like dragging them behind a truck along a dirt road for 10 miles, and even blowing them up with explosives just to name a few.
Incredibly, RAW Grips made it to the top 2. If you want to know the crazy reason we lost, you’ll have to check out the video here: https://youtu.be/BI2_C_0yfTM!
What transpired the next day was something we could not have expected. We woke up to TONS of orders. Everyone wanted their hands on RAW Grips after watching that video.
The following statement by Jacob Hepner took our product to the next stratosphere:
“JerkFit RAW Grips are easily, EASILY my number 1 choice for how they hold the bar. You put these RAW Grips on a raw bar, and its impossible to let go.”
Within a couple of weeks however, the proverbial shit hit the fan.
At the same time that the product was skyrocketing, it became apparent that we had a horrible batch of leather that was going out to everyone.
Athlete after athlete had their leather grips ripping in half!
Simultaneously, our Velcro strap buckle out of nowhere started to fail on people.
It was a complete shitstorm in the middle of all of this chaos and demand.
People were upset. We had a viral video by a prominent athlete that puts this product through hell, and yet the product couldn’t hold up to a few workouts before something went wrong!
Bad reviews start flowing in, and horrible comments were left on the viral video about our product for the whole world to see.
It was devastating...
A once great product, that had no issues before, out of nowhere becomes defective in the MIDDLE of its big moment…
So many brands out there only care about profit in the short term and produce cheap, low quality products. But that sort of business model is not sustainable.
The brands that truly last do everything they can to make sure their products hold up to their and their customers standards.
I believe that if you don’t deliver a quality product, you’re never going to keep your customers. Lead with Quality, and the customers will keep coming back.
This situation with our RAW Grips was a sobering moment for our company. It was back to the drawing board to fix 2 major issues and do it quickly as to not destroy our momentum.
After figuring out our leather supplier was simply a middle man, and that consistency was never something we could count on, we immediately dropped that supplier.
When our buckle began to fail out of the blue, we jumped into action and quickly found another more durable option.
A big sigh of relief...
Yes, we took our lumps and had to earn our customers trust back, but owning our mistakes, and coming out with an updated version I think softened the blow.
For a long while we coasted. Things were starting to calm down.
Then, again out of nowhere, we started to get complaints that our Velcro would stop sticking after about 3 months, making the product useless.
Essentially, our Velcro supplier did the old bait and switch on us.
That was it for me, it was time to get all hands on deck to once-and-for-all deliver a PERFECT PRODUCT no matter what.
First stop was our leather supplier and told them the exact specs of what we wanted. A beyond soft, completely broken in, extra plush and durable leather that would never fail.
They got to work, and what they delivered was the most incredible piece of material we’d ever felt. NOTHING like any leather anyone had ever experienced.
Honestly, after testing them, I almost shed a tear knowing what we had on our hands.
Now, if we could just get the Velcro strap situated, something that plagues just about every other grip brand out there, then we would have finally solved it.
After months of testing different Velcro options, we finally found the solution...
For everyone who reads this and has not tried them, and to everyone who suffered through some of our earlier disappointing versions, we would love it if you would give these a try.
Through hell, and the endless pursuit of perfection, we were put on a path to launch what we believe are the ultimate leather gymnastic grips.
I hope you enjoyed the story of RAW Grips 3.0 more than I did having to live through it.
But I know deep down, it was through that adversity that we got the product to where it is today.
Check them out here:
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