Kofi Frimpong: What is Live Fit and what inspired you to launch Live Fit?
Randall Pich: LIVE FIT. Apparel (LVFT) is a true original active lifestyle brand; the first of its kind, bringing the world a unique style to the individual self-motivating lifestyle. A one-of-a-kind brand for everything from the everyday active lifestyle to today’s modern sports. With the progression of living a healthy lifestyle, LVFT offers an edgier side to the fitness clothing / apparel industry. With each generation, youth has become increasingly more aware of the importance of being active, whether it be through skateboarding, surfing or getting a gym membership. The brand has become its own LIFESTYLE. LVFT carries heavy influences from Skateboarding, Surfing and Fitness.
My inspiration for Live Fit is a big mish mash of life experiences. I grew up in Long Beach, California, in the heart of the city where life was fast-paced and the streets were always active. As a young teenager, skateboarding and surfing was the thing to do (at least in my group of friends). Those are activities from my childhood that that I really enjoyed and will always enjoy. I also picked up other hobbies like photography, videography, graphic design and even playing musical instruments. Then a few years down the line I became heavily into bodybuilding, entered a few competitions and actually placed very well which gave some value to my name in the industry. During this time started college and studied Kinesiology and worked part-time as a personal trainer. I studied the logistics of a personal training business and maximized the branding/income of my company. Around this time I was given an opportunity to buy into a childhood friend’s t-shirt shop. That was where I created my first solo clothing line, which did relatively well but not well enough for my goals. Then I started making apparel for my clients to market my personal training brand (RP Fitness). The designs caught on (“Live Fit.”) and people who weren’t my clients started to buy my shirts from me. This was when I realized that fitness apparel really was the perfect calling for me. It was a combination of everything I knew: Entrepreneurship, apparel design and fitness. Basically, everything I’ve done and learned in life lead me to this, all I did was piece it all together correctly and incorporate my own influences.
Kofi Frimpong: As an Asian American do you find your experience as a fitness influencer and entrepreneur to be different or any more challenging than your peers?
Randall Pich: I wouldn’t say being Asian American was difficult at all. From a marketing standpoint, being a fitness influencer, entrepreneur and also being Asian was actually beneficial. I was breaking all the stereotypes that had been handed to me: being a first-generation Cambodian (southeast Asian) and covered in tattoos head to toe. It drew attention across social media and people started relating. Being different gave me more exposure, the mainstream media outlets may not like it, but social platforms are taking over and that’s where I began to dominate. I’ve gotten tons of emails and messages about people saying I give them hope for making their dreams become reality because although we hate to admit it, we still live in a segregated, judgmental and somewhat racist world. I honestly run into more challenges just being alone doing day to day stuff and getting judged by people who don’t know who I am. Honestly the less attention I bring to the fact that I am Asian, having tattoos etc, the less the public tends to care about that stuff. I just want the world to see a human as a human. Everyone has all the same capabilities inside and that’s what should count. Most people identify successful entrepreneurs always looking sharp, wearing a suit, no tattoos, but that’s just not the case and not the reality, anymore.
Kofi Frimpong: What have been your biggest challenges while running the business?
Randall Pich: My biggest challenges, where do I even start, I guess if you were to say biggest challenge from the beginning is managing and finding solid staff and then delegating things that I should not be wasting my time doing. I built the brand from the ground up doing all the designs, photography, videos, website and so on, so it was hard for me to let go of some of those tasks. Right now we have a full media team but I’m still heavily involved and still to this day I graphic design alongside our head designer. This is how I ensure the vision stays to its original core value. I’ve seen many brands and companies expand and grow, but in turn also lose touch of who they were and what originally attracted people to the brand. That is something I am aware of and try to avoid. Additionally, there are tons of other challenges that I’ve faced. Everything we do under my umbrella corporation (fulfillment, logistics, wholesale, media, customer service etc.) was all built and customized by my team and I. We go through challenges every day to stay on top of the game and are always trying to find new and more efficient ways to grow each department.
Kofi Frimpong: Creating content on social media has been a great way for brands to reach customers. You’ve managed to really take advantage of that with your own personal brand and the business. What advice would you give to up-and-coming entrepreneurs about social media content?
Randall Pich: I truly believe that everyone and every brand needs to leverage social media platforms. My advice for someone coming up as an entrepreneur or looking to really take their company to the next level is theme out all your platforms and content. All your pictures, videos and ads should look similar in the early stages to help the brand be easily recognizable. And I am a strong believer of social influencers (people), not celebrities but real people with a real following. I spent zero dollars on marketing ads during my first few years. Word-of-mouth communication marketing is so much more effective than force-feeding ads to people. This was one of the ways I was able to Live Fit. and grow it organically.
Kofi Frimpong: Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
Randall Pich: Nipsey Hussle, a self-made successful hip hop artist and entrepreneur. He broke through all odds as well, he’s an African American with tattoos and grew up in a rough neighborhood. What he speaks in his music is real, very relatable to myself. His business mindset/philosophy is something I’ve been able to adapt to as well which one of them is cutting out the middle-man (brokers). I have been able to cut cost and expand and just do more with the company by cutting out brokers and going straight to the source. There’s a lot of reasons why I look up to in Nipsey Hussle, he’s got his hands in a ton of business and real estate ventures, something I’ve been also been able to do. Most of all everything he does feels real, what he says and preaches is real and is always humble about it.
Kofi Frimpong: What’s next for Live Fit and what are your big picture goals for the next 5 years?
Randall Pich: The goal for Live Fit for the next 5 years is to keep dominating our online growth and direct-to-consumer sales, expand our in-house team, expand our athlete and ambassador roster and start opening flag-ship stores. The flag-ship store is something I want to do to make a statement, we’re going to be putting one here in Southern California and a few international stores perhaps Toronto Canada, Sydney Australia and hopefully Tokyo Japan. All of the stores will be a hub where people from all over can visit and take pictures and would sell only exclusive LVFT gear, items you can only get in the flag-ship stores.