Less than a year ago, Karla Perez, 36, removed all of her furniture and placed it in the back room and patio of her Miami home to make space for 6,000 tri-blend/poly-cotton T-shirts.
“It was madness,” said Perez about the time she spent most of the money in her savings account. “You couldn’t even walk because there were boxes of shirts everywhere.”
Perez, Andre Enriquez, 29, and Samantha Galvez, 22, were preparing to launch an athletic apparel line named Trunx.
After seeing a need for variety in CrossFit wear, these three CrossFit coaches — who met while working at I am CrossFit in Doral — decided to take on the fitness fashion world.
“I wanted to put my thoughts on T-shirts and express myself on clothing,” said Enriquez, who is referred to as the “think box,” or the brains, behind Trunx.
But his dream later manifested into two months of preparation for their debut at the 2012 Summer Crush Games, a local CrossFit competition that welcomed 522 athletes and more than 6,000 spectators.
“We said, ‘If we are going to do this, we are going to start big,’ ” Perez said about their choice to break into the business by becoming a gold sponsor for the competition. “We put our brand on their judges, their volunteers, and their athletes. We did everything we could, so that at least by the time everyone walked out, they knew there was a company named Trunx. Even if they didn’t know what that was, the name was in their head.”
Since then, Trunx has launched an online store and a mobile app and plans on opening a store by November in Miami at 1460 NW 107th St.
In August, it will be a year since the brand sold its first T-shirt.
“We walked into this with no idea how to make a T-shirt,” said Perez. “We had to figure out how to make a shirt, where to buy it, and how to print it.”
Now, Trunx has sold its products in all 50 states and has shipped to Asia, Africa, Europe, Canada, Australia, and Iceland.
“There are days when we have 100 orders,” said Perez, who is the main investor in Trunx. “Our monthly sales are now approaching $35,000 a month.”
Galvez, who has taken on the social-media and branding role, said the company has used Instagram and Facebook for most of its marketing.
“A lot of our sales are directly on Instagram,” said Galvez, who expects Trunx to reach 10,000 followers on Instagram this month. “People post pictures wearing our shirts and the word spreads rapidly through social media.”
Aside from selling its products online, the company sets up a 10x10 pergola to offer the apparel at various CrossFit competitions.
On July 22, the Miami-made brand will head to California as an official vendor at the 2013 CrossFit Games, where athletes from around the world will compete.
The Trunx owners are excited about participating in an event that is expected to draw about 24,000 fans to a soccer stadium.
Dagoberto Jorge, who is part owner of CrossFit Downtown Miami and CDM Shop, carries Trunx at his store. Jorge said the local line has pioneered the CrossFit apparel industry with its creativity.
“It sells. People love the product because the line is bold,” said Jorge. “The colors and the sayings are new to CrossFit.”
While generic athletic apparel is typically geared toward functionality, CrossFit clothing is also about making a fashion statement as it provides protection and full mobility for basic CrossFit movements.
“It’s a material that withholds the wear and tear and is light enough to prevent from getting too hot,” said Jorge, 37, about the Trunx apparel he has been selling for the past three months.
A CrossFitter is likely to wear a neon headband, wristbands, colorful socks, and a bright, quirky T-shirt. Trunx caters to this style.
Enriquez said Trunx is essentially a CrossFit brand, but he hopes it will keep expanding and appeal to all fitness enthusiasts.
“We want to motivate people ... through the sayings on our T-shirts,” said Enriquez, who comes up with the phrases while coaching or listening to hip-hop songs.
Some of the sayings on the T-shirts include, “Live beyond the norm” and “fearless”.
All of the T-shirts also incorporate a motivational quote on the inside.
“I love the quotes. They are really inspiring,” said Valentina Pecoraro, 19, a Trunx customer. “They have great styles and the colors are fun.”
When Trunx was just an idea, Perez, Enriquez, and Galvez said the shirts being sold for the sport were low quality.
The three decided they would ensure high quality with their brand by having their T-shirts made by a Kendall company, Three Fold Apparel.
Mauricio Vigil, 27, who wears Trunx not only to workout but also to hangout on the weekend, said he likes that the fabric is soft and doesn’t stick to his body.
“They have the best quality out there from all of the ones I’ve used, even in comparison to Rogue, adidas, and Nike,” said Vigil, moments after finishing a CrossFit workout in his “Bred for Greatness” Trunx T-shirt.
The owners of Trunx said their products’ quality and originality separate them from other CrossFit fashion brands.
“We are going to be the lululemon of CrossFit, and it’s not going to take us five years,” said Perez. “That’s our goal, that’s what we want to become. That’s what we are fighting for and working towards.”