Why did you start FORME?
I had never been a fan of the protein shaker – not only did they function poorly (leak, smell, noisy, etc.) but they gave off the impression that I was obsessed with the gym. Whilst I was keen to stay fit and healthy (and this was helped by taking supplements), I certainly didn’t want to become a bodybuilder. I felt that despite the evolution of the health and fitness space, and the new audience that it has attracted, the shaker is still very much stuck in the dark ages with it’s poor functionality and out-dated design. I wanted to create a shaker that appealed to the modern day health and fitness enthusiast and broke the stereotype associated with traditional shakers.
How did you come up with the name?
This was a very frustrating piece of the puzzle. I initially wanted a made up word that we could own from the start but one word that kept coming up in conversations with the product design team and the brand creation team was “form”. This immediately spoke to me as it is also a word that is relevant to the gym / exercise setting. Protecting the word “form” was basically impossible so I decided to make it “forme”. Broken down, “forme” becomes “for” + “me”, which worked really well as I always described our target audience as people who workout and look after their diet for themselves, not for anyone else. They do it “for” “me”.
What do you think is the most challenging part of starting a brand and running a company?
I ended up going round in circles a little bit when creating the brand because I felt that I had a product that so many people could benefit from, but at the same time I know I needed to be specific enough so that I didn’t cast the net too wide. Plus it feels like every name, website and social account is already taken! The hardest part of running a company is having to educate yourself in so many different areas of the business. With FORME, it has included everything from creative tasks such as making content for social, designing packaging and building a website, right through to more mundane ones such as financial forecasting and planning a distribution strategy.
What are your ambitions for FORME?
I would love for FORME to be symbol of a healthy, active lifestyle; a product that people are proud to display in the gym, on their desk and all over their Instagram page. By partnering with leading supplements brands, gyms and fitness brands I think we can get there.
Entrepreneurship seems to be on the rise. What would be your advice for someone starting up a business?
I hear a lot of conflicting advice from people on this topic. I think it really depends on a few things – your personality, your space and your general life situation. I started FORME whilst working full time at Spartan Race and it was very tough for the first year. I personally didn’t like flicking from one job to other and just wanted to focus on FORME, so once the Kickstarter campaign proved the idea was good, I handed my notice in.
One of the biggest challenges I’ve had is projecting how I can grow FORME and avoid any negative cash flow situations in the short time whilst the business finds it feet. So, my advice would be to decide whether you want (or need) to scale quickly or if you’re happy to grow at a steady rate. This is likely to dictate whether you need external investment or if you are able to bootstrap it. In turn, this will help answer a lot of your other questions, such as: should I quit my job, should I get a loan, how should I launch my business and so on. The worst thing you can do is nothing, but you need to figure out the best way for you to get your idea off the ground through a lot of research, testing and planning.
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