With tons now unemployed due to COVID-19, it seems like the entrepreneurial bug seems to be going around. With many businesses firing instead of hiring, this 19-year-old college student decided to start a business of his own. Meet Jake Howells, the founder of Gym Deck Apparel, a fitness and athletic clothing brand that is dominating the market. Howells is a Finance student at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. Jake decided to start the business mid-pandemic after having some extra time on his hands. The business has exploded since its launch, selling tons of products on its online store.
Launched in June of 2020, Gym Deck set out with a mission to create high-quality apparel for high-intensity athletes. Jake describes the company as “a brand that offers gym apparel for both men and women. We currently specialize in t-shirts, hoodies, and shorts, but hope to expand more in the coming months into apparel like stringers and a wider variety of leggings.”
We wanted to dive deeper inside the mind of this 19-year-old entrepreneur, so we reached out to Jake and this is what he told us:
Cox: Why did you start this company:
Howells: Well I’ve always wanted to start a business of my own and in the past I’ve looked at things like Amazon FBA but it never really stuck with me. I didn’t want to sell random products for just a short amount of time, I knew if I was going to make it work, I would have to sell something I’m passionate about. That being said, I took two things I love doing – business and fitness – and put them together to come up with Gym Deck Apparel.
Cox: Have you always been an entrepreneur your entire life:
Howells: No, not really. I mean I’ve done things like having my own little landscaping company around my neighborhood in the summers, but Gym Deck is my first actual business venture.
Cox: What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur:
Howells: I had always wanted to start my business but never really had the time, money, or business idea to do so. When the lockdown started and I began to come up with Gym Deck Apparel, I just figured now is probably the best time to take a shot at this.
Cox: What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur:
Howells: My favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur is being able to make my own product that people like and are excited about. Hearing back from customers about how much they love their apparel might be my favorite aspect, because I know that I made something that someone truly enjoys.
Cox: What has been your most satisfying moment in business:
Howells: The most satisfying moment so far has been when I made my first sale. I had put so much time and work into setting the company up and getting it ready for launch, that it almost didn’t even seem real. So when I actually launched the site and got my first sale, it made all that work worth it a hundred times over and I’ve been hooked ever since.
Cox: Describe the growth of your company since it has launched:
Howells: Since our launch, the company has been growing pretty well. People are starting to follow us more and more on social media, and we are getting tons of positive feedback. On Friday September, 4, we launched our first new collection, tagged the “Glitch Collection” and have high hopes that it is going to perform very well.