Aug. 23, 2022

The Crossrope Story: From a One-Man Operation to a Leading Fitness Brand with David Hunt Ep. 83


In 2011, I suffered a severe injury. I tore a pectoral muscle while bench pressing. I was shocked and angry at myself. Why, 7 years after college sports, was I lifting heavy weights? Now, as an instructor pilot in the Navy, I couldn't fly, I couldn't workout, and I had a painful surgery and long recovery ahead. I was consumed with sadness and self-loathing. 

Leading up to this incident, I was a skeptic. I'd roll my eyes at stories of silver linings and turning lemons to lemonade. Sure, there might be some good outcomes from a 'positive mental attitude,' but not in most cases. My first reaction was to dwell on my misery and irresponsibility. 

But I had an entrepreneurial itch. Was this the best opportunity to take a shot at creating something with energy, inspiration, and purpose?

During my Naval career, jumping rope became my favorite fitness tool. It was portable for all my traveling and always a fun challenge compared to boring cardio routines. 

Even better - I discovered weighted ropes. An amazing workout I didn't know existed. The ones I used broke due to terrible designs, but a seed was planted.

What about a Cross-training jump rope? Amazing quality with ropes that can be swapped to provide an awesome variety of jump rope fitness experiences ... 'Crossrope.'

I didn't have any business or fitness industry experience. Just a library card and determination. Many founders are touted as visionaries who saw the future and took bold action. I laugh because my experience has been the opposite. I began fearful of failure, but now Crossrope has far eclipsed what I could have imagined. That is a testament to the incredible team we've built that brings energy, talent, and purpose. Crossrope is definitely a different way to find joy in getting healthy and staying fit.

Though there are many influences shaping our culture, but I love our core value of striving for continuous improvement. We bring enthusiastic efforts to employee experience, customer experience, and product development, synthesizing internal innovative ideas with customer feedback. It's been incredible to see the life-changing experience shares of our customers, the successes of our team, and momentum of Crossrope. I'm filled with gratitude every day and excited for the path we're on.

If the idea of striving to become world-class at what you do in support of a mission to bring joy, confidence, and inspiration through jump rope fitness sounds interesting, take a look at our job openings or shoot me a note. We're excited to continue building an amazing team!

Where to find David Hunt

Website: www.crossrope.com


SPONSOR

This episode is sponsored by Entire Productions- Creating events (both in-person and virtual) that don't suck! and Entire Productions Marketing- carefully curated premium gifting and branded promo items. 

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Transcript
David Hunt:

I would say to anyone out there that hasn't been through the process, one of the very best things to do is to try to get connected to some entrepreneur, some business owner that's done it before because they're happy to pay it forward and share the trials and tribulations. And I think most of all help them hopefully avoid some of the mistakes that are inevitable along the path.

Natasha Miller:

Welcome to FASCINATING ENTREPRENEURS. How do people end up becoming an entrepreneur? How do they scale and grow their businesses? How do they plan for profit? Are they in it for life? Are they building to exit these and a myriad of other topics will be discussed to pull back the veil on the wizardry of successful and FASCINATING ENTREPRENEURS.? My book RELENTLESS is now available. Everywhere books can be bought online, including Amazon and BarnesAndNoble.com try your local indie bookstore too. And if they don't have it, they can order it. To them, the reviews are streaming in and I'm so thankful for the positive feedback, as well as hearing from people that my memoir has impacted them positively. It is not enough to be resilient. You have to be RELENTLESS. You can go to TheRelentlessBook.com for more information. Thank you so much. David Hunt was a Pilot in the Navy and suffered an injury while bench pressing during his recovery. He jotted down some ideas for a business that ended up being Crossrope. We talk about how he worked part-time at first, what happened to the business during the pandemic and how they managed their incredible marketing. Now let's get right into it.

David Hunt:

I had some early entrepreneurial ideas. One of 'em was when I was a sophomore in college, I did jumping sports go figure, and I wanted to create this digital vertical jump measuring device. And I had taken some engineering classes. And I went to one of those invention submission corporation offices. The ones that advertise on TV will help you with your invention and I'm 19 years old. So I'm feeling good about taking the initiative and trying to get this thing figured out, but I just felt that kind of this short cut route. Something just felt a little off. And I know there are people that have gone that route and they get something patented and it all works out, but they wanted X amount of money for this and this amount to market it. And so when I got injured in 2011, it was difficult to manage mentally. But one thing that I did realize I had was quite a bit of time. And the entrepreneurial itch from that original idea had stuck with me through all those years. It burned like maybe that wasn't the right avenue, but I really wish I had created this product that solves a problem for me and all the things that I enjoy. And so I think the ultimate impetus to get over the fear. Oddly enough, more of a fear that if I didn't take this opportunity to try something, I'd really regret it. So ironically enough, it was the fear of not doing it that pushed me over the top to give it in a shot and going for it.

Natasha Miller:

So you were injured and you were in the Navy, correct?

David Hunt:

Yes.

Natasha Miller:

And so during the time you're developing the idea for the product and the service. I think it's both. Maybe you can correct me to me as a customer. It feels like both, but anyway. Yes. Were you working somewhere at the time? Were you on leave? How did you spend your time?

David Hunt:

Sure. I started working on it as I guess, a side. I don't know if side hustle had been coined back then, but in essence, a side hustle and it was a fairly serious injury. I was still active duty in the Navy and I still had certain duties, but I couldn't fly. I couldn't work out. I was limited in my capacity and that allowed me enough time to be able to start to get the idea off the ground, to take the nights and weekends. And it was actually a part-time job until 2016. So I launched it in 2012 and-

Natasha Miller:

Wow.

David Hunt:

for four years, up through 2016, I was still active duty in the Navy.

Natasha Miller:

What was your revenue like during those first few years?

David Hunt:

So the first year was about seven months and it was $57,000. And what's interesting about that is that it had actually greatly exceeded my expectations. I remember what I was going-

Natasha Miller:

What I was saying, you should have been happy about that.

David Hunt:

I was, and I went to go incorporate as a business and the individual, the accountant that was gonna help me with it said just rough estimate, ballpark. What do you think you'll sell in the first year? And I told him $3,000, that was my target. And you kinda have a little bit of that imposter syndrome and you don't know how it's all gonna pair out. And then the first time I ever used an accountant, I had booked a $10,000 loss on $57,000 in sales and he said to me, if I were you, I would never go on shark tank. And I said, so that's a interesting, but random comment. Why not? And he said, because I don't think they'd take you seriously. At some point, you're gonna need to make money in order for the IRS to consider this to be a real business. And

Natasha Miller:

Right.

David Hunt:

that bothered me so much. And just it's the little experiences like that. I think make us resilient and motivate us. But yeah, started with 57K that first year. Wow.

Natasha Miller:

That's quite the comment from that person. And that would get me. I would be like, I'm gonna prove you wrong. I'm gonna do incredibly well. And I'm gonna go to shark tank. I'm gonna get the offers and I'm gonna turn them down.

David Hunt:

Exactly.

Natasha Miller:

That's exactly what happen if that, to me. So the next question I had for you. We didn't really talk about, but how long from the idea of your product to actually selling one?

David Hunt:

Yes. So I remember the dates fairly specifically, so I got injured July 1st, 2011, and I was, so I think I'm very cognizant of mental health and things of that nature. And so I don't want to use any like clinical term, but I was in a very despondent state. I was so angry at myself around the injury. And so in order to snap out of the negative mentality. I within probably, and I got surgery on July 11th. Within that first week, I had a notebook out with ideas.

Natasha Miller:

Wow.

David Hunt:

And the way that the process went is I was newly married. And I had five or six different ideas, frankly. I don't remember what the other ones were. And-

Natasha Miller:

I wanna find that notebook.

David Hunt:

Yeah, I know. I feel like it's gotta be somewhere. I gotta dig it up because I'm curious if any of them were any good. But what was interesting is when I ran the ideas by my wife, she's very direct. She's supportive. But she won't tell me something that she thinks that I want to hear. And the interchangeable jump rope idea was the one that she said that makes sense and could work. That's interesting. And so July 11th is what I consider to be, or shortly within that first week is when I formalized and came up with the idea. And then May 29th, 2012 was when. The website went up and launched and we had our first sale, so just under a year.

Natasha Miller:

Okay. And so are you manufacturing locally in the United States? Did you go overseas? What was that for you, that journey of discovery?

David Hunt:

Yes. Journey of discovery is certainly the right phrase for it because I didn't have any idea. It was at the level where you don't even know what books to check out from the library, cuz you don't know the right terms to look for.

Natasha Miller:

I love that you check out books at the library seriously. I mean we're such a goggleable society now that going to the library seems ancient, but it is incredible resource.

David Hunt:

It's a different way for discovery and the level of content that you'll find you still can't find it on the internet, the same way that you find it in the library. So that was my early business lessons and teaching on everything from, I drafted my own provisional patent the first time through, I would not recommend that upon anyone else, but you're trying to stay as lean as possible and you're learning along the way. And so in essence, for the manufacturing piece of it, which was a big challenge, I really wanted to try to make something out of preexisting parts and components to validate the process. I've seen others that go and they pay for the expensive molds and the tooling, and they take years and look for some I'm not judgmental, right? For some products and business opportunities. You have to do that. For this one, it was really Google search for handles that have ball bearings. It was going to Lowe's and Home Depot. And it was a really interesting journey that led the first version of it, to be made out of deconstructed, nunchucks and fishing, lure components and my cable-

Natasha Miller:

My dad is gonna love this.

David Hunt:

What was so interesting and then insightful is I had started to learn a little bit about MVPs and go ahead and put out something to validate the process. And of course the risk is if it doesn't work the right way, or if it's so bad, you might never get off the ground. But what was interesting is even though I was slightly embarrassed of this product and ashamed to say I had used preexisting components from nunchucks and fishing lures. It actually worked very well. And so when I started to get feedback on it from people that I didn't know that liked it and thought it was a good idea, it was very validating. So it started with manufacturing in my house. In my garage. I found a cable manufacturer all along the way, knowing that with this being a more premium product manufacturing state side, wasn't going to be a feasible long-term objective. And I was fortunate to get introduced to a sourcing partner over in China that we're still with and he, and-

Natasha Miller:

Let's stop right there and talk about how did you source that person? Because I think the barrier to entry is pretty great. I will assume that you weren't an EO at that point.

David Hunt:

I was not.

Natasha Miller:

So did not qualify where did you find this resource? I was lucky. I had one other Navy friend that I knew that had gotten out to go the entrepreneurial route and asked him they had done some interesting sort of 50 caliber based jewelry.

David Hunt:

So they gave a percentage of their profits back to veteran funds and things of that nature, but he was a helpful guy at the outset. And so he knew a couple individuals that had done some sourcing. They actually didn't work out, even though it didn't work out. I didn't know anybody else to go to. So I went back to him. And he introduced me to some former army guys that had a good experience with a sourcing coordinator that they had met in Chicago that lived overseas and understood the space And so I think it was the confluence of looking across my network just to find anyone. That might have some leads that they can refer. And then just the patients to try to convey the vision-

Natasha Miller:

You could've find it from the library though.

David Hunt:

The library. Yes. And now I think there are more resources, but I would say to anyone out there that hasn't been through the process, one of the very best things to do is to try to get connected to some entrepreneur, some business owner that's done it before because they're happy to pay it forward and share the trials and tribulations. And I think most of all help them hopefully avoid some of the mistakes that are inevitable along the path.

Natasha Miller:

Okay, this is the question that I've been dying to ask you, based on my own experience with your brand, when was your tipping point of success?

David Hunt:

Ooh, that's a good one. And I appreciate the question. It's interesting because like I had mentioned when I was act duty in the Navy, at some point I had to make a commitment to go for it and to run it full time. And of course, as an aviator in the Navy and with a wife and kids, I had bills to pay. I didn't have quite the latitude. I didn't have a lot of savings. I didn't. Access to capital or parents or any of those sorts of things. And so the original plan was that I had owed one more year on my Navy service obligation and would get out. But after one more year, things never go quite as fast and smoothly as you think they're gonna go. And so I had extended for four years till 2016, and I had a nasty surprise. Five months out from when I was gonna be getting out full time. What happened was I hadn't paid myself any money from the business all the way up through the end of 2015. So you're talking three years into business. Still hadn't paid myself anything. And not only that, but in the first quarter of 2016, our revenues were down 20%. So I'm not a panicking sort of person but I was getting pretty close. So I had a business coach that. You've learned a lot. You've done a lot. You have the drive to be successful. This may not be your thing. Maybe there's other things you can get a job. And this is my coach and I like him and I very much respect him. It lit a fire under me that I've gotta figure this out. So the tipping point was two things in 2016 and it was very timely. The first one is, and I don't necessarily like plugging things, but the first one was reading traction. I think implementing EOS for us. Yeah, there's lots of good systems. I advocate for any system that works, but for us, that one really helped to get a sense of organizational structure. And I think it helped to reduce the sense of imposter syndrome. It felt like we knew some real business organizational things to focus on and in doing so we got our scorecard clear, we got our metrics clear on what we needed to focus. And the second facet of that is that we had found these partners, these creators on YouTube, who at the time had a thousand followers were just getting started out, actually already had our product and liked it and entered into a relationship. And in 2016, they started to go viral on YouTube and they went from a thousand followers to 50,000 followers. And so the end of the story that year in. Yep. The end of the story and why it was a turning point, is that not only do we end up having 40% revenue, 5%, but we were profitable at a level that I was able to comfortably make that transition and onwards and upwards from there. So very, I still feel very grateful. You create your own luck, but there's an element of luck to the timing. And that was definitely present here.

Natasha Miller:

Okay. So that was a different answer than I expected from my vantage point. And what I'd like to share with you and ask you about is during the pandemic. I saw you everywhere. And I didn't know that you were in my Etrepreneur's Organization. And so you were just this like amazing product that just came to market. That was my, that's what it looked like to me and the ads were great and your, a buy was so great too. So I would've estimated that your tipping point or the big push would've happened during the pandemic, talk to me about that time. Have you ever thought that you should write a book that you should write the story of your life to help other people learn from your experience? Please go to MemoirSherpa.com and learn how I can help you write, figure out your publishing path and market your story, your memoir to a best seller status. Yes. In essence, I think the first one was like the viability tipping point and the second one was an on the map tipping point.

David Hunt:

So you're right. It was an interesting time and the perspective that we first of all, just to give a little bit of insight in the back end. I remember in March. There started to be whispers of COVID and what was gonna happen. And I don't know if you remember Natasha, but it was like right around, like March 17th. I remember like March 15th, 16th, 17th, there was the Laker that got COVID and then there was kind some of these big names. And so something happened.

Natasha Miller:

On March 19, we had an event planned. A $500,000 event plan for over 800 people that had to be canceled. Oh my God. So that date burns.

David Hunt:

Well, and that's one of the, I think really paradoxical things about the impact of COVID on different businesses, right? Because there's not really words to describe her and capsulate the type of experiences, largely negative across the globe that will go on and have second and third order effects for years and years to come. And for us and for some other businesses, that's what put us into this weird spot of wanting to be helpful and supportive and not celebratory of something that was adverse, but taking the perspective that we offered something that hopefully was a positive impact at an adverse time. And that the incidents of COVID really served as a megaphone for what we were already doing. We didn't change our tactics or our strategies. We didn't try to take advantage of the situation. We simply felt like we had a platform where more and more people were interested in this idea of how they could get an effective health and wellness and fitness routine at home, maybe with a form of training that they hadn't experienced before. And so really, from March to may, if you take mid-March to mid-May our sales 10x and its just like it's, I think it's hard for people to fathom-

Natasha Miller:

that's

David Hunt:

it's insane.

Natasha Miller:

Within the pandemic timeline.

David Hunt:

Yes.

Natasha Miller:

That people picked up on that because during those months we were still being told two weeks, couple more weeks. Maybe two months, like there was no like huge gloom and doom yet, but that's amazing. So let's talk about what happened the rest of the next couple of years.

David Hunt:

Yes. I think what I've put a lot of reflection into is that first of all, the importance of humility is because the pendulum always swings both ways. I think success gets a level of confidence that. Take away from innate humility, but it puts you into a position where you're focusing your energies in a different way on what the future holds on the decisions you should be making. And I think the reminder on the humility is useful for making decisions to remember that we don't know how things are gonna manifest in what's gonna happen. And so even though 2020 was a game changing year for the business, I think what a lot of founders and then particularly in the fitness space, particularly in the connected fitness space, particularly in eCommerce found that this idea of the new normal. Didn't necessarily play out. A lot of demand was pulled forward. So customers that you might have had in 20 21, 20 22, 2023 were all customers that you had in 2020. And so we're still very proud of what we've built. And we still feel that we are at a level as an organization and a brand that is likely above where we would've been and we not had that platform. And yet by the same token, that's one of those, I call it like the Peloton effect. If anybody's followed Peloton stock,

Natasha Miller:

I wasn't gonna mention it, but

David Hunt:

and I've got no qualms, right? Like I view it's rising tide raises all ships. Sure. I believe anybody contributing to health and wellness in whatever capacity is doing something positive and you have to face the realities of competition in a marketplace. But I think when you look at them as the bellwether in the space and you see the market cap peaked at 50 billion and it's slightly under four right now. And that may not be directly relevant to all other connected fitness or all other health and wellness spaces, but it certainly is a reasonable representation of the overall macro factors because people want to go out and travel and maybe,

Natasha Miller:

oh yeah

David Hunt:

self care is in different places and locations. And so we've had a lot of great opportunities to really refine and think through what our growth strategy is gonna be moving forward.

Natasha Miller:

Were you the highest revenue of all time in 2020 and 21?

David Hunt:

Yes. 2020 was our peak. And I think part of the reason why is because we're very systems and production oriented. So we actually never stocked out in 2020 because we were able to ramp up production because we were able to sort out logistics. Whereas I think a lot of companies that

Natasha Miller:

Wow, you did had a supply chain shipping situation nailed.

David Hunt:

There were challenges. But one advantage that we had is that even though air freight rates had gone up so much, customer acquisition was so inexpensive. In 2020 that we could pay.

Natasha Miller:

That was a super toter balance.

David Hunt:

Exactly. We could afford to pay for whatever we needed to fulfill the demand. And once we were able to get production ramped up. So 2020 was a peak down a little bit from that in 2021. And we think that this year will be somewhere in the realm of where we were in 20, 21, maybe down a little bit, but with a lot of exciting things in the horizon. And I think a conviction around the idea that this is a category expansion opportunity, right? There isn't an established jump rope market. That's a joke, right? Like it's more of this idea of could jumping rope be something that's in with somebody's health and wellness routine. Cause there's a lot of amazing benefits and we look to the very best experience.

Natasha Miller:

I watching a lot of incredible jump ropers that are doing tricks. And I follow this woman in London. Who's 60, who's just killing it. I'm not sure if they're using your ropes, but it doesn't matter. Because it's all contributing to your brand one way or the other. I don't know if she's using your ropes, but I know of your ropes. And if I wanna be like her, I'm just gonna get your ropes.

David Hunt:

I'm glad that you brought that up cuz it's another one of those rising tide raises all ships. And it's funny because there's a ton of amazing jump rope creators. And sometimes there's, it even seems like there's these little tensions and these little rivalries and this competitive element. And I wanna bring everybody together and say, Hey, there's just not enough people jumping. We're not losing out. Also to that end. Our focus within jump rope is really strongly in the jump rope fitness realm. And what I mean by that is that. You're implementing some form of a workout around the weights of ropes and integrated with body weight exercises in a way that's intended to get really efficient and well rounded fitness results. Whereas of course, if you're doing any jumping, it's good for fitness, but there's this whole realm of jump roping for tricks. And it's what on America's got talent and it's what you'll see in Cirque du Soleil. And it's all amazing things beyond what I could ever imagine myself or others in our community doing, but what it's great for, even if that's not our specialty, even if we don't make that sort of rope, is it. Inspires people and it captures their attention and it brings awareness. And so that's genuinely my perspective on it when I see anybody new doing amazing things.

Natasha Miller:

I just wanna tell you a little secret that I'm pretty sure you don't know about me, that I had this dream to learn how to double-dutch jump rope maybe 10 years ago. And to me, I just couldn't conceive of how you do it. And then I took a class and now I can do all these double-dutch jump rope tricks so it's my like secret thing. Now. I know we're not doing that with your weighted ropes, but it's relevant. OK.

David Hunt:

It's totally relevant. Yeah. And I love that. And I have a lot of respect too, because believe it or not, until about a year ago, I had never tried double-dutch. I'm like almost embarrassed to admit that. And we had team week and two of our team members brought some double-dutch ropes and everybody on the team.

Natasha Miller:

That's so much fun.

David Hunt:

Had a chance to jump in the fun is what it's all about. It's I'd call it like double-dutch. And some of the playground stuff is like the gateway drug. If you will, to jump rope training, cuz if it starts out fun and it's something that you're interested in trying, it becomes a habit that's more sustainable. So that's awesome that you do double-dutch and you can probably smoke me. We'll have to try it sometime.

Natasha Miller:

We'll try it next year at MIT.

David Hunt:

Yes.

Natasha Miller:

So I wanna know your secret to the social media marketing. Did you have a different team than you ever had before during the pandemic? Or did you find someone new? And if you wanna say who it is, that'd be awesome too.

David Hunt:

Yeah. Sure. When I had started and was solo in it, it felt like the world of the internet was the best place to move quickly. And so to that end, I became interested in learning about the various online marketing and growth strategies and got a little bit into the growth hacker circles. And you learn the various platforms. And I was so fortunate that early on in 2012, there was a gentleman up in Toronto. That had reached out saying, Hey, I have a fitness blog. People always ask me what jump ropes I recommend. And I haven't really had a go to, but yours looks interesting and different. And if I like it, maybe we can partner up. Interestingly enough, I knew who he was because at the time he had the most. View jump rope, video on YouTube. It had over a million views. And so I was thrilled to partner up. And so we did some affiliate work and then contract work. And then he came on in 2016 as head of digital marketing. And now he's our chief marketing officer. So he's been with us for. Full time for seven years, but we've known each other for 10 years. His name is Serge Popovich and he runs an internal team that coordinates on the campaign execution. But then we use multiple agencies across different areas. So in 2020 part of the difference. And part of what individuals were seeing was an expansion of the number of agencies that we used. And I'm happy to share names of anyones that we did or didn't use as long as it's not too long of a list, but I think it would be surprising to people cuz we used a Facebook agency. We used an agency for all of our Google and YouTube spend. We used an agency for our branding and industrial design. We use an agency for our influencer marketing at the time we used an affiliate marketing agency. We used a creative agency. We used a creative contractor and I think with regard to what would've been seen. Online on the ad creative. The influencer marketing agency that we worked with is called village marketing out of New York city. And they're fantastic. They had worked with brands like SoulCycle and some other iconic sort of consumer facing brands. And we don't currently work with them, but not because they're not great, just because as everything started to come back down to reality, we wanted to make sure that we learned that skillset internally. And then on the Google side for running our ads and executing, we an agency called Digital Position. That's been fantastic for us and they do SEO and things of that nature. And so those are two that we use during the pandemic that we still use, that I highly recommend and happy to make intros, but definitely great to have partners that you trust to understand what you're trying to execute on and then have an internal team that knows enough about what's going on to give the direction of those partners.

Natasha Miller:

Was it your CMOs idea to go out to these various agencies rather than try to fit all in one agency, because a lot of agencies will say, yeah, we can do that. We can do your SEO. We can, your Facebook and your TikTok and your Google ad buys. But really it is a specialty. And so was it his thinking that you should. Spread yourself out.

David Hunt:

It's interesting because we're also fortunate to have a very established and accomplished eCommerce consultant. And so he's been a trusted partner for about five years now and he works almost exclusively with consumer facing brands. And what is amazing is he has. Sense of the relative skill level and capacity of the various agencies. And then he has the blueprints from the clients that he works with, that have used them that have had adverse results versus good results. And so when we enter into strategic discussions, we look at our relative spend plan in the various areas. And a lot of times what it is, if we feel like we're going to invest enough in creative, in Facebook, in Google, in TikTok, once we feel the spend level is commensurate to I. Meet the prerequisite spend amounts that make sense for an agency he'll make the introductions and recommendations, but we're all believers in doing our best to learn and understand it at the outset and not just abdicate it and say, "Hey, we don't wanna know about this. We don't do that." And so it was a combination of the CMO, the consultants in my perspectives in believing that as those spends get high enough, a couple percentage points difference in efficacy from an agency that you can trust that has credibility can make all the difference. For instance in the outcome. And that's how we came about those decisions in 2020.

Natasha Miller:

The last question I wanna talk to you about is you have a successful business that really grew over the pandemic and it's settling into itself now, right? Cause you have to face the new reality. What is the number one challenge that you're as a business owner today? July 21st.

David Hunt:

I think in broad terms, it's interesting to have to manage a lot of inflationary pressures on the expense side. At the same time, you're recalibrating it for a contracting environment. At a very broad level, but it's not one set thing. It's we have a great culture and a great team and great people, but there still is inflation. And there's still a lot of pressures within the job market and they all deserve to be valued and treated and compensated properly. And so it doesn't matter that business is contracting in terms of the value that they bring and deliver. So that's definitely a challenge. The input costs on manufacturing, freight tariffs. The agency costs because the agencies that we're working with are also having the same labor issues. And so I know I rattled off a couple things, but I think it fits within this realm of, for organizations that are still growing quickly. I think it's easier to dampen the perceived effect of the inflationary pressures. Ended up being so insidious about, and maybe that's too harsh of a word, but about the massive growth during COVID, because I've seen and heard just many stories that through the best forecasting the founders and the leadership could have made, nobody can tell the future and it almost ended up, setting up a failure, as things started to settle back into what nobody could have forecasted. So I feel proud of the way that we are managing that right now and coordinating with our team and our vendors and still having a good year by it's all relative, right. By most standards, still having a good year. Yeah. But I also feel that challenge may continue for a bit. And so we're trying to be prudent and conservative on how the confluence of those two factors will help us to make commensurate and prudent decisions for our growth plans so that we don't overextend or over invest.

Natasha Miller:

For more information, go to the show notes where you are listening to this podcast. Wanna know more about me go to my website, OfficialNatashaMiller.com. Thank you so much for listening. I hope you loved the show. If you did, please subscribe also, if you haven't done so yet, please leave a review where you're listening to this podcast now. I'm Natasha Miller and you've been listening to FASCINATING ENTREPRENEURS.

Dave Hunt Profile Photo

Dave Hunt

Founder and CEO

[Pasted from LinkedIn, but happy to abbreviate]
In 2011, I suffered a severe injury. I tore a pectoral muscle while bench pressing. I was shocked and angry at myself. Why, 7 years after college sports, was I lifting heavy weights? Now, as an instructor pilot in the Navy, I couldn't fly, I couldn't workout, and I had a painful surgery and long recovery ahead. I was consumed with sadness and self-loathing.

Leading up to this incident, I was a skeptic. I'd roll my eyes at stories of silver linings and turning lemons to lemonade. Sure, there might be some good outcomes from a 'positive mental attitude,' but not in most cases. My first reaction was to dwell on my misery and irresponsibility.

But I had an entrepreneurial itch. Was this the best opportunity to take a shot at creating something with energy, inspiration, and purpose?

During my Naval career, jumping rope became my favorite fitness tool. It was portable for all my traveling and always a fun challenge compared to boring cardio routines.

Even better - I discovered weighted ropes. An amazing workout I didn't know existed. The ones I used broke due to terrible designs, but a seed was planted.

What about a Cross-training jump rope? Amazing quality with ropes that can be swapped to provide an awesome variety of jump rope fitness experiences ... 'Crossrope.'

I didn't have any business or fitness industry experience. Just a library card and determination. Many founders are touted as visionaries who saw the future and took bold action. I laugh because my experience has been the opposite. I began fearful of failure, but now Crossrope has far eclipsed what I could have imagined. That is a testament to the incredible team we've built that brings energy, talent, and purpose. Crossrope is definitely a different way to find joy in getting healthy and staying fit.

Though there are many influences shaping our culture, but I love our core value of striving for continuous improvement. We bring enthusiastic efforts to employee experience, customer experience, and product development, synthesizing internal innovative ideas with customer feedback. It's been incredible to see the life-changing experience shares of our customers, the successes of our team, and momentum of Crossrope. I'm filled with gratitude every day and excited for the path we're on.

If the idea of striving to become world-class at what you do in support of a mission to bring joy, confidence, and inspiration through jump rope fitness sounds interesting, take a look at our job openings or shoot me a note. We're excited to continue building an amazing team!