I am so thrilled to share the story of Six03 Endurance with you for the June Brand Love Spotlight! I had the privilege of interviewing one of the program's founders, Tom Hooper, to learn more about this business and how it got its start. Their unique approach has brought people together around health and fitness and provided a social outlet for like-minded folks to connect. I think you will be inspired by their vision for the company and the work they have put in to grow it to the place it is today.
BL: So What is Six03 Endurance?
TH: SIX03 is a club comprised of fun, healthy, and athletic people that share a passion for the outdoors and the social community. We are runners, cyclists, swimmers, skiers, snowboarders, cross-fitters, adventure athletes, tri-athletes and social butterflies. Our members range from people looking to run their first 5K, to multi-Ironman finishers. We are recreational runners and we are tri-athletes. We are skiers, riders, and ski lodge drinkers. We are cross-fit curious and World’s Toughest Mudder Finishers. We are always looking for new members and new activities.
BL: That's Amazing! How did Six03 Endurance begin?
TH: There have always been running teams or Triathlon teams but not much was out there for multi-sport teams. We wanted to come up with a team that wanted to do everything from 5ks to marathons from triathlons to Tough Mudders, from Kayak racing to Snow Shoe racing. We wanted to incorporate a NH theme for when we traveled to other states for these races. It came together pretty organically. SIX03 - Not One Sport…Every Sport
BL: What was your GRAND vision for Six03?
TH: The Grand vision when it started and what we have now for a Grand vision are much different. A bunch of friends going to races together was the original grand vision. The grand vision now that this has gotten so big so fast is still, going to races with friends, but has evolved and is still evolving. I’m not sure there is an “end” where we can go “ahh we are finally there.” We just try to keep things new and exciting.
BL: How does what your business puts out in to the world make you feel?
TH: Feels great! We are getting a bunch of people up and off their couches and running their first 5k, doing their first obstacle race or trying a new sport. To watch these girls and guys try something new or PR a race is awesome.
BL: What were some of your biggest stumbling blocks at the start of Six03?
TH: The retail side of SIX03 definitely has been the largest learning curve for us. Where to get the gear, what sizes and styles does everyone want, returns, what are we going to get next year to keep it fresh? It’s so much more work than we ever expected. The other thing was trying to be Race Directors. We are hosting our first 10k on July 27th Dover, NH. You can check it out at http://six03summerfest10k.com/
This takes so much more work and planning than we could have ever expected. From permits and insurance to sponsors and vendors. Getting everyone to come together on the same day is much more difficult than it looks from the outside.
BL: What is your #1 marketing strategy?
Tom: I would say we have two #1’s. Social media is, of course, HUGE and we have been very successful with that. The other is the “coffee mug marketing strategy.” Remember the old diner coffee mugs with all the logos on them? Well, we transferred that to pint glasses in all of the bars. People love drinking out of our pint glasses and we get tons of pictures sent to us of the pint glasses from all over the state. Our Sponsor Smuttynose Brewing Co. has been so great helping us out with this.
BL: What are the core values your Brand is built on?
TH: Fun. When this is no longer a good time, I think it would be time to call it quits.
BL: Have you differentiated your business model?
TH: We didn’t start with a business model. We had 5 or so friends that we knew would like to do this. Then it went to 25 in a month, Next thing we knew we had 200 people who wanted the same thing we did. We have been extremely lucky that there was such a positive response.
BL: What is your favorite quote?
TH: There are so many great ones out there. Quotes also mean more or less to different people. Everyone has a quote that can get them motivated. Personally if I am struggling in a race I use the quote, “Suffer Better” I just need to suffer better than the guy next to me. Sebastian Kienle also had a great one at the Ironman Championship last year. "If it's hurting me, it's killing them."
BL: What is your favorite Brand?
TH: Salomon. They get it. They are well rounded in every sport. They have an online tv channel devoted to so many different sports that you would never see on conventional TV.
BL: What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs and athletes wanting to start their own business?
TH: Make sure you don’t burn yourself out, where your love for the hobby becomes tainted with the resentment of the work. Expect 10 times more of a workload than you previous thought, And expect it to be 10 times more expensive.
BL: What is your guiding force? What keeps you going?
TH: The friends on the team always wanting to know what’s next. What’s the next Adventure?
BL: If any of today’s readers want to get in touch with you about your business, products and services, what is the best way for them to reach you?
To register for the Six03 Summerfest 10K, visit http://six03summerfest10k.com/
I am a Six03 Girl for life!