Born and bred in Manchester this Northern brand is taking over – with it’s play on words and array of colours from monotone to neon, this practical yet stylish bag is everywhere. Next time you’re walking down the high street or visiting your gym keep an eye out for this up and coming brand, I bet you’ll see at least one! I recently caught up with founder Anthony to see where his inspiration came from and what else is in store for the brand.
Hi Anthony, so you were a rugby player and PT before starting JimBag, tell us a bit about that?
Yes I’m currently still playing rugby semi professionally for Fylde in National One as well as doing some personal training, although I’m doing half the amount of clients I used to do prior to Jimbag. It’s a lot to deal with but I enjoy the balance I have across all three jobs.
And where did the concept for JimBag come from?
The concept came whilst I was travelling. After a 7 week stint in South America I settled in Sydney for 7 months playing rugby. I had a lot of time to think about my next move. I bought a bag in Australia and used the bag for everything from rugby, the gym, weekends away, the beach etc. I began to think that in the UK there doesn’t seem to be that option. On one hand you have sport functional bags that are great for the gym but don’t look the part wearing a smart outfit or for a weekend away. On the other hand you have luxury expensive bags you can purchase in places such as Harvey Nichols or Selfridges but with these bags you want to use them sparingly and not to use them everyday as it’s a luxury product and due to the expense you don’t want to ruin it.
How is JimBag different to any other sports bags on the market?
It’s current and on trend. It’s functional for sport but also edgy and on trend that can transcend into a fashion accessory due to the design. Jimbag bridges the gap between sport and fashion bags.
What do you think about the nation’s current obsession with health and fitness?
It’s great. The health and fitness industry is growing massively and it’s amazing to see and be involved in the current craze. I’m a big believer in health and fitness being a part of your lifestyle whether it’s the gym, sport, yoga etc. It’s something that should be in your weekly schedule and you should maintain it and embrace is as an important part of your life and not just in phases. As well as being physically fitter it also improves mindset and leads to successes in other areas of your life.
Can you tell us a bit about your fitness regime?
I tend to train in the gym three times a week as I also have rugby training twice a week and then a game on Saturdays. It’s a lot to squeeze in so occasionally I’ll make my third gym session a recovery one. The gym sessions consist of core, strength training and cardio. I tend to keep the reps low during the season to keep light and ticking over throughout the season. It’s difficult to lift heavy long sets as recovery is crucial in between games.
What do you eat in a typical day?
I usually start with Weetabix in the morning. Its habit and keeps me going for a few hours so I’ve stuck to it. Greek yoghurt, blueberries and honey around 9am. Chicken or salmon with rice/potatoes and salad/ veg at 12noon and 3pm. Evening meal usually consists of a meat or fish and veg with 70 percent cocoa chocolate for pudding as I do have a sweet tooth. I also have a juice every other day which helps keep me concentrated during a hectic work schedule. That would be a regular day but if I’m on the move and out of town it may vary. My aim is to keep it clean in the week Monday to Friday and relax over the weekends and eat and drink what I want. My food during the week is clean but also tasty. I’m not one to eat bland meals and with all the sport and activity I do have a high carb intake.
What’s a ‘day in the life’ like for you?
I’m an early bird getting to the gym for morning clients around 7 until 10. Head to the office for a few hours and then back in the gym to train with a client and then its back to the office or meetings with buyers, suppliers, marketers etc. My office is based next to the gym so it’s easy enough to bounce between the two. In the evenings I try and switch off and relax unless I have rugby training.
What’s the most fun part of running your own business?
The best thing is seeing the business develop. I get a huge buzz when I spot people wearing the bags or seeing the bags stocked in Selfridges. It’s a great feeling to know that something I’ve built is being bought and followed by others. Another great thing is that it doesn’t feel like work most of the time and you’re more willing to put in the hours because you’re so passionate about the brand/ business.
…and the most challenging?
The most challenging area is that you are the boss – so if something needs doing I am responsible for it whether I have the skill set to do it or not. If I don’t know how then I must learn which brings a lot pressure which I do thrive on. It’s also hard to switch off when I’m not at work as I’m constantly thinking on what needs doing but I’m learning to separate work and leisure as you need time to switch off and recharge the batteries.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to anyone looking to start up their own business in the industry?
Firstly, go for it. Too many people have great ideas but just sit on it and don’t act. It’s a risk but a risk worth taking and explore if you can develop your ideas, if you do fail you gain valuable experience in what you did wrong and then you can correct it next time.
And finally, what does the future look like for JimBag?
The future looks bright. We will continue to build the brand in the UK growing our online customers and stockists around the country and within the next few years begin expanding the business internationally – targeting Europe, USA and Australia as well as countries in the Far East.
Or alternatively, Anthony and JimBag have also been kind enough to run a competition with My Big Fit Diary where you could win one of their barrel bags (below) for yourself. Just head over to my Instagram and/or Twitter to find out what you have to do to be in with the chance of winning – Good Luck!! (Competition Now Closed – winner announced on twitter)