WHY ARE PEOPLE SO INTO THIS ROOTSUIT THING?
We love our fans and our customers. They are what have allowed our passion to become a business: this story is for you! A lot of people who buy RootSuits buy them because they love our story of entrepreneurship, determination, and fun. We thought we’d tell our story here, and we hope you like it. My name is Colin, and I started RootSuit in 2008—here is my story:
In 2008, I had just graduated from college, and was looking for something to devote my time and energy to. I had watched my friends give up on their dreams of living a life busting at the seams with fun, passion, and joy in favor of real jobs. I’ve always been determined to find the fun in all things.
After a few odd jobs here and there to make ends meet, I saw one of these weird green spandex bodysuits on TV, and thought that my friend would really enjoy wearing one. I searched and searched, but couldn’t find a single company that sold them online—so I decided to start one from the ground up with the help of three close friends: Brandon, Hampton, and Victoria. We sourced, designed, and manufactured the suits, after a significant process of trial and error and a serious learning experience.
First Jump Suits Arrive:
The first suits off the production line were way beyond our expectations. We couldn’t wait until Halloween—we had to put them on right away. We literally got so amped that we ended up in the French Quarter, and the crowd went so wild for the outfits (think free shots, unsolicited kisses, and hundreds of go-get-em-Tiger butt slaps); we knew we were on to something.
Our First Sale:
I put the first one up on ebay to see if anyone would buy it, and it ended up selling for $400 (I refunded all but the normal price—because the buyer seemed like a good guy and it seemed unfair). At that point, I coded my first website to try selling this type of full body jump suit. They went like hotcakes! My friends and I had no idea this would be the response we would get, and we were so happy. This was just about a month before Halloween, and there was no way we could keep up with demand. We were able to produce just several thousand, and they were reserved well before Halloween. Soon, there were thousands of people on a waiting list for full body spandex suits in case we could make more.
After Halloween, customers started requesting all sorts of products, and we tried to cater to every request. We went from producing and selling one color to 15 colors, and then expanded into patterns such as flags, animal prints, and ninja suits. While we’ve experimented with a lot of types of stretchy products at this point, we think that what we have now represents the stuff you guys like the most, though we’re happy to always hear our loyal fans suggestions.
Our second website launched in early 2008, and was a place where customers could easily choose from our large selection of colors and products. We refocused our company, experimenting with many types of spandex and zippers, making sure that our suits were of the highest quality and wouldn’t break when we wore them outside and got rough with them. Selling high quality products was sincerely important to us—and we were only happy when we thought we had the highest quality product that we could make.
Oh, the Phone and the Emails:
Since the beginning of RootSuit, we’ve always believed that our customers are everything, and we’ve tried to provide the best customer service that we possibly can. Our phone number has been posted at the tip top of our site, so that people can call us and ask us questions or just shoot the breeze about how much fun they’re having in their suits. In just a short time, we went from getting hundreds of emails and calls per month to thousands. But they started coming in so fast that we couldn’t answer them all. We had to take shifts and hire more friends to help us take care of all of our customers. It was a blast: our team of 4 friends could talk about nothing else other than RootSuit, sharing the antics we were hearing about what people were doing in the suits.
Ha, the Antics:
As we started to really sell more spandex suits, the customer thank you letters, pictures, and videos started rolling in. Our customers were doing everything from streaking across baseball fields to partying, bungee jumping and even skydiving (please don’t do this with the mask up, please be careful, please, please). We wanted to commemorate some of these special moments with blog entries and allow customers to add their own memories. Our facebook page exploded with volume and activity, and we couldn’t have been happier.
It was about this time in 2010, when a couple of really significant exposures of people in spandex clothing came out. The green men in Vancouver, supporting the Vancouver Canucks, got some serious media attention for distracting hockey players in the penalty box. Shaquille O’Neal also chose to wear an XXXXXL RootSuit while hosting an awards show.
Since the exposure, and our success, we’ve watched numerous copycat and low quality competitors pop up, and really grow the exposure to this product, especially in Europe. It’s amazing to think of ourselves as a global brand that’s been in business for almost 5 years now, but the market has gotten tougher for RootSuit. We’re excited to grow, but we’ve always kept a careful eye on quality, tempering our interest in producing more suits with our ability to get them to our customers on time, and make them the very best quality that we can.
We’re in 2012, and we’re so excited about the launch of the 3rd iteration of our website, with the goal of getting more of our suits out there, updating our blog with the amazing stories customers send in, and making our customers as happy as they can be. We look forward to hearing more about the adventures you get into RootSuits. Keep taking pictures and videos, and keep sending them to us!
We have appreciated your support, and we look forward to bringing you more fun products soon. And, if you’ve made it this far reading this and you like our story, please like our website on facebook—this would mean so much to us!