Strongbody Apparel

Sponsored Content with: BDC

There’s nothing worse for those who take physical fitness seriously and who love to sweat than folding their clean laundry only to find it still stinks. When Vancouver residents Quincy Samycia and Meghan Conyers set out to develop a line of luxury workout wear for men, they were determined to make the clothes not only stylish but also odour-resistant.​

The duo behind Strongbody Apparel found the answer by turning to the sea. Then they turned to Dragons’ Den to help their business grow. ​

As strange as it sounds, Samycia and Conyers discovered that crustaceans, of all things, can help fight odour. The shells of crabs and shrimp contain a substance called chitin, which acts as an anti-bacterial, helping clothes that have been drenched in sweat stay stink-free. Strongbody harnesses chitin from the shells and adds it to an aqueous solution with nano-sized particles. That solution is then used in the line’s fabrics. ​

Even those who prefer a casual stroll over a long-distance run are being won over by Strongbody’s designs. The only luxury activewear line for men in Canada, it consists of tops, bottoms, and hats that are as fashion-forward as they are functional. ​

That winning combination is what made the couple’s pitch on Dragons’ Den a success. They inked a deal with Canadian fashion designer Joseph Mimran, the industry powerhouse who launched Club Monaco and Joe Fresh brands.​

“These entrepreneurs got what they came for: one of the best fashion business minds in Canada,” says Ravi Dindayal, Director, Marketing—Consulting at the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). “This will be a big help as they are operating in a fairly competitive market segment.”​

Dindayal, who has worked with several of BDC’s Fortune 500 clients, including BMW and FIDO, says that start-up financing is just the beginning for entrepreneurs like Samycia and Conyers. To move forward successfully, a strategic sales and marketing plan is crucial. BDC provides advisory services related to both of these business pillars. And with each, timing is everything.​

“Quincy and Meghan need to ensure they have their product developed and business plan in place before they invest in marketing,” Dindayal says. “Between Lululemon and Nike, they’ve got their work cut out for them if they hope to become a household name. Product development and innovation will be key to their success.”​

Continued success in the sport fashion business, Dindayal notes, involves listening to consumers and adjusting designs to suit their needs. It also means staying ahead of the curve in terms of durable, breathable pieces that look good.​

“Quincy and Meghan are strong right out of the gate,” Dindayal says. “They’ve ticked the boxes: they have a good product, a strong brand, and a growing consumer base of health-conscious baby boomers. ​

“My advice to them would be to model the product on people who better represent their key demographic, perhaps a few more mid-40s, salt-and-pepper-haired gents to help the Dragons better understand the product fit and market.” ​

With a flair for fashion and business, Mimran negotiated a strong deal for himself, too. “I think it’s safe to say everyone was pleased with this partnership,” Dindayal says. ​

This is paid content provided by or produced on behalf of BDC.

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