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How we got started

HIStory

Born and raised in Miami, FL (Dade County!), Rob Ford, Owner and CEO of Get the Steppin Fitness Group, LLC was taught to go to school, be a top performer, go to college and get a good job. Fast forward, after graduating from the illustrious Howard University with an Economics degree , he landed a great job with the federal government (since then he has held several sales jobs), married his high school sweetheart, had 3 beautiful daughters, bought a house in a suburbs in Maryland… And then COVID-19 happened.

 

Growing up in a Christian household with 5 other siblings, Ford emerged himself in the Holy Bible and the Christian faith. After giving his life to God at an early age, he was always told that there was something different about him. “Everywhere I go I’m told my smile and presence lights up a room,” he attributes that to the Holy Spirit and his faith in God. “Man one day I walked into a sales call and the owner of the business told me, ‘Rob you’re going to be something great. You’re going to impact millions of lives.’ This man didn’t even know me, Ford said. I didn’t know exactly what that meant at the time, but I think I know now.”

 

THE START OF THE MOVEMENT

“The brand was created out of a crisis”

In 2018, Ford had fallen in love with fitness.,  He and his wife, with the help of their personal trainer,  lost over 30 pounds in  90 days. “Yo, I was 200 pounds before I started working out, and in 90 days I was down to 170 pounds. My wife and I were in the best shape of our lives!” Ford would work out 5 days a week. He started posting encouraging videos on social media about health and fitness and would challenge others in his circle to live healthier lives. Fitness was now his thing. Then in the Spring of 2020 the world had shut down due to Covid-19. Ford, like the rest of the world, was home, scared, and overwhelmed. “3 months after the world shut down I legit gained 25 pounds! I was depressed and stressed out. I went from working out 4-5 times a week to sitting at my desk or on my couch with a laptop in my face, eating a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked ice cream, at least 4 times a week.” It had gotten bad, Ford said. But then in the Summer of 2020 something clicked for Ford, he was tired of looking at his belly hang over his pants when he looked in the mirror and hanging over his seatbelt when he sat in his car. Ford stopped eating ‘trash’ and began home exercises and walking 10 thousand steps every day. “I would tell myself before every walk to ‘Get the Steppin’, it was a way to pump myself up”. And in 30 days he lost 18 of the 25 pounds he gained. After seeing results, he began challenging friends and family to get 10K steps a day. His challenge began to get popular amongst a small group of friends, he soon would open it up to others in the surrounding community. And that’s when the Get the Steppin 21 Day Step Challenge was formed. “The brand was created out of a crisis. Me and so many others needed to get up, get moving and Get the Steppin, our lives depended on it.” His step challenge became a way for people to lose weight, gain mental clarity, build community and to have fun.” 

 

THE BRANDING

“You are not a clothing line, you’re a step challenge”

 

Growing up, Ford watched the legendary comedy series, Martin. Martin Lawrence is one of Ford’s favorite comedians. “Martin Lawrence is one of the best comedians and entertainers, hands down!” On the Martin series, the lead character, Martin, would kick people out of his apartment any time he would get upset. But before he would kick them out, he would say, ‘Get tah Steppin!’ and everybody would leave. This phrase is wildly known and recognized across cultural lines. “It’s a dynamic phrase used in variety of forms,” said Ford. I took the phrase that Martin used to kickout people and used it to motivate and encourage people to get off their butts and exercise.”

Ford took his version of the phrase and one late night he and his wife created a logo that had some similarities to the Martin series logo. “I was very careful not to copy the show’s logo exactly.” Ford said he didn’t want to get into any trouble. But he knew he wanted to create something that was familiar to people. “I wanted people, when they saw my logo, to immediately identified with it and for it to remind them to get moving.” Ford selected neon colors (highlighter green, orange, lime green, etc) so that his brand could stand out. Originally, he wouldn’t create an apparel brand. He and his wife purchased t-shirts, vinyl and a heat press machine, and created t-shirts to give to every step challenge participant as a thank you. He didn’t know that his ‘small thank you’ gesture would birth a highly created and impactful marketing tool for his company. Ford started the process of trademarking his logo in September 2020 and would become fully trademarked in June of 2021.

With the bright colors of the logo and selected apparel, anytime Ford or his members wore their shirts, it caught the attention of people. People began to ask how and where to purchase his Get the Steppin branded t-shirts. With so many inquiries, Ford began to accept t-shirt orders from non-step-challenge participants. “Things started to get crazy! My wife and I were up some days as late as 4 am fulfilling T-shirt orders”. In the fall and winter months of 2020, Ford would launch his Get the Steppin branded hoodies. His sells expanded from Washington, DC down to Miami Florida. He was on a roll, but would soon find out the meaning of burn out.

One cold evening in January 2021, Ford and his wife, Jamisha, set down to discuss the plans of Get the Steppin. Both of them expressed how exhausted they were from the previous 6 month apparel push. “Babe,” his wife said,  I love what you’re doing with Get the Steppin. But don’t forget why you created the company. You are not a clothing line; you’re a step challenge and the people expect you to continue that.” For the next 90 days Ford would reevaluate the purpose of his brand and his company. He started following clothing lines like Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour to learn more about their story and how they got started. He found that each brand had a compelling story and that they all started from a need to improve the lives of others. “Get the Steppin was created to motivate and inspire people to live healthy lives. It was created to bring awareness to the importance of physical activity. And what better way to bring awareness than to create a dope, creative clothing line that provokes health consciousness and fashion.” My wife was right, Ford said, Get the Steppin isn’t a clothing line, it’s bigger than that! It’s bigger than just a step challenge, Get the Steppin is a movement!”

We don’t just wear the brand, we Rock the brand. So get up, get moving and Get the Steppin’! Thank you for the love and support.

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