The Founding of QALO and a Look Towards the Future
QALO’s silicone wedding rings are more than a simple rubber ring. They provide a safe, durable alternative to the metal wedding band. Perfect for every job and fitness activity.
Ted Baker, the CEO of QALO, provides insight into the company’s founding and how QALO can benefit health clubs.
CS: For those that don’t know about your company, what can you tell them about it? What benefits can you bring to their facility?
TB: QALO (pronounced “kay-low”) was set into motion because my co-founder, KC Holiday, and I, both shared a common problem. We had lifestyles that didn’t take jewelry (most importantly our wedding bands) into consideration. Both of us love our wives and wanted to wear our wedding rings, but because we were always working out or playing outside, we continually faced the issue of not being able to wear them. Hence, upset spouses. So, what we really did was solve a problem for ourselves, and then we realized that a ton of people share the same problem.
Enter QALO: a silicone wedding ring. QALO rings are made from durable, medical grade silicone, but at the same time, they’re so soft and comfortable that you can wear them absolutely all the time — including in the gym.
What benefits can QALO bring to your gym? Every single married person will connect and relate to the simplicity and functionality of the QALO ring. We aren’t just selling a silicone wedding ring; we are selling commitment. That’s a powerful standard to set in a gym. We sincerely believe that “commitment is contagious.”
CS: How is your company different from competitors with similar products or services?
TB: Two years ago when we started QALO, it was a bare market. Now, people are catching on. As frustrating as it may be, it is also very flattering. We are proud to have started an evolution in the way people view their wedding band. The commitment and the symbolism are more important than the material from which the band is made. The true difference between us and other pop-up companies is that we are really selling you a way of life. We don’t just want you to buy a ring from us; we want you to share in our vision of living life to its fullest. Check our mission statement. I love it!
CS: From your experience, how have consumer practices changed over the years in the health and fitness space?
TB: Diversity and growth. More than ever, people are working out. They are getting in the gym, or frequenting their CrossFit Box. Yoga, Pilates, cycling, boxing, Krav Maga, cardio barre: all huge in the health and fitness arena, and the list goes on. More people are working out than ever and as the choices are so wide, I think you find that people are doing more than one style of exercising. I know plenty of people that belong to a gym, but also a yoga studio and then maybe they box twice a week. Gyms are featuring all kinds of different styles of fitness classes. The market is growing, and it’s diversifying.
CS: What advice can you give to clubs looking to maximum their profit centers?
TB: Keep it simple and make it relevant. Offer products and services that the person walking in the door wants or needs. Don’t waste your time with the 2 percent. QALO doesn’t work in a gym on a college campus. That’s not our market. If you have a contingency of clientele that are 25 to 40 though? Now we’re talking. Every married person who walks into a health club has a use for QALO. They immediately “get it.” Plus, we’ve designed our retail displays (including our point of purchase displays) to educate consumers right when they see it. If our rapid growth has shown us anything, it’s that there’s great product and market fit because there is such obvious usefulness for QALO rings.
CS: What can consumers look forward to from your company in the future?
TB: Today, our focus is to be the best at what we are doing: offering a quality alternative to a conventional wedding band. Considering that, we have an entire team now dedicated to not only coming out with new functional wedding bands, but also expanding into other functional lifestyle goods. We have a full line of apparel and hats and over 20 ring variations. We love what we do and we want to take the opportunity that our rapid growth has afforded us and continue building the foundation of the company. One day, we want people to look back and say, “I remember when QALO was just a wedding ring company.” (Fingers crossed) In the meantime, the goal is pretty simple: stay committed!
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