Hey all, this is Cody with FightTrends.com and I am going to be talking with Vince Quitugua, owner and founder of Shoyoroll.
Cody: Tell me a bit about yourself and Shoyoroll.
Vince: Shoyoroll started back in 2000. It started as a hobby with myself and a bunch of friends. We were all fans of the UFC in the 90’s. Royce Gracie got us inspired to learn jiu-jitsu after we watched the Rickson Gracie choke video and old school Gracie Torrance challenge matches. We then began training jiu-jitsu in the late 90’s. We were a bunch of friends from the islands, Guam to be exact, learning armbars and triangles. After you learn a few moves, you get inspired real quick and you get hooked on the lifestyle. That is how we got linked to the sport.
Cody: There must not have been too many places to train Jiu-Jitsu in Guam back then right?
Vince: No. Guam only had 1 or 2 schools back in the 90’s. A Purebred gym and a Relson Gracie affiliate school. It was not until I moved to Los Angeles in ’99 that I really got to train and experience Jiu-Jitsu to the fullest.
Our roots are in surfing. So we got inspired by that industry since surfing and skating sets the standard for apparel in extreme sports. I’m a normal Jiu-Jitsu geek that loves the sport and MMA. I’m a normal dude like most people, just enjoying both sports grow and evolve. I feel blessed that I’m able to be a part of the industry.
Cody: Give me a little more background on Shoyoroll and how it started.
Vince: Shoyoroll Brand started as a very small company. We started with 5-10 iron on t-shirts printed from my friends HP printer. No real demand… just a cool name and I always wanted to start a clothing company. Coming out of high school, you never know what you’re really doing. So we gave it a shot and started very slow. We were inspired by Jiu-Jitsu and that is where the word Shoyoroll originated from, get on the mat and SHOw YOur ROLL.
For the longest time we made zero money. To be honest, we struggled for probably the first 6 years to try to even break even on our investment. We had stuff out there, but it was never enough to keep the brand going and it was only known in certain areas where friends could push and promote the product. We were kids that knew nothing about business and were just trying our best to understand it. All we knew is we liked the sport and we were not going to give up on our label and our movement.
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