This week’s Brand Insight features Peter Roberts from Origin BJJ.
Where did the idea of starting Origin BJJ come from? What is the meaning behind the name, the logo?
Origin was my brainchild back in 2008-2009. I sidelined the idea for a couple years until I had some time to focus on it. I wanted an “original” bjj brand that catered to bjj players and not mma guys. I was just sick of the skulls, blood and tribal designs. The word Origin just kind of came to me and fell into place with little to no brainstorming. The logo is an inverted japanese samuri symbol they call a tomoye symbol. It is inverted/exploded. Each ring represents a step in the bjj journey (5 steps). Each one has a beginning and end but they all intersect because you never really stop learning.
What is the conception behind Origin BJJ?
Origin is a true lifestyle company. I train and work for the brand full-time. It’s my job and I love it. We are not just a gi company. I develop products that we as bjj enthusiasts need for our craft.
You train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu on the daily basis, at what time did it interest you to start your own jiu jitsu brand?
I built brands for 15 years. I made a lot of people a lot of money. I owned a marketing agency and we handled many outdoor and sporting brands. When I started bjj I looked at the level of gear that was out there and I knew something was missing. But it took me a few years to understand the culture of bjj. Once I progresses in the art I knew what was missing and I knew that there was an opportunity for something better.
Is Origin BJJ your full-time job?
It’s all I do. Origin is my third love after God and my family. I have a couple employees and at the rate we are growing I will probably hire a handful more.
How hard is it to train jiu jitsu on the daily basis, and run a business at the same time?
Training bjj is a phenomenal blessing that is hard for me to describe. I train at my own school 3 days a week and I travel two days a week (during comp season) to train with my team and my instructor Dedeco. I have goals that are sometimes very hard to focus on because of how the brand consumes my time. Right now we are building a new facility from the ground up. I missed the nogi pans, the nogi worlds and the world pro trials. It pains me…literally pains me to not be competing. The progression of our brand relies on me being on the mats to test products and make innovation happen.
How long did it take to get Origin BJJ going and establish it?
I launched it quick and found immediate success. I think the bjj world was yearning for this and when I launched the brand it was apparent there was indeed a void in the market that was now filled.
Who is behind the brand besides yourself?
My instructor and business partner Andre “Dedeco”Almeida is co -owner of Origin. He came on board maybe 3-4 months into the idea. He saw the potential and took a risk on it. He has a tremendous passion for bjj. We have an amazing relationship both personal and professional.
What is your favorite product of your brand, Origin BJJ?
I invented the OrangaHangs and they are our top selling product. I would say thats my favorite product because grip training was one of those holes I spoke about earlier and they filled a huge void.
What is next for your brand? What can we expect?
All I can say is this. What we have in store for 2013 is going to blow the top off the bjj world and send a shockwave felt by all. I’m not just saying this. It’s not even a product I am talking about per say but it’s a way of thinking, and doing things. We have some secrets that will be released soon enough. What I can tell you is it has to do a lot with this new facility we are building.