Marek Bowers, founder and CEO of Rawlogy and his team are changing the world by creating tools that support self-care.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Marek Bowers: We’re thriving! Life is great, business is rocking, my kids are healthy and going back to school, cryptocurrency is on fire, and it’s always sunny in Los Angeles.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Rawlogy.
Marek Bowers: I’m a reformed mechanical engineer turned outdoor industry entrepreneur. I was training for a marathon a few years ago and had the worst foot and back pain of my life. I discovered that rolling out my muscles with a rubber massage ball relieved the pain and tension. However, I wanted better balls. Instead of heavy synthetic rubber, I invented a massage ball made of eco-friendly ultralight cork! With that, Rawlogy was born. I started carrying the balls on backpacking trips, and the company blew up as hikers found out about us. Now, we’re expanding into other active communities like running, cycling, and dance.
How does Rawlogy innovate?
Marek Bowers: We listen to our audience, obsessively read feedback, and test new ideas. Customers will tell you what’s working, what’s not working, what’s missing, and what they desire without even knowing it (i.e., they’ll offer up little insight nuggets in product reviews, social media, etc.). We look at other products our audience uses and try to understand why our audience likes or dislikes those products. We are also innovating in our approach to branding and industry awareness. We want EXPLOSIVE growth—and to do that, we need to be creative about rising from obscurity. One example is taking our product and making it more fun for people to use. That’s why we started laser engraving designs on them, like campsites, mountains, bears, unicorns, etc. But, it also opened up a whole new market to us: custom co-branded products for stores, teams, spas, yoga studios, corporations, and more.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Marek Bowers: The pandemic caused all of our in-person events to be canceled last year but also opened up a lot of doors in terms of who was using our products. Lots of folks working from home started using our products to soothe their anxieties and replace the in-person spa/massage experience. Our supply chain broke; however, it lit a fire under our butts to improve it—which we did! The increase in global shipping timelines and costs definitely affected us, which had a trickle-down effect on our customers. We tried mitigating this as much as possible because we didn’t want our products to be cost-prohibitive, late, or quality deficient (say, if we had gone with a less-reputable manufacturer to reduce costs and delivery time). Rawlogy delivers on its promises—Nuff said.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Marek Bowers: There were two, and I wouldn’t necessarily describe them as difficult—more like thought-provoking. The first was to not go into “lock-down mode” with our money. The pandemic wasn’t a sign that we should contract or pull back—it was an opportunity for us to expand and push full steam ahead. That required money, but it also made us realize that money flows with abundance in this world every single second of the day (if you don’t believe me, just check out all the currency that’s changing hands on the blockchain. I had to upgrade my money mindset as CEO, and that was that. The second thought-provoking choice was to start being unabashedly ME. To leap over how “things have been done traditionally” and be confident in who I am as a business leader, a product innovator, and a problem solver. People respond to authenticity—and I’m my authentic self every day.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Marek Bowers: Phone, email, the Internet, Rawlogy products, books, confidence, creativity, resilience, integrity, obsession, commitment.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Marek Bowers: There are people and companies who have copied our product and our messaging, but I don’t consider them competition. We’re building a brand, and our goal is to be recognized by every sporting goods and active lifestyle retailer in America. We’re obsessed with helping people feel better in their bodies and committed to delivering on the promise of sustainability and quality. That’s our compass, and that’s what will keep us ahead of the competition.
Your final thoughts?
Marek Bowers: If you’re sore, tight, tense, and anxious, we’ve got the fix. Grab our balls at Rawlogy.com or join our community of unicorns on Instagram @rawlogy.
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