Getting Sweaty with CF 132
For many, 2020 was the year to turn their home into something more. Some avid cooks turned their kitchens into informal bakeries with sourdough starters. Others brought the theater home by upgrading their living room entertainment setups. For Clayton McKenney and his wife, it meant turning their garage into a full-fledged community gym in Atlanta, Georgia.
CF 132 sprang up as a way for Clayton and his friend just to get through the shutdowns and stress related to COVID-19. “With everything, gyms or otherwise, closed due to the pandemic, the ability for us to still get outside and exercise, and do so together, absolutely helped us keep our sanity in insane times,” explains Clayton. While it started out in March 2020 as a small affair for Clayton, his wife, and four of their neighbors, it has since grown into a close-knit community beyond the original members—and outgrown Clayton’s original garage. After moving to a new house in August 2020, CF 132 feels like a more legitimate affair, complete with professional barbells, outdoor pull-up bars, and even an official logo. Still, having a safe place to build a community has been CF 132’s focus. “Being able to provide a growing source of community and a healthy, outdoor outlet, all the while getting some killer exercise was a home run. For us, this was the best part!”
Considering how difficult it was just to stay in touch with friends and family during the pandemic, growing a community was truly a feat to celebrate. Since social distancing limits how many people can use the gym at the same time, CF 132 has found other ways for members to stay connected—namely with custom apparel.
Fortunately, CF 132 had no trouble coming up with the perfect logo for their merch as one of their members has a marketing background. The design features the text ‘CF 132’ in bold Impact font while silhouettes of men and women working out fill the inside of the text. The logo resonated with the members; says Clayton, “Incorporating the three athletes in motion doing some of our favorite movements within the ‘CF132’ has proven to be a hit with people, not to mention the inclusivity of it being both male and female in the logo! Most people may assume that gyms are just for guys, but we love supporting and lifting up our badass women!”
With the logo in hand, CF 132 chose a variety of products so that members could show off the design—and their gains! In addition to printing the logo across Next Level Tri-Blend T-shirts, CF 132 offers members two types of tanks: Next Level Women’s Tri-Blend Racerback Tank and Next Level 60/40 Tank. The tank tops were perfect for working out, whether it was inside the gym or out in the Atlanta heat. And who needs sleeves when you have muscles to show off? The most important detail was ensuring that the shirt and tank fabric were comfortable. “The Next Level Tri-Blend material is perfect for working out, and everyone loves the feel of how soft it is,” Clayton says.
Even though it is a small gym operating out of Clayton’s backyard, CF 132’s dedicated community has a way to represent themselves even when it is still a challenge to meet in person. CF 132’s custom gear helps overcome that challenge (and looks good doing it). “We enjoyed sharing the merch with our members for them to have and enjoy both in the gym and outside of it. With a growing community, it is such a joy to see someone jogging while wearing a tank and wave or see someone wearing one of our shirts in the grocery store, etc. Definitely creates a ‘team’ dynamic around town that we all enjoy!” explains Clayton.
Building this community is what keeps bringing people back to a business. Explains Clayton, “It’s all about community and representing a culture that we all want to promote. Having shirts and tanks and whatnot to share with our members helps us do so in a really fun way!”
And for anyone thinking about creating their own custom apparel to build their brand, Clayton has a few words of advice. “Be intentional about the design and the product. Commit to quality. Most importantly, do not be afraid to give product away vs charging in the beginning. Create something that you believe people will love and want, and then give it to them. You may be surprised at how quickly they ask to purchase more after getting the freebie to start.”