Grid110 Founder Story: Superfit Hero
I think most people have a love-hate relationship with their gym, fitness and all things cardio. For Micki Krimmel, Founder of Superfit Hero, she experienced her own trials and tribulations with her body and fitness. It took trying everything under sun — all the fad diets, fitness programs, you name it. It wasn’t until she started playing competitive roller derby did everything start to change. In her own words —
Once I began to think of myself as an athlete, my mindset completely shifted. Fitness became about performance instead of appearance. My confidence soared. I freed up so much mental energy I had been wasting on judging myself! I wanted to share this experience with other athletes. We all have the capacity for joy in movement. We all have the right to feel at home in our bodies. You don’t have to look a certain way to participate in fitness.
Superfit Hero is built on a mission to make fitness more inclusive by offering sizes at XS to 5XL. With the mantra, “Fitness is for Every Body” (that wordplay, though) — Superfit Hero is the most size inclusive premium activewear brand on the planet. When Micki first joined the Grid110 Residency program, she felt like she was “constantly being pulled in a thousand different directions at once.” By the end of the program, she credits it for helping her to clarify goals and her audience as well as develop a continued discipline to think big picture about the business.
Micki also talks about her experience as a solo founder, while getting candid on the topic of venture-funding and the power of bootstrapping. All in all, Micki and Superfit Hero are purposely shaped by strong bonds and steeped in community — whether it’s in her roller derby or Grid110 family, Micki has found a way to be her own superwoman by instilling and helping others build their confidence, one bod at a time.
What is your venture? How do you seek to change the world?
We’re on a mission to make fitness more inclusive. With sizes XS-5XL, we are the most size inclusive premium activewear brand on the planet. 🌍
What prompted you to start your venture? Where did the idea come from?
Like most women, I had a rocky relationship with my body and with fitness over the years. I tried every diet, every fitness program, and I never felt like I was good enough. When I started playing competitive roller derby, everything changed. Once I began to think of myself as an athlete, my mindset completely shifted. Fitness became about performance instead of appearance. My confidence soared. I freed up so much mental energy I had been wasting on judging myself!
I wanted to share this experience with other athletes. We all have the capacity for joy in movement. We all have the right to feel at home in our bodies. You don’t have to look a certain way to participate in fitness. All you need is a body. Any body.
What’s special and advantageous about being in LA (if applicable, DTLA) for you and your venture?
I couldn’t do this anywhere else! LA is the fashion manufacturing hub of the world. Especially for someone with no fashion experience, being here and surrounded by professionals in the field has been absolutely necessary to my business.
As you think back to your Grid110 experience, what are the 1–2 lessons or takeaways that still stick out to you?
Before Grid110, I felt like I was constantly being pulled in a thousand directions at once. Doing this program helped me zero in on my target audience and clarify our goals in a way that has made me feel much more focused.
Considering what Grid110 provides and offers, what has been the most impactful to you as a founder and business? How has the Grid110 experience influenced your entrepreneurial journey?
As a solo founder, I’m so busy with the day to day operations of the business. The Grid110 program forced me to do the bigger picture planning that I wouldn’t have found time to do otherwise. Those plans continue to guide my business every day and I’ve learned to set aside time every month to revisit and revise them.
What advice do you have people that are solo founders and going through this journey by themselves? Where did you find support and who helped you along the way?
It’s simply not the case that every startup needs multiple founders. This type of thinking is driven by tech investors who are pattern matching with companies that have scaled super fast previously. My goal has never been to scale super fast. I’m also not trying to appeal to tech investors. I designed Superfit Hero to be a business that affords maximum autonomy and flexibility in my lifestyle. To that end, I decided not to seek institutional funding. For a bootstrapped business, there simply aren’t enough resources to support two full-time founders out of the gate.
That said, I can’t imagine building a business completely solo. While there have been days that I’ve felt lonely, I have never been on this journey alone. I began the business by taking stock of my skills, resources, and network. I never would have started the business if I didn’t feel like I had a community to support me.
First and foremost, I had Roller Derby. Superfit Hero was inspired by and built for the skaters of roller derby, my community for over a decade. In roller derby, I had a global community of athletes that shared my values and would support my business. I spent months designing and testing the product with this community before I launched the Kickstarter. Again, Kickstarter was a strategy that worked for me because I already had a strong supportive community. I simply would not have been able to get Superfit Hero off the ground without the support of the roller derby community.
Having worked in startups for 15 years, I have a strong network of friends and mentors with a great deal of expertise in e-commerce. After my successful Kickstarter, I put together a very small round of financing with a group of these folks to get them on board as advisors/minority investors. I lean on this group very heavily. More than money, they provide support and expertise, and the occasional pep talk.
I’ve also worked really hard to cultivate relationships with mentors and other founders in Los Angeles. The Grid110 and Make it in LA communities have been invaluable to me. It’s very important to have a space where you can be vulnerable and talk about the parts of your business that worry you. These are the conversations that lead to big breakthroughs so it’s important to cultivate that community, if not with a co-founder, then with founders of other businesses.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A writer ✍
If you were a superhero, what would be your superpower? Your super weakness?
I AM A SUPERHERO 🦸♀️! My superpower is confidence. And my goal in life is to help other people build theirs.
Random Fun Fact — Wild Round!! (aka have a random fun fact? Please share!)
I’m obsessed with my newest hobby, riding dirt bikes! 🚴♀️
Grid110 provides mentoring & key resources for early-stage entrepreneurs in underserved regions. We support early-stage companies by connecting them to office space, mentors, and important resources during the most critical phase of their business life-cycle through education programs.