lucyfitnessblog introducing .. Smash and Pass
Earlier this year I was welcomed into the Smash and Pass fam! So, I thought it would be cool to give the guys a wee shout out on my blog and introduce you to this *smashin'* brand.
Smash and Pass is spearheaded by Levi and Claire, based in Aberdeen. Levi and Claire are semi-competitive strongpeople with bags of enthusiasm and support for the Scottish strength scene. Levi is a graphic designer and Claire a personal trainer, so together the brand was born.
It's not just the nods to Scotland, strength, fitness & competitive elements in their garments that make Smash and Pass stand out from the crowd, but it's also the local and independent Scottish businesses involved in the creation of the products. Smash and Pass take pride in supporting other local & independent businesses even as a local independent business themselves.
Dozens of tee designs, hats, and other accessories are available online (eyes peeled for sale items too!) .. but if you're a gym, trainer or athlete in need of your own custom branding, Levi & Claire are happy to help!
I don't claim to be any sort of expert in the world of strongman, and the Smash and Pass brand does not discriminate! If you're any sort of athlete or a fan of strength training, I am confident you have the license to bag yourself a tee.
You may have spotted me wearing my Smash and Pass threads on my instagram grid - I also love my knit bobble hat, I think it's probably the softest, cosiest hat I've ever had!! Even though we're coming into Spring at the moment, in Scotland I can get a good wear of that cosy hat through about 80% of the year!!
Let's get to know the brains behind the brand.. I caught up with Levi and Claire to ask them a few quickfire q's ..
Tell us about why you brought Smash and Pass into the world...
Levi: I started S&P for two reasons.. Firstly as a creative outlet for myself; I'm a trained graphic designer, and at the time my 9-5 job was primarily digital marketing, so having time to play with designs was great. Secondly, being a big guy I've always struggled to find clothes my size that fit well and look good. This is why the fit, feel and quality of our tees is so important to me!
Describe the Smash and Pass brand in three words...
Levi: Scottish, independent, comfortable
Claire: Scottish, comfortable, affordable
Who or what are the main inspirations behind the Smash and Pass brand?
Levi: My all time favourite clothing brand is Johnny Cupcakes. As a designer their work really jumps out to me. Their ethos of local independent printing and championing having a small brand feel on a large scale really speaks to me. Outwith brands, Scottish culture and history plays a big part in the inspiration behind us. I’ve always been a history nerd so being able to combine passions is really fulfilling.
Claire: Scottish strength roots is one of the main inspirations of S&P, especially Scottish stone lifting which has started to become very popular recently. The strength community is another, after all, we wouldn’t be where we are today and where we hope to be tomorrow without them.
Do you have to be strong to wear Smash and Pass?
Levi: Of course not, but I hear that our tees do add 10% on all PRs!
Claire: Strong has many connotations and doesn’t have to be just physical. But no, you don’t have to be strong to wear S&P, after all many say any S&P Tees add at least 10% to your lifts.
How has the Coronavirus pandemic affected independent businesses over the past year? What are the main obstacles, or positives, that have arisen?
Levi: Like all businesses it’s made us change what we’ve had to do for planning or goals. With gyms closing, and there being no competitions this has definitely affected us in the sense that we haven’t been able to supply to gyms like we had planned or been able to sponsor events running. I think we’ve taken the issues in our stride and set up virtual competitions and used the time to really dig in and push our digital presence. Although the whole situation is a huge tragedy, it’s given us a lot more time at home to plan more and really touch base with our customer base. I’d like to think we are pretty quick to engage and reply to customers or followers whether that’s by email or social media.
Claire: We started at the beginning of 2020, so the pandemic did affect us to start with, especially in terms of how we were going to post items to people as both of us were shielding, after we figured out the best way to do this, as chief packer I feel everything run a lot smoother. We still had to overcome the amount of room we needed and had available for stock in a tiny flat so a lot of time our living room became a stock room as well, . I feel that due to the pandemic it has been difficult at times but it has allowed us time (especially Levi) to come up with some great ideas which has helped us get to where we are today and where we want to go in the future.
What's your hopes and goals for the Smash and Pass brand this year, and beyond?
Levi: I’m an extremely goal driven person and like to set goal posts to hit short & long term. Short term goals for the next year, as mentioned previously, I’d like to be involved in competitions and festivals as they start to be allowed to run so that we can meet people in person instead of solely online. Long term goals, we have plans to open a distribution network in the US as we have a huge customer base there, and my five-year growth plan is to have our own gym unit that we can have a retail space, gym, as well as the facilities to have all our items screen printed in house in the same facility, allowing for everything to be in our own little hub of business, creativity and training.
Claire: I would love to see the brand keep building to the point we require a full on stock room, etc. I would love to see the brand to build to the point that we are a recognised, go -to strength brand for everyone.
So for your next workout apparel treat, look no further! ..Guaranteed to give you PBs every time ;)
Look out for Smash and Pass repping at future events & competitions near you - and however you can - support a local business! Why not start by giving them a Follow on Instagram?