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CrossFit Fringe

By July 6, 2013November 3rd, 2013CrossFit, Design, Exercise, Featured, Freelance

Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Health and Fitness Voices program and have been provided with the Motorola Razr HD and six months of service in exchange for my honest review and opinions about the product.


So if you’ve managed to keep up with us the past few weeks (hard, we’ve been everywhere but nowhere at the same time), you may have noticed that we’ve been talking about our gym a lot. And not CrossFit United, but CrossFit Fringe. What is CrossFit Fringe? Did we open a gym? What is going on!?

I’m sorry we’ve been totally absent and not good at updating and explaining what’s going on. Some of it was intentional, other parts were unintentional, and then work got crazy, we built our deck, and we just dived right into being at CrossFit Fringe without a lot of answers. So now that things have quieted down a little bit, I really want to catch you all up with what’s going on.

A few months ago, Neil and I were brought into a meeting with the ownership of CrossFit United to talk about a website redesign. We were pumped. A new CrossFit gym had just opened across town and we were eager to help CrossFit United not only improve their ability to reach people online, but to offer some ideas on how to give them an edge and refine some of their brand/presence. These are the types of consulting jobs that we live for. We love small business branding and consulting.

As it turned out though, we weren’t being hired by CrossFit United, but CrossFit Fringe. Half of the ownership of our gym (the people we were used to seeing every day) had decided to open their own gym with one of our other trainers. Only a few people knew, and we signed a non-disclosure, adding ourselves to the secret. The plan was still unfolding, but they had a name — CrossFit Fringe.

Well, and they had this:


Someone had put together a logo for them, and they wanted to design a website and identity for CrossFit Fringe around it. I was immediately honest with them that I found the logo to be a little… underwhelming. All I could think of when I looked at it was a swamp. It just felt “meh.” So I asked if I could take a stab at it, and they said “sure.”

I took two weeks to kind of sketch out some ideas and wrap my head around what I thought the new box would be like — and what I wanted it to be like. I think I watched nearly every CrossFit video on YouTube (the above was my favorite). We didn’t have a location at that point, just ideas. And members. When I thought about our community, and how we all live day to day, CrossFit is certainly something we wear on our sleeves. It’s a source of pride and a constant presence in how we embrace all of life’s moments — both good and bad. Even if life is treating me badly, I still feel strong and resilient, and that goes far beyond just getting in shape and feeling good about how I look. I wanted our brand to represent the collective strength and power of our community, our affinity for one another, and our place in a greater community of athletes. We’re parents, siblings, police officers, students, lawyers and grandparents, but we’re also athletes. I also wanted our brand to give us each the feeling of being part superhero — something a little fanciful, while still being legitimate.

In all those thoughts, this emerged:


And from there it just sort of snowballed into colors, secondary marks and badges…


Within a week, the owners had found and leased a new location, and in secret we started putting all the details together. They tackled all the physical labor, while Neil and I focused on the branding and website. There were a lot of late nights, many (many) beers, and ideas constantly being tossed back and forth. Meanwhile, the secret continued to get bigger, and increasingly hard to keep from the community. It was so hard to keep from them. Our existing gym flooded, the new CrossFit gym across town was getting a lot of media, all while we were hurriedly trying to get all the details together without losing our minds. It is definitely the hardest secret I have ever kept, but it was worth it.

Here are some pics of the place the day the lease was signed:








What do you think, Captain America or American Gladiator? That red made me ragey…


Managing projects for me usually involves notebooks, lists and post-its. Since I’ve been testing the Motorola Razr HD as part of my partnership with Verizon, I decided to download a few apps and see if it improved my organization and streamlined my workflow. And did it ever.


While I got the owners of the gym set up on Do, which allows them to share project management tasks collaboratively, I have totally fallen in love with Wunderlist. It is not unnecessarily complicated or too simple to be useful like a lot of apps, and it integrates seamlessly with my other devices, so I’m not tethered to just my phone. I also used the Dropbox, Flickr and Evernote app as well.

We also set up QR codes around the gym so our members could access the website, wireless and if they’re new, the waiver. They can all be tracked using How cool is that!?

We launched last Saturday to a completely packed gym. We put over 120 athletes through our first two WODs, and almost completely sold out of all our t-shirts. The website, which we designed to be completely responsive, generated over 1,000 visits the first day, and has now been visited by people in over 15 countries. In our first 24 hours on Facebook, we generated over 200 likes (443 now and counting), and in just a week we have 70 Twitter followers, which for a local business is pretty good. I can not convey to you the amazing response we received from our members — but I can tell you that we worked for months hoping for just a fraction of it.

So how about a tour?















8,000-square-feet, two workout rooms, huge lounge area and plenty of mobility space. Is it not heaven!?

We have to thank Ben, Tyler and Nate for involving us in this project. It’s still ongoing, we still have a lot to do, but it’s been a complete honor to give back a fraction of what they’ve given us. I’m excited to not only act as a consultant, but train and train others here as well. Once a week I will be teaching a “Girls Night” class, and we’ve already got a full-session of On-Ramp that begins next week that I can’t wait to be a part of.

Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Health and Fitness Voices program and have been provided with the Motorola Razr HD and six months of service in exchange for my honest review and opinions about the product.