Former student's sportswear business is booming


23 September 2015

A former Aston student’s sportswear business has strong-armed the UK market to become one of the nation’s largest exercise clothing brands just a few years after launching. 

Ben Francis co-founded Gymshark in 2012 with the intention of making unique, fitted sportswear and accessories to help people reach their true athletic potential. 

Starting out with five members of staff, the company has grown to the extent that it now employs over 50 people. Its range of exercise apparel for men and women has been developed and expanded to include workout t-shirts, gym bags, running jackets, stringer vests, hoodies and hex leggings – all emblazoned with the brand's distinctive shark logo. 

From the outset Gymshark proved highly popular and quickly became one of the fastest growing sport’s brands in the country. The business has recently made a move into the vast American sportswear market, competing against the likes of global giants such as Nike.

Ben, who studied Business and Management at Aston, said: “Gymshark is a team of athletes, artists, designers and innovators dedicated to creating the best fitness products available anywhere. We are very passionate about helping people improve themselves, change their lifestyles and reach their goals and we will continue to push ourselves to do so.

“We are constantly investing our profits back into the business in order to create new and exciting technical garments and looking to push Gymshark forwards. Despite the success we have had I believe we still have a long way to go. I'm very excited about the future.” 

Gymshark was formed when Ben was still in his second-year at University and working part-time to help support his studies. A number of people he met and befriended on his course now work for Gymshark on a full-time basis. 

Ben said: “Aston gave me a strong foundation on which to build a business. It’s an institution that seeks to foster the talents of passionate and ambitions business-minded people. Many of the people I met there share my vision for Gymshark and are now working with me to take us to the next level.”