A:It started from a small residential garage, in New Jersey. At the time, my husband had retired from bodybuilding and there wasn't very much money to launch the brand. Rich began manufacturing our first Gaspari product and selling to a few gyms in the area and then I came into the picture like a tornado. I began paging through every bodbuilding magazine and counting competitor ads, and contacting tagged companies on the ads. I never heard so many "NOs" in my LIFE!!!!
After a few months I had to learn the difference between distributors and retail stores all around the world and started knocking on the doors of super giants now, like Vitamin Shoppe and Bodybuilding.com. Actually our Gaspari Novedex was the first product that was picked up by The Vitamin Shoppe. I had small personal trainers who would order like $125.00! Bryan Petite, Golden Trainer all the way up to my big dogs who would place 1 million dollar purchase orders at one time. I loved all my customers like my family, not like dollar signs. I truly believe that we made great products, Rich and I worked hand in hand and had direct relationships with all our friends ( customers )... that’s what made us different.
There were NO pencil pushers in the way of a deal. Deal was a deal at that moment and our customers loved that!
Year after year the brand did in excess of 80 million in gross sales and I was the one who had almost 50% of the sales single handedly with my 19 year old fabulous assistant! With an amazing team of formulators, marketing support, extended sales team, ruthless Gaspari soldiers, dedication, solid relationships and a solid understanding of the global markets, we were able to build the brand to top 5 in the world !!!!
Q:I read this quote from you, “I know brands and I know why people buy and know precisely how to turn a brand into one that authentically earns a vendors trust and a customers loyalty." How did you gain this insight?
A:Though trial and error. Business is all about building deeper levels of rapport. I am a people person and have been lucky to build strong life-long relationships with each of my distributors and my employees.
Q:What were some business mistakes you made?
A:Like any great entrepreneur and team, we all made MANY mistakes. Some would show us and say, what not to do! All I can say as disfunctional as we were, we were an amazing team of executives. Honestly at one point I was yelled at for this. ”your wife is selling to much protein”!!!! I was CONFUSED to say the least since I didn’t have shit else to sell damn it! So, quite honestly, I did ok !!!!
Q:What would we be surprised to learn about in the fitness industry?
A:The industry needs to freshen up a bit. There is a lot of competition and not a whole lot of innovation. I’d share some of our upcoming surprises with you, but than it would no longer be a surprise and I’d have to k*#!…well you know the rest! ;) I do want to share though that I have been around a ton of athletes from all kinds of sports and calibor and I want to say I take my hat off to all you fabulous athletes for all the dedication they put into their passion and dreams!!!! They deserve so much more when they compete and I hope to bring that piece to them with our new company Athletic Elite 10 and I want them ALL to know that ,Liz Gaspari RESPECTS AND KNOWS HOW MUCH WORK THEY PUT INTO THE SPORT AND I LOVE THEM LIKE I LOVE MY CHILDREN! I THINK THE WORLD OF YOU ALL !
Q:What future trends do you forecast in the fitness industry?
A:I see people taking more of a role in their health care. With rising health care costs and all of the unknowns of where our society might end up, I see people taking more control over their health and that’s exciting! This extends way past dealing with illness; it’s about being healthy, feeling good and looking good and we feel blessed to have a part in helping people achieve optimal health and fitness. PHYSIQUE ANYONE ?
Q:You're credited with being an executive producer of the feature film, “Ghost And The Whale". How did this come about?
A:Interestingly enough my good friend IFBB Pro Kevin Levrone was tapping into the acting and singing arena after he retired, and I would run into him in Vegas hanging out with my heart throb of daytime TV, Maurice Benard. Maurice Benard played the mob boss, Sonny Corinthos. Michael "Sonny" Corinthos, Jr. is a fictional character and main protagonist on the popular ABC daytime soap opera General Hospital.
Maurice Benard has played the role, that of a manic depressive mob boss living in Port Charles, NY since the character's storyline originated on August 13, 1993.
So, Elliott long story short there were only a few that I wanted to marry when I was young, John Stamos, Sonny Corinthos, Rick Springfield, Rich Gaspari and Mike O'Hearn! Well at least I didn’t fail at that! LOL, Sorry Mona and Paula Benard !
So, after building a relationship with at least Kevin Levrone, he brought me to Maurice and Paula Benard and had this amazing script. Being that we all know that Maurice is an amazingly intense actor and the next Al Pacino we decided to move forward with the movie.
So, our movie had mulitple private screenings, nominated and won a few awards so hopefully soon you will see it on the big screen!
Q:We'll be on the look out! Can you give us all of your social media handles?
A: @LizGaspari !