One on One with Victorious Fitness Supplements CEO - Steve Constanti
What were you doing before Victorious Fitness Supplements?
Like most of us in our teenage years, I never knew what I wanted to do with my life. I left school in grade 10 and became a house painter with my father for 2 years. I then turned my focus to car painting & panel beating. Car painting was originally a hobby as I had always loved cars. At the time I painted my then girlfriends car which came out terrible! ( sorry Megan ) From there I continued to teach my self how to paint by watching DVDs and YouTube videos. I did small jobs for mates in my backyard. A year later i started a company called SMC Kustoms, I had a shed with a full spray booth and 2 employee's. We quickly became known for custom work for car shows like Autosalon. I did this for 7 years but i needed a change..
How did you get into the supplement game?
It was 2011 and I had been into gym and training for 5 years. My local supplement store was called Legal Muscle in Victoria Point which I was going to for many years. I loved the vibe and talking about supplements. One day I messaged the owner on Facebook if he had any positions available as I would love to learn more and be more involved in the industry. I always had in the back of my mind that if I liked working there I might open a store one day. After a few messages back and forth the owner of legal muscle quickly caught on what I was trying to do. He messaged me "why don't you buy a legal muscle " and offered me his Tingalpa store. I was very interested and arranged a meeting i remember thinking finally I might have some direction in my life.
The meeting took place and we agreed on the Terms of Contract and of course the price. At this time my brother was living in Meadowbrook, QLD and noticed a Snap Fitness was opening up in a local shopping complex which also had an available shop. My intention quickly changed from opening 1 legal muscle store to 2 legal muscle stores.
A month went by while I waited for the owner of legal muscle to get a copy of the contract. We arranged a meeting to confirm that our verbal agreements had been added to the contract. To my surprise they were not added and other conditions had been added without discussion. I told him I needed time to think. 24 hours went by and I kindly told him that I would not be buying into legal muscle and that I was going to start my own supplement company, his reply was " good luck " and we never spoke again.
I continued on and in Feb 2012 with $20,000 that i have saved over the years i opened Victorious Fitness Supplements Meadowbrook. The name Victorious came from a tattoo i had on my back many years prior, which also relates to my name in Greek. When Meadowbrook opened I was shit scared as I never had any experience in retail. The first day I opened i made $400, I was more pumped that I actually sold someone something! As the weeks went on I got more and more confident and slowly made more money. I had a lot friends supporting the business and repping our t-back singlets which took off massively, i remember at one point we were selling more clothes then supplements.
Months went by and in August 2012 I opened my second store in Hervey Bay north of QLD. This came about due to my friend Chris telling me that a gym has just opened up and there was a perfect vacant shop right next to it. My father and I flew up to check it out and it was perfect, cheap rent and great location. I was lucky enough i had the support from my cousins that lived in Hervey Bay I stayed with them for 4 weeks to get the store up and running which during that time we had a few hiccups with a local gym that hated the fact that I was there due to him having a small cabinet housing $200 worth of supplements. After banning my clothing from being worn in his gym I was contacted by channel 7 news for a story which was aired days before my grand opening ( cheers for the advertising mate! ) I then came back to Brisbane.
I continued working my butt off day in day out and in November 2012 I opened the Aspley store. This was my third store in 1 year i couldn't believe how quickly Victorious Fitness Supplements was growing. With quick expansion also came the risks of finding staff and of course maintaining cash flow. I was fortunate enough that I had and now have some great people working for me. All 3 stores were consistently growing and within the first year i turned over 1 million dollars and I couldn't be happier.
By this time it was 2013 and I had always wanted a store in my local area where I grew up. Legal Muscle had since closed, which left me thinking about opening up in Victoria Point. For 6 months I thought about this and I finally took the plunge and opened shop number 4. Do you remember when the shop owner of Legal muscle in 2011 told me Good luck? Well I now have a store within 30 meters from where his store use to be It's not about luck it's about hard work.
As we were growing and more and more people heard about us, we started to get emails and phone calls of people wanting to open a VFS. After lots of discussions with solicitors I decided to franchise Victorious Fitness Supplements to other store owners. We now have gone from 4 stores to 9 stores in QLD in a very short period of time. We are not only a company but we are like a family and I treat all the stores and their owners as if they were my own.
What is next for Victorious Fitness Supplements?
Victorious Fitness Supplements is going Australia wide! With our first interstate MEGA Store opening up in Perth, Western Australia very soon.
Has the hard work been worth while?
Absolutely. It hasn’t been easy and I have made a lot of sacrifices over the past years, I’ve cried, I’ve broken down and I’ve wanted to give up, but i wouldn't have it any other way. I went from "what the hell am I going to do with my life" 3 years ago to now owning a multi-million dollar empire. A highlight so far was fulfilling my dream since i was a small child to one day own a Ferrari. I recently brought a Ferrari 360 Modena at the age of 29 and i am currently in the works of building my own dream home.
If you can say something to young entrepreneurs what will it be?
Be the best you can be and never give up, take risks cause you won't get successful by playing it safe, take the plunge and BE VICTORIOUS