Millennial-Owned Fitness Company Aims to Reach New Heights
Mukuka "Kuka" Kasuba, founder of Millennials Get Fit, in San Juan, Puerto Rico earlier this year. Credit: Raúl López Mestres
It has been nine months since the launch of Millennials Get Fit. Littered with challenges, hurdles, and professional growth, the wellness company came with renewed energy to bring itself to the next level in 2020.
Founder Mukuka “Kuka” Kasuba is in the process of "making MGF a household name." Through sponsorships, social marketing campaigns and a plethora of other brand-building strategies, MGF will soon find its way into the fitness and wellness market.
But he is not doing this alone. Behind every company is an ambitious intern willing to take the deep dive into a particular topic or field. Kasuba hired Yanique Spencer in December - a marketing intern who is an incoming junior at Delaware State University. Her passion for fitness, athleticism and marketing led her to work on projects for high-profile organizations such as The Madison Square Garden Company.
She now assists MGF by researching marketing trends and developing and implementing social marketing strategies.
“I explore the type of content influencers and top wellness companies post and their engagement rate per post to determine what MGF can do to have similar results,” said Spencer. “Ultimately, we want to capitalize on their success and be identified as one of the top wellness companies in the business.”
"Yanique puts that seasoning, flavor and creative marketing twist into MGF. She's been doing such a great job with everything!" exclaimed Kasuba.
Like many small businesses, MGF is feeling the financial crunch since the outbreak of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus. Revenue is down by 85 percent.
“In the first two to three months of 2020, business was booming. Clients were purchasing workout programs and pre-orders for merchandise were going well. It was all great and then COVID hit. But as an entrepreneur, do I cry or use the spare time to put together a plan?” Kasuba asked.
Utilizing Connecticut’s “Stay Safe, Stay Home” executive order to his advantage, Kasuba has had ample time to intricately plan MGF’s 2020 goals for the remainder of the year. He is currently working with a photographer (remotely) for the official release of MGF’s fitness apparel.
“We are reaching out to models to organize photoshoots so products can be released in the next two to three months or really when ‘rona’ stop playing. You should expect spandex shorts and leggings for women, unisex shirts, mens athletic shorts and jackets in the fall.”
With Spencer’s help, Kasuba is also planning to attack different social platforms to boost visibility. “At the end of the day, the goal is to get more people to come and join the MGF family,” said the DSU softball player.
And the family has grown. Since the company's nine-month stint, MGF has had over 100 clients with one outside of the millennial demographic.
Karen Harris, 56, was inspired by her daughter’s weight loss journey with MGF and wanted to improve her overall health and wellness. At first she was hesitant, but after speaking with Kasuba, Harris began a customized “Quarantine Fitness Program” program in April.
“Kuka can cater to each millennial and work toward their goals, but do the same with other age groups,” said Harris’ daughter Alexandria Harris who lost nearly 30 pounds since November. “That is the beauty of MGF. Because MGF is accessible and inclusive to people of varying abilities, everyone can participate and get something out of the company regardless of their age.
Kasuba wants more clients outside of millennials to engage with MGF in 2020 and “thought it was dope to have a non millennial client. Despite the name, the company is not just for millennials. It is for everyone.”
Although 2020 has proven to be a promising year, excluding the deadly pandemic ravaging the nation, Kasuba endured a financial setback last month costing him more than $1,000.
Between vendor complications, sacrificing personal capital and being uninformed to retail supply chain management, clients waited three weeks for apparel that was promised to be delivered in seven to 10 days.
“It looked very unprofessional because for clients who are new to MGF, that trust was not built yet. My clients paid for a service that I could not promptly deliver. I have high standards and expectations for MGF and if I put myself in the clients’ shoes, the whole situation feels sketchy.”
Since his financial mishap, Kasuba has re-evaluated MGF’s operational and logistical strategies to recover and rebuild. He now works with more established companies to better streamline and simplify MGF’s merchandising and distribution process. The recent Howard graduate is also more informed about retail distribution strategies to the point where it takes as little as four days for MGF apparel to be shipped instead of 10.
“I learned to not worry about the dollar but worry about the quality of work. Taking the cheaper route costed me a lot more in the end but now I am willing to pay whatever to get things done right.”
With talk about brand visibility and marketing campaigns, the 23-year-old continues to put his clients wants and needs first.
“I try to impact lives. All fitness journeys have a direct correlation to life. My clients have had tough weeks but they kept pushing forward. We do not throw in the towel. There will be trials and tribulations. You will have good weeks and bad weeks but it builds stamina and endurance,” said the former defensive lineman.
Whatever the rest of 2020 has to offer, MGF will adapt and remain resilient to ensure it is treated, respected and identified as an emerging company in the works of dominating the health and wellness industry.