First Look: Finest Hour Athletics
We’ll start with the basics – where does Finest Hour Athletics come from?
Finest Hour is from a quote by Winston Churchill I had come across that really resonated with me.
“To every man there comes in his lifetime a special moment when he is figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to him and fitted to his talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds him unprepared or unqualified for that which could have been his FINEST HOUR.”
He was most likely speaking about war but I feel it is something that can pertain to anything in life especially in the gym. Whether you are training to fight fires, run your first 5k or compete at the Mr. Olympia, you better be ready for it. We are all about putting in the work and training hard to be ready for what could be your defining moment, your “Finest Hour”.
What do you have for sale in the store? Is it just Finest Hour apparel?
We are striving to provide a place where local fitness enthusiasts can come and hang out, talk shop and pick up whatever they may need or want for their training. In addition to our clothing line we also sell fitness accessories and brands that would be hard to find in a big box store. We sell things like custom speed ropes, wrist supports, lifting straps, specialty coffees, supplements etc..
Tell us about the Finest Hour Army.
Finest Hour Army is something we came up with to bring together the community of athletes, enthusiasts and fans who believe in what FHA stands for. We use the term mostly on social media #FinestHourArmy to tag photos and videos of people representing the brand.
What was the first piece of clothing you ever had printed? Do you still wear it?
We actually started off with a few different shirts but our most popular shirt from the start was the baseball tee we made (FHA Crest Slugger tee). That was my favorite tee for sure and you better believe I own about 5 of that one shirt and wear it all the time! Since then we have made the same shirt in other colors and I really do love them all – we get a lot of requests for them as well.
Did you always want to own your own business? (Like did you start a crazy lemonade stand when you were a kid or hustle other kids with store bought candy on the bus that you sold for $4 a bar?)
Haha I would have eaten the candy long before it got to the school bus. I guess I had done stuff like that now that you mention it. I actually remember picking flowers out of a field and selling them on the street to cars driving by. People were asking me all about the flowers like I had grown them myself and I knew nothing about them. I just found them and thought it might be a way we could raise enough money to buy some candy. When I was in high school I sold mix cd’s out of a sneaker box haha.
Truthfully it began as a young teen, I was really into skateboarding and graffiti. My cousin Ryan and I would often skate together talk about putting the two together by starting our own apparel line, creating tees, sponsoring skaters, hosting comps/demos etc.. We never let go of that dream, my passion and experience for fitness lead me to start FHA and I couldn’t have started the business without calling Ryan to come in on it with me.
What does a normal day look like for you?
I typically wake up and gather our online orders or more stock for the shop before heading to the gym and then downtown. At the shop I’m doing anything from sizing jump ropes for customers to working on our website, designing new clothes etc. Pretty often I leave the shop at night and head to one of the businesses we work with (Printers, Embroiderer, etc..) to go over the details on products.
During the warmer months I spend most of my weekends setting up a booth at fitness competitions/events all over New England and spreading the word about FHA.
Have you gained weight since opening downtown (because…No Probs…)? Speaking of food – what’s the one thing you’ll eat on “cheat day”?
I’ve actually lost about 10 pounds since opening down here! Mostly because I had been putting in such long days to get the shop ready that I wasnt eating or training the way I normally would…
But ya, there is just so much good food down here! You nailed it, No Probs is definitely my go-to (I’m there several times a week).
When it comes to cheat meals I’m all about the sweets, bring me all the icecream!
What makes Finest Hour different than typical gym apparel?
I consider Finest Hour as a lifestyle brand that is much more than just “gym apparel”. If you see someone wearing an FHA shirt you know they are putting in the work both in and out of the gym. We have built a community around hard work, determination and sacrifice. You are representing yourself and what you do when you wear FHA, you have embraced this life and are part of what stand for. Also, a big goal of mine was to create apparel that was comfortable to wear to the gym but cool enough to wear everywhere else, I think that also sets us apart from a lot of other “typical” gym apparel companies.
What’s next for FHA?
In addition to our shop downtown we are focusing on growing our online presence. I have some great ideas for our website and social media platforms that I’m looking forward to launching this year.
What’s your favorite thing about working in Downtown?
I grew up in the West End and I would take walks downtown with my grandmother all the time as a kid. As a teenager I lived in Fairhaven but was always down here skateboarding. It’s home for me. I’m really happy to be a part of it now and proud to be part of such a great community of businesses down here. I’ve had a lot of the local business owners reach out to welcome me to the neighborhood and offer words of advice as well as encouragement.