Long before I ever designed the F#CK SLEEVES shirt, I worked in the sports supplement industry.
For those of you who don’t know, prior to starting FKN, I worked as a sales manager for several big brand supplement companies all over Australia…and I absolutely loved it!
Let me give you the back story.
In the spring of 2007, I was living in a small town on the east coast of Australia called Taree.
I’d just successfully flipped a gym that I’d bought 2 years earlier and while I plotted my next world conquering move, I was helping out my friend James, who owned a great little restaurant there.
James is a very successful restaurateur and businessman in his own right and it all came to me one night after dinner service while enjoying a red lemonade and a bowl of chips and gravy (chef nutrition).
The biggest player in the supplement game at that time was a company called BPG Imports, who you may know now as Nutrition Systems.
They were the distributors of Muscle-Tech and BSN among others, publishers of Australian MuscleMag and Oxygen magazines as well as owning about half a dozen supplement stores around Perth.
The owner of Nutrition Systems Danny Pavlovich, is a very smart and hard working entrepreneur and was absolutely KILLING IT!
So it should come as no surprise that I HAD to get myself involved in this company.
I packed up my little 3 series BMW with everything that I couldn’t give away or sell, stuck it on a truck and flew my ass out to Perth.
It took me about 2 months to get my foot in the door at Nutrition Systems, landing a job on the gym floor and working reception hours.
Not my dream job, but I was in.
Taking every shift they offered me from the gym, to reception to clocking in hours in the retail stores, it didn’t take long for the bosses to recognise the Jonny London hustle.
A position came up managing one of the retail stores, it was offered to yours truly and I jumped on it.
In the background, the ultimate goal was to get on the road as a Sales Manager.
Seriously, I couldn’t think of a better gig.
Driving around all day visiting stores, doing promos, talking about supplements and making good money…I’m FKN in!
The gentleman who was the W.A rep at the time was my good friend Brendan.
He was doing an awesome job, is an awesome guy and had been with the company for a while, so I thought the only way in was if they created a second position.
I continued running the store for around 6 months or so, when news came about that Brendan was leaving Perth.
Management approached me and offered me the Sales Manager role.
I remember that day like it was yesterday.
Was sad that my homie was leaving, but excited that all of my hard work hadn’t gone unnoticed.
It was time to sell my beat up Beemer and get into a company car…FREE FUEL!
Little did I know, at that time Nutrition Systems was going through a staff restructuring process and hiring reps all over Australia and about a month into the job, the company brought all of the new reps out to Perth for our first team bonding event.
It was during these few days that the now infamous F#CK SLEEVES slogan would be born.
Now, to be completely honest, there is a little confusion as to when exactly F#CK SLEEVES came up.
My ‘trusty’ memory for some reason thinks that it was during a boardroom meeting where my good friend and colleague Chris came in wearing a sleeveless t-shirt and I said something along the lines of “It’s just a national sales meeting, fuck sleeves!”
Chris remembers it differently however and says it was during a day trip to Fremantle and he was wearing a sleeveless t-shirt and I just said “fuck sleeves“.
I’m inclined to believe Chris’s version because I was on a LOT of caffeine during that period of my life.
The one thing we agreed on is that it should be printed on a shirt!
Fast forward 7 years, FKN was finding its place in the world and I remember thinking how funny it would be to have that on an FKN shirt…So I did it.
Since then, it has been a timeless addition to the FKN clothing range, selling thousands and thousands and THOUSANDS all over the world.
It’s definitely one design that helped put FKN Gym Wear on the map and regardless who is right about how the slogan came about, thank you to you guys for supporting FKN and thank you to Chris for wearing a sleeveless shirt to a sales conference ;).
And of course, thank you for reading and if you enjoyed this post, please like and share by clicking the links below, I genuinely appreciate it!
Jonny London is the owner and founder of FKN Gym Wear. When he’s not in the FKN office coming up with the next masterpiece product, you can find him lifting heavy things, skating around Burleigh Heads or barbecuing chicken. You can follow him on Instagram @jonnylondon and @fkngymwear