If you’re taking off your wedding ring when you’re in the gym, that’s probably because you haven’t yet heard of QALO, makers of the silicone wedding band. Muscle & Fitness caught up with the company’s CEO and co-founder, Ted Baker, to find out more about the company that’s trying to make sure you never have to lift without your wedding ring on again.
Muscle & Fitness: Where did the idea of a synthetic wedding band originate?
Ted Baker: After getting married, my co-founder, KC Holiday, and I realized what a nuisance wearing our traditional wedding bands was. While we love our wives, and love being married, the reality was that our rings were getting in the way (literally) of our active lifestyles. Many married people we talked with shared the same frustrations. Our traditional wedding bands were bulky, uncomfortable, and even dangerous. Every time we hit the gym, worked on the car, surfed, rock-climbed—you name it—our wedding band got in the way. Add losing a couple really expensive wedding bands to the list, and we needed an alternative. QALO was born!
M&F: What advantages/benefits does the QALO ring have over the more traditional hard metal wedding bands?
TB: Where do I begin?!
* Safety: It may just save you from losing a digit.
* Comfort: You wont even know youre wearing a ring.
* Functionality: You can wear it 24/7 without it interfering with your work or lifestyle.
* Practicality: Starting at just $15.99, QALO rings are very affordable.
M&F: How durable is the QALO ring, and how long can they be expected to maintain their optimal condition?
TB: QALO rings are made out of hypoallergenic, medical grade silicone. This material makes for a high quality product that can really take a beating. At the same time, one of the key benefits of a QALO ring is that if you catch yours on anything, the ring tears instead of your finger.
So will it last? Well, I’ve worn QALO rings for 2 years now, and although I do rotate rings regularly, every one has stayed in great shape during that period. Durability is simply not a major concern we hear from our customers.
M&F: Who do you see as your primary customers?
TB: I feel like our primary customers are servicemen/women, fitness enthusiasts, and outdoorsmen/women. Police officers, firefighters, first responders, and military are the communities that automatically attach to QALO because the safety component is so important to them. But really, its a no brainer for all of the communities I listed. Talk to a hunter, and he says, “It doesn’t click on my tree stand.” Talk to a fitness enthusiast, and he says, “Pullups with a wedding ring? No problem.” Talk to the white-collar worker, and it’s, “It’s just so comfortable.” We are very lucky to have such a universal product!
M&F: Is there a secondary market you’d like to tap into?
TB: I feel like there are an infinite number of markets for us to focus on. As you peel away the layers of potential customer segments, you realize that QALO is an outstanding fit in many of them. If you are you married and active, QALO represents your commitment. Commitment is really what we are all about!
M&F: Are there any well-known, respected athletes who currently wear a QALO ring during their training/sport? Why would they be a good spokesperson for the product?
TB: We have been very lucky to attract a large number of professional athletes with QALO. If you watch the NFL any Sunday this Fall, you will probably see QALO rings on the field. We also attract athletes from the NBA, MLB, Olympians, as well as elite CrossFitters, power lifters, and MMA fighters. We have a number of professional surfers, tennis players and golfers too!
When we look for someone to represent QALO, the question we ask is, “Do they represent the brand?” Is she committed to her spouse, her family, and her sport or job? Most of the people that represent us are singled out because they are already wearing QALO. So once we see they believe in our values, it is easy to fit all the pieces together to form a great partnership.
M&F: What high-profile athletes/couple would you most like to see wearing your ring in the future?
TB: Id rather see your next door neighbor wearing the ring personally. We want to appeal to all walks of life: your friend that you work out with, or your buddy you rock climb with on the weekends. If there is a high profile couple that finds our story and product useful, I would love for them to wear it too. But this is for every man and every woman. Celebrities are invited, but not required.
M&F: How do you plan on moving the company forward, and what are your goals for the year ahead?
TB: Moving the company forward is relatively simple. We want to continue to dominate our market, first and foremost. And secondly, we want to continue providing our customers with the best service possible, which is a high priority for us. I believe we do a magnificent job of supporting our community. Lastly, innovation. As much as we focus on our rings, we are always looking to create other products that fit the lifestyles of our community. You never know what may come next out of QALO Base Camp.
M&F: Other than your website, is there a place consumers can find/shop for QALO rings?
TB: First and foremost, go to QALO.com. But we can also be found on amazon and a handful of retailers nationwide. In the very near future we expect that you will find QALO pop up in national sports and/or outdoors retailers.
M&F: Is there any way to customize a QALO ring?
TB: Customizable QALO coming soon! Get ready.