How Blogilates’ Cassey Ho Is Building A Fitness Empire Beyond YouTube

[Music] i was teaching my own format called pop pilates at the local 24 hour fitness which was pilates to pop music at the time pilates was done to classical very slow but because i love dance and i love music i want to do everything to the beat and make it fun and poppy so that was the format i taught and when i graduated from school in 2009 um you know i was headed out to the east coast for my first big girl job and i had to leave that side hustle and all my students were like cassie but who's going to teach us pop bloodies no one knows how to teach that so i thought okay well i'll record a little 10 minute ab video upload it to some site called youtube and they can do it whenever they miss me so little did i know that that was going to be the beginning of my fitness career obviously it's a new medium it's not something that a three-year-old cassie would say i want to grow up and be a youtube influencer what did you think your career was going to be 100 i wanted to be a fashion designer i carried a sketchbook around with me ever since i was six i was always drawing evening gowns red carpet dresses i just love feminine romantic beautiful dresses and when i turned 16 i told my dad that i want to be a fashion designer i want to go to fit him i want to like learn how to do pattern making all of that and he straight up looked me in the eye and he said you will not do that you have three choices you're going to be a doctor a lawyer or a failure that literally broke me and i ended up going to school for um biology to pursue a medical science degree to become a doctor but my soul was so hollow and i that is not what i wanted to be doing when did the side hustle when did you start to think like oh this might actually be something before i actually graduated from school i was designing yoga bags but for myself because i was teaching pilates i had nothing that could carry my yoga mat my water bottle my towels my keys my cds at the time um and that was cute so i decided to go to downtown atlanta get some clothes out fabrics make this beautiful glamorous bow bag with gold chains when i brought it to class my students were like what's that we want one so anyway i found like a tiny manufacturer just made like small units and like sort of began to sell it on a website like like barely anything but i do remember sending out three bags to like three magazines and each one was like gold for me right because i don't have any inventory and just like praying that someone would write about it so i'm sitting at my desk at this job and i'm dying like i i'm telling you like every morning for work i would cry like that's how much i did not enjoy this job so anyway i'm sitting at my desk and i get a text from my sister and it's a picture of her finger pointing to something that looks like my bag and it looks like it's in a magazine i'm like what so i open it up and she says you're in shape magazine and i'm like what so i take an early lunch i drive out to target and i start like flipping through shape magazine and the moment i see that bag i start crying because it is a sign and within that next couple weeks i quit my job i bought a ticket to china on friday left on sunday because i said i'm gonna i'm gonna go because if i don't give myself the 100 chance to succeed i'll never know and i don't want to be someone who lives in regret so i did that i went to find a manufacturer and when i got back um to boston after that canton fair which is one of the biggest manufacturing fairs in the world and i found my manufacturer i had kind of nothing to do so i began to youtube even more in that intermediary time and my audience began to grow because of that consistency as well as my fans started to grow someone was like hey do you have any blog a lottie's merchandise and i was like what do you mean like there's a bag you could buy the bag they were like no we want a shirt that says blog a lotties and in my head i'm like you want a shirt with my screen name on it because to me it was a screen name it wasn't a brand and i was like okay fine so then you know i buy some shirts from forever 21 we like kind of screen print stuff on it whatever it wasn't a big deal and it sold out in a minute and i and that was the moment i knew okay blog a lotties is a brand so you sell out of these t-shirts that you're making in 2011 what was the next product and then can you take me through the product evolution yeah so for blog a lotties there was uh the teas and then there were yoga mats with and back then it was all about the motivational sayings like train and sana remain the same train like a beast look like a beauty strong today sore tomorrow all that kind of stuff so we sold all of that on yoga mats on bottles on sweatshirts on sweatpants on booty shorts with the rollover band like everything and it was very colorful it's very you know 20 12 13 14. and then i just got really sick of that style and i like just didn't want to wear it anymore like i grew out of that phase before my subscribers and fans wanted to grow out of that phase and i decided i'm going to stop selling that and everyone was like but they're selling so well why do you want to stop selling that and i was like well i'm sick of it i don't want to sell things that i don't want to wear and that's like really like that is where my my inspiration my heart like in the designs they always have to be interconnected if i'm not feeling it if i'm not going to wear it i don't want to be making it and so the switch happened around 2016 and that's when i decided okay i'm going to stop selling blog a lottie stuff and so that's when popflex came about and that was about the technical design the sports bras the leggings with pockets and drawstrings and that sort of stuff so that's when that happened and so pop flex really began to grow on the clothing apparel gym bag side i mean everything was doing really really well and then it was in i believe 2019 or something 2018 when i had the opportunity to bring blog a lotties to target and so that got revisited and at that moment um i had to figure out okay well how's blog live is going to be different than pop flex because now we have two brands and this is not something that i had planned for and now having had blog a lot he's at target for a couple years we have the premium like gold dumbbells and gold weights um the kettlebells beautiful yoga mats things that i am very proud of and definitely use in my gym but it's at a more affordable price you can touch it right away and we just added nutrition with the protein powders that went so crazy a couple weeks when we launched like sold out in 46 minutes online it was insane it sounds like you track the growth of the business through the products the customers unless like oh in 2014 i hit x number of followers on youtube or i hit this many instagram followers it seems to me like you're speaking as a founder and ceo and and a fitness influencer but which hat do you feel like you

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