We are launching a new section here at Open Guard which will put the spotlight on the Brands we love. We will be interviewing the faces behind the brands and find out what drives them to do what they do. We aim to have a brand a month, so if you are or know someone running a BJJ brand that you think deserves some recognition then get at us Luke@openguard.com.au
With the first installment we have chosen a brand we love not only there gear but their vision and the amount they give back to the BJJ Community here in Australia it made perfect sense to lead off with these guys. Without further delay we would like to introduce Alex from Braus Fight!
OG – Welcome to Open Guard Alex hope you’re doing well today mate. Could you start by telling our readers a little bit about your personally BJJ journey and the evolution of Braus Fight?
AQ – Thanks Luke and thanks for having us! Our journey with the company and our BJJ is an ongoing evolution indeed. I, myself, have always been a huge fan of the sport but began my BJJ Journey later on in life, whilst, my business partner, Renato has trained BJJ since 1999 – it has been something he has picked up as often as he can. We both now train in local gyms on a regular basis, both for the passion of the sport but also to ensure we remain close to what our people need from our products and the brand. The brands evolution continues to align itself to the market growth of the sport and our people’s needs. We’re focused on delivering what our market needs and work tirelessly to ensure we are really in touch with BJJ and it’s followers.
OG – How did the Idea of Braus originate?
AQ – BRAUS, the name itself, came about as a combination of our two cultures; BR – azil and AUS – tralia. Which is fundamentally the foundation of the brand – the incorporation of the two nations into one people focused brand. Myself and my business partner and Renato came up with the idea whilst discussing the sport some years ago. At the time, BJJ was a growing sport here vs a well establish institution in our home land. There were countless brands in the market at the time but the vast majority were offshore entities that we didn’t feel understood the Australian people. We simply identified the need for the Aussie market to have it’s own Australian brand which supported the Aussie culture, whilst still reflecting Brazilian BJJ roots.
OG – One of the things Braus does is gives back to the Australian BJJ Community can you tell us a little bit about how you do this?
AQ – Renato and I are both passionate about BJJ but even more so about people and are constantly striving to make a difference. It’s one of the joys of having our own company, you have the opportunity to influence and give back on a bigger scale. Rolling 4 a Reason allows us the opportunity to support those less fortunate by working with different entities around the globe providing a helping hand on a difficult road. Be that by supporting their learning of a new discipline and skillset that is transferrable beyond the mats, product contributions, fundraisers or beyond, every bit counts. BRAUS Life similarly is about sharing life stories in a hope that together we can continue to inspire each other to live life to our fullest no matter the difficult road. Our tag line, “The Fight Never Ends” is fundamentally based on this principal, everyone faces struggles but its how we rise from the struggle and with what support that counts.
OG – Having first being a customer of Braus one of the things that really stands out is the extra mile you go with your customer service, is there anything else you like to do to surprise your customers?
AQ – Thrilled to hear you had a positive experience! We’re always asking for feedback to ensure we are hitting the mark with what our customers want. At the end of the day, our customers happiness is truly our own. Our brand is people focused and our vision and values reflect this. If we don’t get that right, we’re not honouring our commitment to our brand nor delivering on what we set out to achieve with BRAUS which was a reliable, supportive brand designed for the Australian people by real Australian/Brazilian people. There are always surprises about, our VIP newsletter comes with offers and don’t be surprised if sometimes you find something additional inside your order delivery.
OG – What are your plans for the future? Any exciting collaborations or projects on the horizon that you can talk about?
AQ – We’ve always got a lot on the go and in the pipeline. We’re focused on the community and the growing market and working to ensure we are always providing the community with what it needs. Rolling 4 A Reason continues to remain a primary focus as well as Braus Life as these two projects are so close to our hearts and keep us motivated to continue growing, as do our customers. Of course new designs for on and off the mats are always in design and testing. Watch this space!
OG – What has been one of your biggest challenges in establishing yourself in the BJJ Community?
AQ – Hmmm….. I guess one of the challenges, which were always evolving, is ensuring we have the right balance for the Australian market. Both Renato and I are Brazilian born but we have lived in Australia over 12 years, I have an Australian wife and baby on the way in fact! We consider ourselves Aussies I guess you could say. But we wanted the brand to incorporate the roots of BJJ with Brazilian influence whilst maintaining the best bits of Aussie modernisation to ensure the market here can identify with the brand.
OG – With some of the biggest names representing Braus what is the best thing about partnering with these guys and girls?
AQ – I guess it’s really just about being able to join people on their journey. We are privileged to be a part of so many peoples lives, by their sides through the up’s and downs –athlete or not, being able to join people from all walks of life through their wins and losses on and off the mats is inspirational and truly the greatest part of our jobs.
OG – Thanks for joining us Alex for our first Brand Spotlight do you have anything to add please feel free.
AQ – I’d like to take this opportunity to send out a huge thank you to all of those who support us and believe in our work and mission to build BJJ in Australia and New Zealand. We have a lot of exciting plans to keep us moving forward as a brand, providing as much support as we can to the sport around the world, but always with our homeland Australia and it’s people remaining our priority.