The Brand Spotlight, is a section on our site which will put the spotlight on the Brands we love, both old and new from Australia and abroad. 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
After a successful spotlight and review of the awesome No Gi gear from Savage Fightwear it’s only fair we run a review of a Gi for the second time around, and put the spotlight on a couple of legends from the Gold Coast who run the brand Author Supply Co. When we first started talking to Nick and Jake they had just dropped “The Vagabond” a nice lightweight travel gi and with the Free Rollers Getaway coming up one can never have enough travel gis. So it made perfect sense to get these guys in the Spotlight.
OG – Welcome to Open Guard fellas hope you’re having a good one and achieving everything you set out to do. As always mate would you mind starting by telling our readers a little bit about your personal BJJ journey and How Author Supply came to be?
Nick – I am a BJJ Brown Belt under Ricky Budgen (Empire) and Vince Perry (PUMMA) and have been grappling consistently for just over six years. I got my start in BJJ after I lost my passion for rugby union, I was missing the competitive element of sport. I knew Ricky through a mutual friend, he was about to open a new gym (Empire) and he suggested that I come and try BJJ, I had it in my mind that I would go there and throw the guys around due to a rugby background and weighing over 100kg at the time (I now weigh around 74kg), we all know how that goes.
From then I was truly hooked.
In regards to how Author Supply Co. started, I used to be involved in a number of brands before my grappling days and have always had a deep interest in apparel. The problem was I never found a niche that I was truly passionate about. Almost from the moment I stepped onto the mats I knew that I wanted to create something in the grappling world. Fast forward to my blue belt days, the desire to create a grappling brand was still there, I felt there was a gap in the Australian market for a true lifestyle brand so I went for it and here we are today still grinding and as passionate as ever!
Jake – I’m a long time (possibly forever!) blue belt with a love for combat arts that goes above and beyond the gym. I’ve been privileged to train under old school Aussie fighters Sam Nest and super coach Vincent Perry who share a holistic and sometimes brutal take on mixed martial arts (MMA). Both guys have had a major influence on me and coming from the days when gloves weren’t a necessity and a chin in the eye socket was par for the course, you could say I have a different take on grappling and fighting in general, as opposed to the traditional for of jiujitsu.
I write, commentate, coach, ponder and create almost anything I can in terms of purging thoughts about martial arts from my head before they fill it up.
As far as Nick and I go, I shoot from the hip and not just double legs. I have a keen instinct and intuition for business and crave the opportunity to communicate the concepts, values and core beliefs of combat sports to people whether I have a keyboard under my fingertips or a microphone stuffed in my face. Nick is my counter balance who is methodical, deliberate and always thinking several steps ahead.
Probably why he has a fiercely frustrating ground game!
OG – One of the first things I notice when I look at the Author Supply Brand is the quill is present on everything you have. Being a writer, my self is there a reasoning behind the brand design and name?
AS – Our brand name and subsequent logos are very purposeful, the main message behind what we do and the community we are creating is “Write your own history”, it is all about your time on the mat and what you do to better yourself as a grappler off the mat. If you look around you there is no typical body type etc. linked with a successful grappler, the difference is what you put in and the pathway you chose too.
Jake – I take the credo “Write Your Own History” pretty seriously whether I’m talking to someone in the gym or my own inner dialogue. This path is yours to take however you see fit and nobody can live your grappling journey but you, for better or worse.
Every chance you have to step onto the mat is a new chapter, each scramble a new sentence and every movement a penned letter in your book.
Take the quill and take control over your history on the mats.
OG – Being a heavily saturated market internationally it is good to see Aussie brands starting to really make a name for themselves on the BJJ circuit. What do you do differently that separates you from the rest of the pack?
AS – What separates us is our deep passion for grappling, from day one our aim was to give more than we get. That is why we are putting out as much content to better yourself on and off the mat as we can, including recipes, technique videos, grappling blogs and book reviews. People see through brands that are just trying to empty your wallet, we are all about the grappling community.
OG – One thing I ask all our guests is the plans for the future? Do you have any exciting collaborations or projects on the horizon that you can talk about?
AS – We are always on the look out for collaboration and of course expanding our range, you may have seen we did a collaboration with famed Brisbane based street artist Steen Jones last year. I can say that we have another exciting artist collaboration on the way as well as some new products that will round out our range.
OG – Looking at the athletes you have representing your brand you have some accomplished guys as a part of your team. What do you look for when you are looking for guys or girls to support? We know what you guys bring to the table but what do you like your potential athlete to contribute? Do you look for personalities, competitor’s active social media people?
AS – Something that sets us apart is that we have a small circle of athletes and intentionally so. We look to spoil our guys whenever we can and keep a circle small so that we are not “spamming” our loyal followers with a team of athletes just to invade people’s newsfeeds.
We have no set criteria for people to become an Author athlete other than the fact that they are writing their own history quite literally. You look at our guys like Aaron ‘The Educator’ Blackie and Reece ‘Lightning’ McLaren who are not only accomplished, but they’re doing it their way in a very personable and individual way. People gravitate towards them and follow their journey and in turn follow us and we are thankful for it.
We wouldn’t be averse to having a white belt, male or female of any age, waving the Author Supply co. banner if they’re doing it with honesty and integrity. Write that history.
OG – Both being Practitioners of the art yourselves what do you think is key for the “perfect” Gi, some people are in love with the heavy chain armour style of traditional Gi while others choose the light weight options meaning less weight cut and lighter luggage when on the road, what is your idea of the perfect Gi and why?
SF – A great question, a little tough to answer in my position, personally I like a mid-weight gi, I use to favour the heavy style but find that a little restrictive. I am a fan of the pearl weave with rip-stop pants, our chapter 1 is pretty much my go to. From a brand perspective the perfect gi is really individual, we are aiming to include a larger size range as we move forward with the combination of a number of weights and cuts etc. As we consider ourselves a grappling brand and not just for BJJ players we are currently working on a classic judo gi also.
OG – Thanks for joining us guys, before I let you go do you have any parting words/plugs?
AS – An absolute pleasure! I would just encourage our current and future customers to reach out to us if they have any questions or suggestions, we grapple the same as them and are always striving to get better at what we do and to provide them with grappling solutions.
Well there you have it ladies and gentlemen if you want to follow Author Supply Co be sure to head to their social media accounts and give them a like I will link them below to make it a hell of a lot easier for you.