Hard Work Pays off in Xtreme Ways
By: Ceri Robirds
It’s 7:30 in the morning here in Las Vegas, Nevada, and here I sit with a cup of black coffee in my hands waiting for the Freak Show – the wrestling tournament that is. I’m standing with the Xtreme Pro team as the doors open and nearly 2,700 wrestlers and 10,000 spectators flood inside and start to swarm the booth. I stand back watching the team at work grabbing their first sales of the morning. As a mother and son duo are purchasing a new singlet for the weekend, Jordon comes up to give the little man a high five and tells him, “Good luck this weekend!”
“I always knew I’d have a branded product but I never thought I’d be as hands on as I am now.” Those are the words from 25-year-old Jordon Gutierrez, President of Xtreme Pro Apparel, located in Broomfield, Colorado. “My end game [when I started] was to have my own online store so people could go online and buy really good wrestling gear… and it still is.”
Back in October I was able to travel with Jordon and his team to one of the biggest tournaments of the season – The Freak Show of Amatuer Wrestling. This was my first time helping out at a tournament for a sport I knew little about and at the time I didn’t quite know what I was in for – I was about to get a glimpse of just what Jordon and this team are all about. This was the first time Xtreme Pro would be selling their own hand made gear so the stakes were high for this one.
Day one was all about the set up. We spent the greater half of the day putting up the displays of new singlet, rash guard, and fight short sets as well as the tournament shirts and apparel. There were boxes of t-shirts and sweatshirts available in nearly every size imaginable, as well as boxes of headgear, mouth guards, and athletic tape for all the wrestlers involved in the tournament. This was my first time seeing all of the products that were going to be sold over the weekend, and I have to admit – I was extremely impressed. I had no idea that what this company was putting out after just a few months of preparation was going to be so… legit. Not only was the sublimation done extremely well, but every detail down to the stitching was well thought out and made to last. After seeing everything come together I was excited to see how the rest of the weekend was going to play out.
Day two started out bright and early. Doors were opening to the public at 7:30 in the morning so we needed to be there an hour early to make sure everything was ready to go. Heat presses were turned on, wrestling gear was organized and separated by size and design, and stacks of apparel were laid out in the back ready for sale. Once the doors were opened parents and wrestlers alike started lining up left and right to pick out their new gear or purchase a t-shirt with the official Freak Show logo on the front. The day was filled with excitement from those registered in the tournament and stress from the parents and family members watching from the edge of the mats. I was soaking up every minute of the emotions that were going on, on the other side of the tables I was standing behind.
Day three brought more wrestlers and more gear sales to plenty of kids and their parents. But to me it brought even more of an understanding of just what this business means to those that are involved. I spent quite some time helping a wrestling mom as she tried to pick out a new jacket for her son.
“We always come to Xtreme Pro,” she said to me, “I’ve never even thought of going anywhere else. We’ve been with these guys since the beginning.”
I didn’t think much of it at the time as I went about helping her pick out which logos to press on the jacket. It was only after she came back to tell me how much he loved it and that she was so thankful for all my patience and help that I realized just why so much time and effort go into making such quality items.
If you ask Jordon why he works so hard in this business he’ll tell you straight up – for the kids. “I want to sponsor young wrestlers and give back. I want to show them that if they focus on doing what they’re good at and staying out of trouble they can really excel in what they love,” he says as he stresses that, “it takes hard work but I want them to keep pushing forward and never give up.”
One thing that should stand out the most about Jordon and his company is the fact that they put God at the forefront. “God has excelled me in what I’m doing. I put my faith in wrestling… all of this has a greater purpose," Jordon says in regards to the success of his business in just three short years.
After growing up wrestling for more than 15 years, at the age of 22, Jordon made the decision to quit school in order to further pursue a career in wrestling apparel. He had spent weekends working for a company called RMN Events putting on wrestling tournaments across the west coast while still in college, but soon learned he could create a business in relation to the tournaments by putting out his own wrestling products.
Of his decision to skip the classes and jump head-first into reality Jordon says, “I knew I was exactly where I needed to be… At that point I didn’t need to finish school.” That was back in 2013, and now, three years later, the sky’s the limit for this company.
Jordon and his team started as a small organization, selling outsourced singlets and fight gear at RMN Events tournaments for the first year; although, many of the apparel items they were selling were not up to par in Jordon’s eyes. “We were buying items from third parties… but the quality wasn’t there. The sizing was never right and we never truly knew what we were going to get.”
From there he knew it was time to start searching for a better product. Xtreme Pro partnered with another wrestling company on the east coast that made their own wrestling gear and together they were able to start producing double-branded singlets, fight shorts, and rash guards. For the next year Xtreme Pro focused on selling their wrestling gear at tournaments during the season and keeping up with online sales in their off-time.
When looking back on the experience Jordon says, “I was finally happy with the product we were putting out… but I knew there was still room for improvement."
On top of their event sales, they were also able to book a handful of teams in need of custom gear and business was starting to move forward from where they were during their outsourcing days.
After only a year together the duo decided to part ways. Xtreme Pro took everything they had learned through the business venture and put it to use in order to start focusing on the growth of their company on a much larger scale. During the summer of 2016, Jordon took a leap of faith and purchased all that was needed to start his own sublimation of wrestling apparel in-house.
It was a learning process for him and his team but when asked how he feels about now being able to handle the creation of his product from start to finish, he simply puts it: “Relieved.”
Dominic Valenzuela, lifelong friend of Jordon and Director of Sales for Xtreme Pro, stated, “Having the full process done in-house not only gives me the capability to monitor quality control through and through, it [also] allows me to give an honest date to clients to relieve stress. Typical due dates are window time frames and we can dial in a little more with the process being in-house.”
Now they can focus on their own event sales as well as creating more custom team apparel for wrestling teams across the nation.
In this short period of time of getting to know Jordon, I can say one thing: I have never met a 25-year-old that works harder at what he does to achieve the outcome that he wants, than him. Everyone around him is infected with his strong work ethic and his passion for wrestling and all that Xtreme Pro embodies.
Dominic, one of the most involved with Jordon and Xtreme Pro, says of their dynamic, “Growing up within the rather small wrestling community we knew each other… I was asked to come on [to the business] and I didn’t have to think about it long because it just made sense… I am so passionate about our friendship and the company being built that I am willing to go down swinging with him if need be."
But to Jordon and Xtreme Pro it’s not about the numbers or the sales, it’s about giving back to the wrestling community and doing so by keeping a strong faith.