Modern Flow Brand is a company that hasn’t been around that long but is making big waves within the BJJ community by releasing creative and original designs. Their first kimono “The Ranger”, sold fairly well and was met with good reviews by most.
Their collaboration with Meerkatsu and Kataaro were both welcomed with open arms by everyone that laid their eyes on it and while a good percentage of Jiu Jitsu practitioners have all thought of BJJ as a chess game, Modern Flow took it up a notch and made the thought a reality in the form of shirts, rash guards, and belts.
One of the owners of Modern Flow, David Garmo was kind enough to answer some questions for us and here is the result of said interview.
First off David, would you like to tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is David Garmo and I have been training since October 13th 2008. I have been training with sister academies (Warrior Way, Mash Gym) since I began. We are Caique Jiu-jitsu affiliated.
How’d you get started in BJJ?
I got started shortly after I started my first year of college. I wrestled in high school and realized that I had nothing to look forward to for the winter season. I decided that I wanted to be an MMA fighter and quickly realized that jiujitsu was my passion and I haven’t looked back since. I train 6 days a week at the best academy in Michigan!!
What made you want to start up Modern Flow?
As an avid competitor myself, I thought making money selling BJJ gear would be a good way to blend making a living by doing something I love. My best friend (Saif Askar) and I decided to give it a go and I’m happy we did!
Where did the name come from, what inspired the name Modern Flow?
The name came from a lot of trial and error but was originally something we really liked. We embraced the direction BJJ was going. It’s more modern then it has ever been and so that’s where Modern Flow Brand came from.
Do you have a collective group of people who help you design products?
Our most famous designs have come from the awesome Seymour Yang, aka Meerkatsu.
Your first designs image was the fierce looking Koala Bear, why did you choose that?
Originally Meerkatsu designed the Koala bear for me way before the brand was thought of. It was a personal logo for me to help raise money to compete 20 times per year. Now we have integrated it into our line of shirts and it has been widely popular. He also designed our Jiujitsu chess tee. We have also used the famous John Smalls for our most recent design, the Legends Tee. We have been lucky to have such great artists work with us.
Have you had any prior experience with running a Jiu Jitsu gear company?
None of us had any prior experience selling BJJ gear unless you call selling the occasional tshirt experience haha.
Where are your kimonos made? Was it hard to find a supplier at first?
Our gis are made in Pakistan. Finding a good manufacturer was not easy. Lots of bumps in the road but we found a great one who is finishing up our next batch of gis as I type this! Look for our next gi by the beginning of August.
Your first offering was called the “Ranger”, why did you choose that name for your first offering?
Our first gi was called the Ranger because me and Saif both are super nerds when it comes to high fantasy. Lord of the rings is a personal favorite and we decided to give it a Lord of the Rings style name. The Ranger seemed appropriate
You worked with Meerkatsu on the Super Chess Rash guard series. Did you have the idea already worked out and he used his artist voodoo magic to bring it to life, or did you both collectively come up with the idea?
With our Chess themed design, we contacted Meerkatsu with the idea. He was hesitant at first, saying that this was not his style and he didn’t feel comfortable with it. He even offered to direct us to another artist. We kind of pressured him into doing his best with it (if Meerkatsu didn’t do it we wouldn’t have made it). Finally he gets back to us with some amazing sketches and we were blown away. I think he surprised himself just as much as us, thus the chess design was born.
Why did you decide to go with Kataaro for your belt collaboration?
Our collaboration with Kataaro was actually very simple. We wanted to offer belts with the chess pieces. We new Kataaro made the best belts in the business. They are made here in America. And they are super easy to work with. It was a no brainer.
Your back pack looks really nice, was the design hard to come up with?
I’m no artist, neither is my partner, but we know what we like and I feel we have a vision for certain things. I have an active imagination so if I can find someone to work I out my thoughts, it turns out pretty cool most of the time. For the non-special artist designs, my partner Saif does those with a lot of tweaking here and there along the way.
Your shirts have a pretty unique design to them and the colors on your tanks are not usually seen from BJJ Brands, let alone most companies. What made you want to use those specific colors?
Our shirt colors are an extension of us. We love obnoxious colors. The brighter the better, especially in the summer. I’ll bet that the people who have bought some of our more pastel colored shirts have had someone from the opposite sex say “hey, where did you get that shirt?” Or something to that effect. Plus they are just fun to look at.
This is a question I ask every company, Your name is already a well known name in the kimono market, in your opinion what sets your products apart from every other company out there?
What sets us apart? Well, first off we aren’t distant from the sport. We are not just businessmen or artists. We both live and breathe jiujitsu. We are out there at the Pans, Worlds and No gi worlds every year. Not watching or making deals. We are on the mats, competing. That makes us closer to the customer then anyone else. I know what you want, what you need. It’s because I want and need the same thing. So that’s what sets us apart from other companies, and brings us closer to you guys, the customer. Our brothers and sisters on the mats.
Looking back on your decisions for Modern Flow, is there anything you would change?
We wouldn’t change a thing. Who knows what would happen if we did!
There you have it ladies and gentleman, David Garmo with Modern Flow. Be sure to check them out on Facebook!!