IT WAS 2011, and Fitmark founder and Marin native Mark Samuel (pictured) had just sold his interest in a fitness-related venture when he noticed another opportunity in the field. “As a lifelong fitness enthusiast, I saw a definite void when it came to high-quality, functional bags, specifically geared toward style-conscious fitness enthusiasts,” Samuel says of his business headquartered in Marin. Soon, he had a business plan and a head of operations (who came with more than 20 years of bag manufacturing experience), and in May of 2012, Fitmark was born. Quality and function separate Fitmark from competitors. According to Samuel, the line of bags is designed for fitness lovers, by fitness lovers, ensuring that each bag is optimized for the needs of sports enthusiasts.

PHILOSOPHY “We put as much passion into crafting bags and offering a phenomenal customer experience as we do into our workouts,” says Samuel of the brand. “Our team is composed of fitness enthusiasts who truly understand what we’re doing and making because they actually live the lifestyle.” Fitmark further exemplifies this commitment to fitness by sponsoring exceptional athletes in the fields of bodybuilding, CrossFit, triathlon and more. THE SCOOP Fitmark crafts backpacks, totes, duffels, lunch packs and messenger bags for ultimate athletic function — think straps for yoga mats, shoe pockets, water bottle holders and seal-tight containers. Bags are available for $24.99 to $135.99 in a variety of colors. BEYOND MARIN Fitmark bags are sold across the U.S. in venues like Equinox, Sports Club L.A., Life Time Fitness and Western Athletic Clubs, as well as online and in more than 25 countries around the world. The company also recently implemented the Fitmark 1 for 1 Program — for every $100 netted through website sales, Fitmark will donate one bag to a handful of Boys and Girls Clubs across the country, to be gifted to a child who excels in school and sports. WHAT THEY SAY “We’re in gyms working out all the time,” says Samuel. “We’ve done CrossFit. We’ve run marathons. We understand yoga. Those fitness experiences, along with conversations within our team and among other athletes, help us gain understanding about what people need when it comes to bags.”

Categories: Calin Van Paris, Currents