Today we’d like to introduce you to Eric Cooper.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Eric. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’ve had a passion for fitness since the age of 17 when my Mom bought my first barbell set. In 1983, I graduated from high school and moved on to college while working part-time at a woman’s shoe salon in Detroit. I continued my retail career in New York City and later Chicago where I had the pleasure of working for 3 great fashion designers’: Charles Jourdan Paris, Escada/Margaretha Ley, and Ralph Lauren.
In 1994, I took an interest in exercise and began studying for a certification in fitness training. In the same year, I received my certification and established Eric Cooper Fitness/ULA. I incorporated the company in 1997 and continued to work in retail while building the training business.
After living 13 years in Chicago, I decided to move to be a warmer climate. In 2000, I received a job transfer through Ralph Lauren and relocated to Los Angeles to work in the Beverly Hills store. All went well with the transfer, however re-establishing my training business and re-building the clientele was challenging. While re-establishing Eric Cooper Fitness/ULA, I decided to re-structured the training program as well. I was inspired to do this while noticing a lack in basic functional skills during my training sessions. I developed a six-week functional training program called ‘E-Form Workout’ that consist of a compilation of over 80 customized exercises created for the use of small portable equipment, and designed to help improve coordination, stabilization, endurance, mobilization, and power skills. The E-Form Workout is a pivotal part of Eric Cooper Fitness success.
In 2005, I launched the Eric Cooper Fitness website and began working on the second brand of ECF, ULA activewear. I came up with the idea to develop a men’s workout line that was unique, functional, and stylish, and able to crossover from active to casual lifestyles. During this period, I also committed to a marketing program that was largely attributed to the company’s growth. By the end of 2005, I left retail after 22 years of service to concentrate on growing ECF/ULA. Along with the success of building an impressive clientele, I enjoyed the entrepreneurial freedom of owning a business and the financial freedom that came along with it.
The 2010’s brought new opportunities to the company with the production of our first ULA men’s activewear line which is manufactured in downtown LA. It was important that the brand maintained production in the USA, and a uniqueness different from any other men’s activewear brand. The retro inspired collection called ‘Iconic’ consist of 80’s styled track suits, matching coordinates, and accessories in the signature color hues of red, black, white, and carbon. The collection premiered in 2012, and is exclusively sold on our e-commerce site ULAMENS.com.
Twenty years since the inception of both Eric Cooper Fitness/ULA, we celebrate our success in providing optimal personal training service and urban luxury activewear to a leading and diverse market like Los Angeles. We owe our success to our creative marketing, relationship building, legendary service, quality products, and to our dedicated and loyal customer base.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Starting a business is always challenging. When I established Eric Cooper Fitness in 1997, it took several years to build the clientele, and the company didn’t turn a profit until 7 years later!
ULA first activewear collection was difficult to launch due to the economic crisis in the millennium caused by the subprime mortgage crisis in 2007. Production was delayed until 2012, when the nation’s economy started to show progress.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Eric Cooper Fitness/ULA – what should we know?
EC FITNESS STUDIO, INC-Parent company Est 1997, d.b.a. Eric Cooper Fitness(ECF), provides personalized fitness training door-to-door service. Specializes in functional training. clienteles age 30-75. Unisex/multi-racial/ affluent. d.b.a ULA (Urban Luxury Activewear), functionally stylish, uniquely versatile, and powerfully sexy activewear line that bridges the fashion gap between active and casual lifestyle.
We are proud of our diverse clientele that we have served. Our list consists of a host of very interesting people including; students, housewives, business-owners/leaders, medical physicians/surgeons, award winning film-producers and song writers, a Holocaust survivor, a Tuskegee airman, philanthropist, socialites, and politicians.
What sets us apart from others. ECF- ‘E-Form Workout’ is a Proprietary mix of high and low impact functional training exercises combined into a 6-week training program. It consists of 80 customized exercises using small exercise equipment. There is no other workout that has this unique compilation of functional exercises.
ULA-The retro inspired activewear collection has its own unique style consisting of 70’s and 80’s styled track suits, matching coordinates, and accessories in the ULA’s signature color hues of red, black, white, and carbon, and metallic. We use advance construction techniques and technical fabrics that enhances functionality and wear-ability.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Sensitivity and Accommodating. Being sensitive to our customers’ needs and providing legendary service are the keys to our success. Providing products and services that are pivotal to the consumer needs is key. All successful businesses must provide excellent products and or services that the mass consumer population can use. Too many companies have failed due to poor ideas and executions of what they consider to be their passion. Start-ups companies must understand that their passion is not always the passion of the consumers.
- ULA men’s activewear collection price ranges $130-$400 and accessories/luggage wear $90-$600
- Address: Eric Cooper Fitness/ULA
5900 Wilshire Bl. #26075
Los Angeles, CA 90036
- Phone: (310)481-0769
- Website: ericcooperfitness.com, ulamens.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Eric Cooper with David R Eric Cooper with Gila M
ULA activwear in photos