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Meet Jimmy Pham of Strong and Pudgy Apparel in Culver City

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jimmy Pham.

Jimmy, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
The idea of Strong and Pudgy Apparel started while I was working as an Admissions College Counselor for a non-profit college. My boss and colleagues were always nice enough to bring in donuts to share with the office but would never pressure me into eating them because they understood my disciplined lifestyle.

I bend the rules here and there for a donut, cookie or slice(s) of pizza because I needed to have that balance for the sake of my sanity! This is when the creation really came together for me because I believe that many people can relate to my struggle of maintaining a healthy lifestyle while squeezing in fast food items. Thus, how Strong and Pudgy Apparel came to life. Strong and Pudgy Apparel is a fitness foodie brand that promotes health, mental wellness and plenty of cheat meals!

Before I started Strong and Pudgy Apparel, I fell in love with food and fitness. I competed in Men’s Physique Bodybuilding, participated in small local food competitions and enjoyed sharing photos of food that I eat with friends on social media. My goal in life was to always become an entrepreneur and to build a brand that everyone could relate to. I am so passionate about this because I’ve built many valuable friendships through fitness and delicious meals. Although I’ve had many setbacks in my life, I’ve never given up or allowed myself to become complacent. I truly believe that the key to reaching success is to network, be consistent, put in the work (while no one is watching), always learn and never expect any handouts.

I contribute a lot of my success to life after the military. Starting over wasn’t easy, especially because I had zero work experience in the civilian world and no college degree. Once I obtained my first job, I was fortunate enough to earn an incredible amount of memorable experiences in the fitness industry as a Membership Sales Counselor because the individuals that I had worked with believed in me and always made me strive for success than the day before. This means to push to be more successful tomorrow than today. Everyone worked hard, knew the hustle and endured the grind day after day. Even though the work/life balance wasn’t there, I appreciated every moment of it because it helped assume a new role in education and kept me humble.

Working in academics was an amazing experience because of my skills with helping people to better their education was easily transitioned from the fitness industry. The relation was so simple to me; to keep helping the next person with whatever it is that they need to have a better life. This career also allowed me to pursue my goals of higher education. I worked a full-time job while completing both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership.

I believe that hustle and education played an integral role in embracing the skills for me to time-manage my daily work-life as a college counselor, co-organizing the Los Angeles Tattoo Convention and finally launching Strong and Pudgy Apparel. The most valuable lesson that I would like to share with everyone who is dreaming to or is just starting a business is to not be afraid to fail. It is better to have attempted and lose than to dream and never trying all! Those attempts are lessons to make your business grow into something stronger.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
From the outside in, it looks pretty smooth. However, behind the scenes, anything can go wrong. I would say that anytime that you’re dealing with production, you’re putting your trust into someone else’s hand to deliver a product that’s true to your vision. Delay in production has been my biggest struggle.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Strong and Pudgy Apparel – what should we know?Strong and Pudgy Apparel is a fitness foodie brand for anyone who loves food and fitness. We offer fun fashionable parody clothing designs for men, women and children ranging from hats, unisex shirts, baby onesies, stickers and various accessories. As someone who loves to balance food and fitness, I am proud that Strong and Pudgy Apparel can resonate with so many people. We are a unique brand because our goal is to appeal to everyone whether you love to workout, love to eat, or both!

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I personally define success by looking at a person’s well-being. You can have all of the money in the world, but if your health isn’t where it needs to be then are you really truly successful? It is very important to me that my physical and mental health comes before money. I firmly believe that when you take care of yourself, the money and healthy relationships will follow. I monitor my success and well-being by staying active, maintaining a balanced nutrition as well as surrounding myself around people that I love.

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Image Credit:

Matthew Alcantara, Biejay Tan, Cleve Sarmogenes, Gina Le

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