September 18, 2006 Hebron, ND --
One would hardly believe that in the northern plains of North Dakota would lie the Mecca for health club apparel and branding. For the last 15 years, Kathy Sardelli, President and founder of Sebastian Custom Warm-ups has been doing just that - extending club brands via customizing warm-up, tops, and shorts to a unique color and look that aligns with each club's image and personality.
Why Uniform Gym Personnel?
Ten years ago Patrick Tazio, Director of The Lifestyle Center which is part of the Kaweah Delta Health Care District (
), made the decision to upgrade the appearance of the club staff and decided to uniform them with professional attire.
"Professionalism was our primary motivation with consistency being secondary. If a member had a question, we wanted to make it very easy for them to identify who the staff members were, and who could best answer the question," said Tazio.
"Just purchasing apparel directly from a manufacturer like Nike or Addidas is possible", said Tazio, "But then the problem is, when styles change, they may drop your design. The nice thing with Kathy is, she keeps your apparel information in her database and can quickly replicated it at any time."
On the opposite coast in Branford Connecticut at In Shape Fitness Center (
) , Barbara Ruocco, General Manager, also outfitted her staff with consistent attire. "We decided to get uniforms at In Shape because we could never coordinate what every staff member was wearing. If we said 'black shorts', there were many styles and some of them were unacceptable to us as a 'dress code'. We wanted a look that was stylish but professional. "
Spotting a Personal Trainer Quickly
Today, 10 years later, Tazio still outfits all the club's employees, from training, to front desk, to babysitting, to housekeeping, all 120 employees. Their jackets carry embroidered logos on both the front and back.
In particular, because members may need a quick question answered about a proper exercise movement, he made it especially easy to find a personal trainer. The words "Personal Trainer" are smartly labeled across their backs so that members can quickly spot them.
Sebastian Custom Warm-ups, a Legacy of Customer Service
Customizing warm-ups through Sebastian eliminates the risk of a particular clothing line being dropped, thus rendering the existing inventory obsolete and losing that investment.
"We've been using Kathy for 10 years now and we've been able to maintain that important consistency and we've been able to replicate the uniforms as they get worn out, or when we hire new staff members." Tazio said, "The turn around time is very fast".