This week we interviewed Justin Forsett a former NFL running back turned entrepreneur. He is now the CEO of Hustle Clean, a self care brand for the active lifestyle.
Justin has played for 9 years in the NFL for a number of NFL teams such as the Seattle Seahawks, the Colts, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions, and Denver Broncos.
Founded in 2019, Hustle Clean is a performance hygiene company delivering personal active care products to people who want to do more and be more throughout their day, without compromise. Hustle Clean, formerly Shower Pill, has grown from the success of their award-winning body and face wipes to create a full range of personal care products, specifically designed for the active individual and ‘everyday athlete’. Proudly based in Frisco, Texas, Justin’s products can be found around the country in Target and online from HustleClean.com or Amazon. You can visit their website at hustleclean.com to learn more about Justin’s story.
Video: The Hustle Clean story
Hustle Clean offers a number of products such as outside of the shower on-the-go products or cleaning products. For example they offer a disposable washcloth, antibacterial towelette that removed sweat, dirt, and body odor.
They also offer a muscle relief recovery soak enabling athletes to recover quickly after interval of training or a game.
Picture: Hustle Clean products
Hustle Clean is currently being used by a growing number of pro teams such as the Houston Dynamo FC (MLS) and the US Women's National Soccer Team in pro soccer. In the NFL, the Seattle Seahawks, the Baltimore Ravens, and the Buffalo Bills, are among Hustle Clean customers.
Picture: Select Hustle Clean customer.
Hustle Clean has been featured on popular American TV shows such as Shark Tank, ESPN, Good Morning America, just to name a few.
Hustle Clean has also been working with top athletes, actors and artists such as Alysia Montano, Heidi Gardner, and Lecrae.
📝Show Notes: Through this interview with Justin, we touched on his background in elite sports as a former NFL player. We also discussed his company, products and the benefits for the teams and athletes. We also touched on the best NFL players he played against and the best coaches he played for. Lastly we discussed his plans for the next 12 months.
Best Quotes: Here’s some of the key discussion points and best quotes from our conversation with Justin:
On his background in elite sports as a former NFL player:
“ I'm a former nine years NFL Veteran Pro Bowl running back for the Baltimore Ravens. I bounced around as a journeyman for most of that career, predominantly with the Ravens and the Seahawks. And then I had a cup of coffee, if you will, with a number of other teams”.
“But it was quite the journey, with a lot of really great highs, being a pro bowler player, being a top 100 player and top five running back in 2014 in rushing yards. but I was also fired six times. I was demoted. I had some injuries that I had to overcome later in my career”.
On his humble beginnings:
“I came from very humble beginnings. I grew up in a small town and I didn't have a lot growing up, but we had enough and I just wanted more for myself and for my family. Some of the struggles that I went through, I didn't want my future kids to deal with that, so I felt like football was going to be my vehicle out”.
“I Saw a guy named Barry Sanders one a Sunday afternoon, I watched him dipping dash through defenses, I watched him electrify stadiums across the country. And I was like, man, this is what I want to do for a living. And I just started to pursue that dream and the dream ended up coming true for me”.
On how he started his entrepreneurial journey:
“So my entrepreneur journey started while I was actually playing because I was cut six times throughout my career. Around that second time, there was a Sports Illustrated article that came out that said that 80% of NFL players two years after they retire, either go bankrupt, get divorced, or become depressed”.
“So I'm sitting at my locker and I'm in Seattle, and at the time I'm thinking like, what do I want to do next? What could I be doing if football doesn't pan out for me? And I just felt the entrepreneur bug as my parents were entrepreneurs. I knew I wanted to lead my own path. I knew I was a problem solver, a leader (…) We had an idea to come up with Hustle Clean, and it started off with the pain point within the locker room”.
On what Hustle Clean is and his mission:
“So Hustle Clean is a mission-driven self care brand for the active lifestyle. So what we do is that we create hygiene, wellness and recovery products for the everyday athlete and fitness enthusiast. It came from a place in the locker room where we were always on the go. We were at time poor individuals, very busy and we didn't have anything that resonated with us with self-care outside of a cold tub and a hot tub, which is really service level”.
On where he saw a need in the market for Hustle Clean:
“There was no brand that spoke to us like Nike or Under Armour within the space. So we're like, man, let's come up with something we know. We sweat a lot. We know there are no real true brands that are speaking to us in the self-care space, in the wellness space. So let's create it”.
“And we first addressed the hygiene problem where there are a lot of opportunities when a lot of times I should say, when a shower was optimum, and where guys had deferred shower moments and we're like, let's create a shower on”.
On the Hustle Clean products from the shower on-the-go product to the muscle relief recovery soak product:
“We created this disposable washcloth, antibacterial towelette that removed sweat, dirt, and body odor”.
“We've had a number of products and we even have products for outside of the shower on-the-go product or cleaning products. We've dived into the wellness space too”.
“So now we have a muscle relief recovery soak (…) We have products where our athletes can recover quickly after interval of training or a game. It's been really cool to add value there within the recovery space. And we have more products coming soon in that recovery product category”.
On how Hustle Clean business grew over the years, how he got onto the popular TV show like Shark Tank, and Good Morning America:
“So we literally just threw it up on Amazon and it was a side hustle for me and my two teammates who I started the business with, that I played with at Cal, at UC Berkeley, where I went to school”.
“We hustled. We got the product up and year over year it just kept growing until I retired. And we started see great growth, when I retired in 2017. I then fully immersed myself in the business as CEO and co-founder”.
“We started getting on a TV show called Shark Tank and then Good Morning America”.
On how Hustle Clean signed distribution deals with Target, REI and Orange Theory:
“Then we started getting into brick and mortar retailers. We signed Target as a partner and it has been going on for about six years. We also added on new partners like REI and Orange Theory and a few other brands around the country. So it's been really cool to transition into something that I'm just as equally or even more passionate about than I was with football. And I found my purpose in it”.
On the teams (Ravens/NFL, Seahawks, Houston Dynamo fc/MLS..), the US Women's National Soccer Team) currently using Hustle Clean:
“So we work with a number of teams. For example in pro soccer, some of our customers include the Houston Dynamo FC (MLS) and the US Women's National Soccer Team here in the States. In the NFL, we work with the Seattle Seahawks, the Baltimore Ravens, and the Buffalo Bills”.
On how they distribute and sell the Hustle products to pro teams:
“We buy our products in bulk and wholesale and we hand them out to the teams (…) And then they'll re-up as as needed as the product goes through. So that's how we work with the pro teams”.
On how much Hustle Clean products cost:
“The retail price for the wipes and the cleaning product, the recovery product is $9 99 at retail. The wholesale cost is essentially around half of that, which we normally work with the teams on that”.
“We feel like it's a great price point. We're getting great value, and the teams are getting products that are not only good for the athletes, but good for the environment as our relief soak is made out of recycled material and recycle paper”.
On the fact that their products are not masking agents and can help build the athletes’ skin back up:
“These are not masking agents. They're not only gonna make you smell good, but it's also going to build the skin back up. We are making sure that it's going to repair and recover the dermis as it's been put through the ringer as being a high level athlete”.
“So our materials are the substrate that we use. They are stronger, bigger, tougher than any other products that's out on the market. And the ingredients that we use are better for you and healthy. We use ingredients that you can read about. So, that's how we set ourselves apart from the competition”.
On the fact that they are expanding their footprint and product portfolio this year:
“As far as how our footprint grows, we're at around a little over maybe 3000 doors. We're expanding our footprint this year. We're expanding our product offering on all of our platforms and within our retailers. So the brand is growing and we're seeing great inflection points within the space even with our current partners”.
On the best NFL players he played against:
“Regarding the best players I played against I would say J.J. Watt, Julius Peppers on the defensive side. They were pretty phenomenal. I would also mention Patrick Willis. These are some really great athletes, Hall of Fame caliber players that could really disrupt the game at any moment and against who I loved to battle against on a Sunday”.
On the best coaches he played for:
“As far as coaches, I played for some really good coaches. For example, Gary Kubiak and Pete Carroll taught me a lot about team culture, accountability, and competition. Tony Dungy taught me a lot about caring for the individual more than the production of the performance of an individual”.
“So you felt more than just a number when you played with Tony Dungy and you were ready to run through a wall for a man that you knew, that cared about you more as a man than what you could do on a football field, which was special. And it leads me to even now how I run my company is just leading with empathy”.
“But there's also a time in which I had John Harbaugh who could be very maniacal about preparation and studying like he was. A step above anybody when he came to this to have us ready to play on a Sunday, and give us the right information if you want to talk about the militaries and the right reconnaissance to make sure that we can execute at a high level”.
On his plans for the next 12 months:
“For us, it's going to be about going deeper with our current partners, and not necessarily going wider. In 2023, there's a lot of uncertainty in a lot of different ways. We are talking about economics, supply chain and inflation and consumer, but higher consumer behaviors are changing potentially as we go deeper into a recession”.
“So making sure that we have whatever we need to be sustainable to make it through, is important. But also looking for opportunities for us to grow smart and not taking too many risk or shots. It's about being conservative as much as we can and doubling down on what we know actually works to drive sales and drive growth”.
On how he expects to see growth outside of the US as well:
“So we just signed a contract with Orange Theory in which we launched this month. And they have places all over the globe. So we will eventually start spreading out into some of these global markets outside of the United States”.
“But right, right now we are heavily focused on North America as most of our sales and partnerships are here. But you are going to start seeing a little more of a footprint of us outside of the states as well as we, as our partnerships grow”.
On how to order Hustle Clean products:
“You can simply go to hustleclean.com or you can go to a local Target or Amazon to purchase our products”.
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