Admittedly, Olympus Lyfestyle doesn't fit perfectly with the moniker "Supplement Company of the Month." It was a supplement company in its prior incarnation, Olympus Labs, but Olympus Lyfestyle is, as the name suggests, a lifestyle brand. But don't worry, that lifestyle incorporates taking supplements that Olympus creates and sells to consumers like you, including here on Bodybuilding.com.
The distinction is more than mere semantics. It strikes at the heart of the personal journey of Olympus Lyfestyle founder and CEO Mobi Khawaja, a self-described millennial who is fully immersed in the way of lifting and living that he champions through his company. His philosophy revolves around—in no particular order—looking better, feeling better, and living better, all with a distinctive style and a highly elevated sense of purpose.
An Olympus Lyfestyle icon such as model Tyrone Hermitt works his ass off in the gym and has the body to show for it—that's a given. But when you check his Instagram page, rather than seeing him crank out reps on the bench press, you're more likely to see him embodying that famous line of Kanye West's: "My life is dope, and I do dope shit."
Bodybuilding.com will be showcasing Olympus Lyfestyle content in the coming months. In the meantime, we had the chance to ask Khawaja about his personal journey, what his brand stands for, and where it's going from here.
Before you tell us about Olympus Lyfestyle, what's your background?
I hold bachelor's degrees in history, Asian studies, and criminal justice, as well as an executive MBA. Growing up, I was someone who took their hobbies and passions and did something about them. When I was 10 years old, I grew obsessed with anime, particularly Dragon Ball Z. So, I created a GeoCities website and taught myself HTML.
At the time, my friends would tease me and say, "HTML: How The Mobi Lives," which I still remember to this day. But from GeoCities, I created my own branded website. I went on to co-webmaster a bigger website with a friend I had met through the community and AOL instant messenger. A few years later, I began an anime-based forum that amassed more than 50,000 members.
Then came the Xbox and the rise of Halo 2. At one point I was ranked top 100 in the world and always at the upper echelon of matchmaking. [Matchmaking is the process of connecting players together for online play sessions, usually by skill level]. This was something I greatly enjoyed, as it brought my closest friends together and connected me to the world. I wasn't a casual gamer; I was extremely competitive. I ranked high in every game I played. I probably could have had an alternate life as a pro gamer.
But I was very skinny, which eventually drove me into the gym. It took a while, but over time, I began to really enjoy learning the science behind exercise. At age 16, I began using supplements. I devoured everything I could find on supplements, and quickly saw areas where companies and their products fell short. So, I started to look into clinical doses of various ingredients, and I began self-dosing. I've always been one to take things into my own control. There's so much knowledge out there, and if you're hungry and driven, you can learn so much on your own.
When did you decide to start Olympus Lyfestyle, and why?
Olympus Lyfestyle is the second brand that I've started. The first brand, Olympus Labs, was too product-focused and disconnected from what fueled me personally. I've always been a super-user, turning my hobbies and passions into business ventures. So, I wanted to start a lifestyle brand built on connecting with an audience, engaging with them, and creating a relationship that transcends mere transactions. I was inspired by disruptive companies "making it and breaking it" in the digital realm.
Did you feel like you were filling a void in the market, or simply bettering what others were doing?
With our first company [Olympus Labs], we were definitely doing things better than other companies by structurally having the advantages in supply chain, R&D, etc. But in hindsight, the brand was too product-centric and -focused. We now live in an era where branding needs to be about the user and delivered to the user. Being a millennial myself, it was easy for me to adopt that mindset.
With this new brand, not only are we creating products that have what we think are the best formulations and best flavors, but we're also creating a brand that is experientially enriching for our consumers through our content-deployment strategy. Our strategy involves radical engagement, creating content that causes consumers to engage and connect with the brand on a brand-customer level, and then introducing those consumers to the product and its benefits for their lifestyle. To look better, feel better, and live better—those are the benefits.
Let's turn to your customers. Is there a typical Olympus Lyfestyle customer?
Our target audience is a socially and culturally connected healthy lifestyle audience. They are someone who is highly engaged with the brand they follow. Someone who looks to find meaning in the brand associations they have and carry. They are young, hip, disruptive individuals looking to live a healthy lifestyle with the support of a brand that syndicates pop culture, fashion, fitness, and sports performance in their brand messaging and merchandising strategy.
Living a healthy lifestyle is a means to fuel their "Why." They want to feel good and look good, tying in both the aesthetics of beauty and fitness. Bottom line, they want to live better.
What product do you feel helped you the most in getting known in the supplement industry?
Rather than one product, it's been the consistency of each of our product formulations, and the addition of new and novel ingredients. I also think we've changed the pace at which the industry moves. There is a reason why we've won many supplement awards.
Having said that, I think the product that will amplify growth for us is our Promises Protein Powder. Not only does it contain real cereal pieces, but in my opinion, it's simply the best-tasting protein on the market right now.
What was the inspiration for your brand's packaging? That's an interesting aesthetic.
Our brand messaging in content is very mature, fashionable, and cool. Our packaging strategy is more fun, animated, and illustrated to display around the flavor and fun of the products. In the future, we'll be bringing it up another notch by using iridescent bottles.
Before I let you go, in one sentence, sum up your brand message.
We're devoted to bringing fitness to your lifestyle and creating a "Lyfestyle" you can follow!