The sun has come out. The temperature has gone up. You’ve been on the move. The hoodie has to go. But where? Around your waist, over your shoulder, in your hand? None of those really works out well. It might be dorky looking or fall off or become a major annoyance. It’s almost worth it to keep the hoodie on and roast!
That was Rener Gracie’s situation while playing with his young son in the park. He threw his hoodie over his shoulder. It kept falling onto the ground. He kept picking it up. It got wet and dirty. Being an inventive sort, Rener decided he would find a solution to the “unworn hoodie” problem. As soon as he got home, he gathered together paper clips, shoestrings, scissors and duct tape and, in only half an hour, turned his hoodie into a backpack. That solved the problem of how to carry a hoodie, but what is a backpack without storage space? Solving that took longer: 8 months and 15 prototypes. Even with that part accomplished, he still needed to find a cord lock so that the straps would be adjustable and, therefore, invented the flattest cord lock ever, a small compression lock, only 1 millimeter thick, with a cutout slide that grabs the strap and holds it in place. And so he founded Quikflip Apparel, its flagship product the Hero Hoodie.
Never a shrinking violet (more on that later), Rener took his first Hero Hoodies to the Venice Beach Boardwalk to introduce them to the public. And there is a lot of public there: It’s said that the mile and a half boardwalk has a more diverse demographic than anyplace else in the world. Maybe yes, maybe no—regardless, it is a very diverse location. There are crowds of tourists as well as the regulars: the surfers, bikers, roller skaters, skateboarders, body builders and hundreds of street performers. You might even catch a glimpse of a one-percenter there for the upscale shopping. With the confidence of a professional spokesperson and the chutzpah of a carnival barker, Rener drew them all in to wow them with his amazing hoodies, turning them into backpacks and demonstrating their secure and comfortable fit with a few Jiu-Jitsu moves.
Because that’s who he is: a well-known and respected 3rd Degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (aka Gracie Jiu-Jitsu). So no shrinking violet. His grandfather developed Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from the Japanese version. His father was among the first family members to bring BJJ to the US, established Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy and today remains highly influential in Mixed Martial Arts. Rener began teaching at the Academy when he was 13 and is now head instructor.
In 2008, he and his brother Ryron started their own business, Gracie University, the world’s largest online Jiu-Jitsu training program with more than 200,000 students in close to 200 countries. For both the Academy and University, Rener has redesigned many of the programs to be able to offer creative and effective self-defense techniques for men, women, children, military and law enforcement professionals.
Rener has brought the strength, fearlessness, pride and spirit developed through Jiu-Jitsu to his role as CEO of Quikflip Apparel. The workmanship of his products is exceptional, the material high-quality French terry cotton and poly blend with a poly spandex lining. Adjustable shoulder straps fit the backpack comfortably to the natural body shape. There are two integrated storage compartments: large for running gear, towel, water; small for mobile phone, wallet, keys.
In addition to the original full-zip hoodies, Quikflip Apparel includes pullover hoodies, heavyweight hoodies, crew-neck sweatshirts and the Dryflip Jacket made with water-resistant ripstop outer fabric and interior polyurethane coating.