How CEP Compression Came to Canada
Post by Entrix Sports Founder & President Chris Jones. Entrix Sports is the Canadian distributor for CEP Compression gear.
I founded Entrix Sports in 1995 to “Create positive change for athletes through innovation.” In the beginning, I invented a super-grip football glove for receivers. Today, Entrix Sports has evolved into a Canadian distribution company focused on finding amazing products/companies and making them accessible to Canadians.
This is the story of how CEP Compression gear came to Canada through Entrix Sports.
I was in Finland in 2007, looking for new products to bring to Canada. I came across a small ‘booth within a booth’ and this curious German fellow showed me his insoles that he had created. The insole concept was interesting but didn’t really light my fire but he also showed me a tall compression sock (CEP) that he said retailed for $90. Seriously, $90!! I thought to myself, “There is no way Canadians will pay $90 for a pair of socks!” I took a sample to try out, not really expecting much. His English was very broken and I spoke no German, so communicating was difficult, to say the least. My understanding of what the compression socks were really all about was fuzzy at best. Plus my understanding of compression gear was that tight clothing would reduce vibration (boy, have I come a loooong way!). Regardless, I enjoy trying new products, so I thought it was worth taking them for a test drive at least.
Upon returning to Canada, I went for a few light runs and definitely liked the feel of the CEP Compression Socks. My legs felt generally lighter and looser and I thought they felt good enough to test in a game. FYI, I am a competitive flag football player. We play in the 70 team Calgary Flag Football League and are one of the top teams in the top division, so we really go after it. My boys on the Six Pack Rock!! Our league has tons of ex- pro and university athlete’s, we really have a ton of fun! Well, I played ONE football game and my legs felt AMAZING! I had no idea how these socks worked but I know I loved the results. My legs still felt lighter and looser, but they were noticeably more explosive than without the socks. Plus, I was way fresher in the 4th quarter and I noticed the socks created a pleasant cooling effect as I started to sweat in the hot sun. As an added bonus, I wasn’t sore the next day, very impressed overall with this compression stuff! I emailed the German fellow and asked him for some more information about the compression socks. He responded with information about his insoles, nothing on the socks. You see, the insoles were his baby and as an entrepreneur, I understood intimately how important they were to him. The problem was I didn’t really like his insoles. I just wanted info on these amazing socks! So I tried to delicately deflect his advances regarding the insoles and ask about the socks again. Yet again he sent me MORE info on the insoles! I was definitely getting frustrated, why wasn’t he answering my questions? He must not be the right guy to talk to. Where next?
Now during these exchanges, some time has elapsed. Running a business, communication barriers, life in general… you know how it goes. Still wearing and loving the compression socks but no progress on finding a business opportunity yet. I finally got frustrated and went over this guys head and contacted the head office for this ‘CEP’ brand. FYI: finding stuff on Google for European companies wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be! $90 for a pair of socks? They really seemed to work and this seemed like a legit opportunity. BUT $90 for a pair of socks!!!??? My goodness! My team at Entrix thought I was a bit nuts but looking at the decision from the outside, I thought I was a bit loony too! They just felt soooooo good and I knew other people will love this feeling too! End result, I found the head office, flew to Germany and negotiated the rights for all of Canada in early 2009. So Entrix Sports became the official distributor in Canada for CEP Compression in May 2009.
As with many business decisions, you gather what info you can but ultimately trust your gut, or in this case, your calves. Thank goodness I did. CEP has been a wild ride in Canada. I have learned how and why CEP is so good at what they do and the numerous benefits to wearing compression socks for performance, recovery and travel. Thank-you to all the incredible people I have met along the way, it has made it a very rewarding journey so far. We have so many stories to tell about what has happened that a blog was the natural progression. So, stay tuned, we have some great things coming down the pipe on our journey at Entrix Sports to bring this WOW product to the Canadian market!
Yours in performance,
President, Entrix Sports