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After an eight-month-long hiatus from social media, local activewear brand Fit Rebel broke its silence on December 9 to announce a sale.

But not just any sale—a closing down sale.

“Everything must go,” the caption reads. “This is your last chance to grab the world’s most beautiful leggings for 60% off.”

This news may be shocking to followers of Fit Rebel’s founder, Nadia Hasbi, who had posted in February 2022 that she was quitting her job at Mindvalley to focus on Fit Rebel full-time.

Ten months later, the plan seems to have changed drastically.

Launched in 2016, the activewear brand had originally been a side hustle for Nadia. She had crowdfunded the capital to start Fit Rebel through Indiegogo, and having secured RM23,549, it seemed like there truly was an audience for her batik-inspired sports leggings.

Through her efforts, the solo entrepreneur shared that she has amassed many international fans over the years, pulling in customers from 45 countries.

So, what went wrong?

In a tell-all video posted to YouTube, the founder talked about the ups and downs of her journey as an entrepreneur that ultimately led to her returning to a full-time job working for someone else.

Nadia had sat down to record a video explaining why she was shutting down her business

When the challenges become too challenging

As a solo entrepreneur, Nadia has been handling everything about Fit Rebel by herself. “And when I [say] everything, I mean everything,” she emphasised in the video.

This included coming up with designs, working with manufacturers, answering everyone’s queries about the brand, and creating social media posts.

“You guys know that if you’re on your path, and if you’re in your journey, it just feels right?” she mused in the intro of her video. “And despite all the challenges that come your way, you’ll just find a way to overcome it and you just kind of know the universe has your back, and it just feels right?”

Well, when it came to her business, Nadia didn’t feel that.

While running a business was already challenging, the straw that broke the camel’s back for Nadia was related to manufacturing.

Image Credit: Fit Rebel

Since the start of Fit Rebel, Nadia has been working with the same manufacturer that managed to produce the high-quality sportswear she envisioned at a good price.

However, due to the pandemic, the manufacturer had to close down. Thus, Nadia ended up having to look for a new manufacturer, which she eventually did.

Yet, when her order for 500 pieces came, she was faced with products that she wasn’t fully satisfied with as she had a high standard she wanted to upkeep. She ended up stuck with a batch that she didn’t want to sell.

With all these stresses, she ended up breaking down four months into running Fit Rebel full-time.  

“I was miserable,” she opened up in the video. “But my business is my passion. I want to see it through.”

Deciding she was just feeling burnt out, Nadia took a break with the intention to return to Fit Rebel feeling recharged.

But during the first week of her break, she got an email about a remote job opportunity from an American company. Intrigued, Nadia decided to follow the lead.

One thing led to another, and she soon interviewed for a new growth marketing role that she ended up accepting.

According to her video, everything about the new job came easily, which felt like a sign that she was doing the right thing, compared to all the obstacles she faced with Fit Rebel.

Image Credit: Fit Rebel

“I quit my business, I’m back to a full-time job, and I’m much happier,” she concluded.

After all is said and done

For Nadia, entrepreneurship has been a “very lonely journey”, so she has enjoyed working with a team again.

However, Fit Rebel has still been a monumental part of her life over the past six years.

“I’ve had the immense privilege to have spent the last few years connecting with some amazing people and producing an amazing product which has led me on the greatest adventure of my life,” Nadia wrote in a caption.

“Looking back, despite the struggle, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

  • Learn more about Fit Rebel here.
  • Read other articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups here.

Featured Image Credit: Nadia Hasbi / Fit Rebel

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© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)

Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)