SAN ANTONIO — Steph Giacalone, a former gymnast and CrossFit athlete-turned-competitive weightlifter, could teach us all a lesson in hard work.
Her home garage is split down the middle. On one side, you'll find weights and squat racks. On the other, an industrial sewing machine.
Giacalone, 31, studied art and worked in fashion for a decade. Her passion for fitness is intertwined in the thread she stitches through a handmade, custom weight belt.
Her small business, Brooklyn Lifting Co, is about two months old. The belts provide better stability during weightlifting, powerlifting, cross-training, bodybuilding and general gym lifts.
"Essentially, I started it because I was looking for the perfect weightlifting belt," Giacalone said. "When I was younger and doing gymnastics, I hurt my back really badly. I have pain that's lingering."
Giacalone tried out several big-brand names, but none of them worked for her.
"So, I figured why not make it myself?" Giacalone said. "I had a problem that I wanted to fix for myself and this was something that bloomed and blossomed."
Her line is made up of four-inch hybrid straight belts. They're soft on the outside and include a Velcro strap, with the addition of a leather insert. Giacalone said what makes her belts unique is the lightweight memory foam padding, which provides additional support and comfort to your 360-degree core.
Giacalone has sold about 50 belts so far. She said many people like the fact that they can be customized to their liking with different prints. They can also purchase a premade design. Her "Iridescent Unicorn Mermaid Belt" quickly became a customer favorite.
She said starting a new project in the middle of a pandemic isn't easy, but she has faith in her abilities and her product.
"I've had a hard time trying to introduce my small business to the world," Giacalone said. "But I've always been the person that, if there's a personal issue, I find a way to fix it. The pandemic hasn't changed that for me."
To check out Brooklyn Lifting Co., click here >> https://www.brooklynliftingco.com/.
This is Giacalone's second small business venture. She also runs Candid Kilos, a service that offers health-conscious baking, meal prep and workout programs. More information can be found here.