Last week, we sat down with Cassandra (“Cassi”) Dick, a Denver-based nurse, life coach, and CrossFit athlete who just so happens to be the inventor of the GRITSTICK, a chalk-full of fun product that we can’t get enough of. She shared all the info you should know about her product, passion for health, and journey as an entrepreneur in the fitness world.
You wear a lot of hats. Tell us a little more about everything you do in health and how you got to where you are now.
Haha well, I guess I should start with my background. I’m a registered nurse with a specialty in behavioral mental health, so I work a lot with people on managing their anxiety, their stress, and on helping them manage and replace their maladaptive coping skills with healthier, more productive ones. For example, I might help someone identify the reasons they binge eat and find better ways to manage those emotions such as exercise. I’ve also used my background in nursing to do one-on-one coaching which involves a lot of that mind-set training as well as fitness and nutrition. Before the pandemic, I was coaching in an actual gym, but when everything shut down, I decided it was time to launch my own business.
Yes! How did you come up with the idea for your product, the GRITSTICK?
Being a nurse by trade and getting super into CrossFit, I quickly saw the sanitation issue with chalk. People were sticking their sweaty, bloody hands [which were torn from weight lifting] into the shared chalk buckets or blocks. Then, I became a coach, and I was spending so much time cleaning up chalk all over the place that it all came together. I thought, “There has to be a better way to do this.” Because the only other alternative at the time was to carry your own chalk in a container or plastic bag, and that wasn’t any less messy. So after a while, the idea for the GRITSTICK just hit me. It just took the shutdown for me to really kick things into gear.
How does the GRITSTICK work?
It works just like a salt shaker but with loose chalk. There’s a chalk vial, which is an insert that is loaded in one side of the stick, and a mesh part that the chalk passes through. It’s like powdered sugar going through a sifter, in a sense. It dispenses just the right amount into your palm at a time. But it’s not just a chalk dispenser: The chalk is loaded in on one end, and on the other, there’s a compartment for storage. People can put their jewelry in there, their headphones, keys, or their pre- and post-workout powder. The GRITSTICK is a compact way to bring all you need to the gym.
Who did you have in mind when you created the GRITSTICK?
This product is for absolute ANYONE who uses gym chalk! That means CrossFitters, weightlifters, gymnasts, body builders, rock climbers, you name it! I’ve had several people tell me that they need the GRITSTICK in other markets—ones I didn’t even realize utilized chalk, like frisbee golf!
What has surprised you most about creating, and now selling, a product like this?
You’d think that the creating something from nothing would be the toughest part, right? No. It’s everything that comes after: the marketing, networking, and more than anything, showing people that they can truly trust your product and believe in the mission behind your brand. It’s been quite the learning experience for this one-woman show!
How are you currently selling the GRITSTICK? How can people buy it?
The main way people can buy it is through my website, puregritfit.com. I also have a wholesale program where I sell directly to gyms. That’s how I’ve started customizations with gyms and other companies. I actually just did some for Armored Fitness Equipment! If gym owners out there are interested in doing the same, they can contact me through my Pure Grit Fitness website.
Anything else you want prospective buyers to know?
This product is a really sanitary, convenient way to chalk up, and it looks pretty cool too! It’ll save you from wasting precious time cleaning up after clients or yourself. Plus, it’s just unique and effective, and that’s what we’re all looking for in our products. Get yours now!