How This Activewear Brand Grew 30,000% in Three Years (HBBIP #34)

Alex Rawitz
Alex Rawitz
May 23, 2024

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Like all good CreatorIQ employees, I base my purchasing decisions on which brands are doing the best by our metrics. So when I went to look at the internet’s hottest athleticwear brands, one choice rose right to the top.

Then I found out that they only make clothes for women. It was a rough five seconds in my life.

But you know what? Even if I can’t actually wear the gear, I can’t quibble with the growth numbers. Plus, I work on a deadline, so I’m going to write about this brand anyway. Say hello to Oner Active—the hottest brand in activewear.

Don’t believe me? Consider this chart.

image_1_720-1Oner Active EMV, 2020 - 2023

This is one of those cases where the scale of the achievement almost doesn’t compute. After launching in 2020, a calendar year in which it pulled in $359.2k EMV, Oner Active rocketed all the way up to $108.1M EMV in 2023. That’s a 30,000% increase in just three years.

And that’s all without selling clothes to workout-minded men like me! Crazy—it’s almost like women have purchasing power and are a demographic to be reckoned with, or something like that.

The returns are similarly insane across all our key metrics, including:

image_2_720-1Oner Active Community Size, 2020 - 2023

Community Size

  • 20 creators to 1.1k creators, a 5300% increase.

image_3_720-1Oner Active Content Volume, 2020 - 2023

Content Volume:

  • 102 posts to 25.0k posts, a 24,452% surge

image_4_720-1Oner Active Impressions, 2020 - 2023


  • 1.1M to 927.7M, an 82,974% spike

image_5_720Oner Active Engagement, 2020 - 2023


  • 152.5k to 62.7M, a 40,993% leap

I’m starting to run out of synonyms for “growth.” I’m also starting to feel a little miffed that I can’t buy these clothes for myself. Clearly they must be pretty nifty. So what’s the story behind this remarkable run?

Another Win for Creator-Founded Brands

I’m not saying that you’re guaranteed success if you’re founded by a creator. But I am saying that creators who know their industry inside and out, then found a brand in that industry, have a clear advantage when it comes to racking up online buzz.

Such is the case with Oner Active founder Krissy Cela, a fitness creator and personal trainer turned entrepreneur. Oner Active is just one of Cela’s ventures: she also co-founded health and wellness website EvolveYou, and serves as Global Creative Director of Promix Nutrition, a supplements brand.

How Cela finds the time to run all those companies and go to the gym is anyone’s guess—though I suppose it helps that going to the gym is relevant for all three companies—but somehow she gets it done. It’s sort of like how I manage to maintain both a weekly newsletter and my running routine. Have I mentioned that I run?

No matter how Cela manages her time, she clearly brings a creator’s eye to how Oner Active is run. Her expertise helps explain how the brand assembled such a tight-knit, productive community in such a short period of time.

In fact, let’s dive a little deeper into that community…

Locking In Consistent Advocates

Building a creator community is kind of like a gym routine: it’s repetitive, sometimes grueling work, all for the sake of developing a reliable core, but the payoff is tremendous. So maybe it’s no surprise that Oner Active, of all brands, managed to do this so effectively.

Three years in, I would expect a brand’s community to still be tilted toward newcomers. This is often the case when we see a big YoY jump in EMV for a relatively nascent brand—and Oner Active, which surged from $35.9M EMV in 2022 to $108.1M EMV in 2023, certainly qualifies.

But this wasn’t the case for Oner Active. From May 2023 to April 2024, consistent creators—those who had also mentioned the brand during the preceding 12 months—generated $82.8M EMV for Oner Active in 2023, or 75% of the brand’s annual total. That same creator cohort had driven $60.3M EMV for Oner Active from May 2022 to April 2023, meaning that they dug deep and became even more dedicated and impactful. I believe this is what’s referred to in the gym community as “gains.”

Creator content about Oner Active was characterized by all the staples of #Gymfluencers: workout routines, motivational posts, recipes, and gym humor. This content often featured creators’ personalized affiliate codes, which lent these posts both a personal touch and a practical appeal to consumers looking for savings. 

Dominance on Instagram 

Another thing that stood out to me about Oner Active content was just how Gram-centric it managed to be. I feel like I’m always talking about TikTok as a growth agent, but Oner Active is a good reminder that Instagram is still the largest platform we track—and for good reason.

Oner Active pulled in $117.4M EMV from May 2023 to April 2024. Of that total, a whopping $108.2M EMV came from Instagram. In case you couldn’t tell from mental math that this is ‘a lot,’ turns out that it’s actually 92% of Oner Active’s haul.

While this is a more lopsided proportion than I’m used to seeing, it makes sense: Cela got her start on Instagram, after all, and the general profile of an Oner Active advocate fits Cela’s own content style.

Instagram also lends itself to repeated posting, which Oner Active’s top creators took to heart. Here are the brand’s top 10 EMV-drivers from May 2023 to April 2024, and the number of times they mentioned Oner Active during that time period:

image_6_480Oner Active's Top EMV Drivers

What a bunch of slackers. That only averages out to 304 posts per creator—barely even once a day!

All sarcasm aside, this is incredible consistency. That’s why I’ve always said that if you want a disciplined creator community, you should start a fitness brand. Those folks know a thing or two about putting in work every day. You know, it’s kind of like my running routine…

A Winning Brand Message

These facts and figures are all well and good, but there are a lot of activewear brands out there. What makes Oner Active different from the rest? Where’s the heart?

Well, for one thing, there aren’t any clothes for me, which turns out to be a winning business model. Oner Active is all about female empowerment, and giving women confidence in the gym. The brand’s creator strategy, and the content that these creators build, ties back to its core values of Consistency, Accountability, Hard Work, Patience, Purpose, and Community.

Plenty of celebrity- or creator-founded brands might seem like a money grab, but Oner Active’s messaging reflects a defined set of values. I don’t think five-digit growth rates over three years would be possible if these values weren’t coming through loud and clear.

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