We had the good fortune of connecting with Theresa Campbell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Theresa, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
For me, Shark’s Bites of Life has had many different phases, up and down. We moved 4 times since I started the business in 2013 2 of which were across country. I had phases where I didn’t focus on the growth of my business because life took over. I always knew I didn’t want to stop doing Shark’s Bites of Life. I think as long as you’re still having fun and enjoying what you’re doing you’ll never want to stop. It’s okay to have phases where you spend less time on your business and other times where you double down and go all out. My business was the beginning of so much more. Shark’s Bites of Life has evolved into a lifestyle brand of food fashion and fitness!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I started my brand in 2013 before the real impact of Instagram and social media. The lack of good designs for fitness apparel and motivational sayings on comfortable apparel made me want to create something everyone would love. I was inspired by combining my two passions fitness and fashion along with my degree in graphic design to fill the gap!
It was NOT easy, it took so much time and research to learn how to set up a business, get the licenses to resell garments, research where to buy blanks and how to screen print (from a tiny apartment without a garage). In 2013 you didn’t have the TikTok, instagram and as much free information flying at you from all areas of life.
I taught myself how to screen print, the first time I tried it was so awful that I didn’t try again for an entire year. But luckily I got back to it and tried again! Next up was trying to learn how to cure the shirts so the ink doesn’t wash out. I experimented with different ways that I found online, in the beginning I was drying them on the oven rack in the oven… Thankfully that didn’t last long.
I learned quickly that you’re going to mess up and ruin shirts. I’ve burnt shirts, messed up the ink placement and lots of other things. I knew challenges would come out just as soon as you think you have it all figured out. But the more you push on, the better things get and the more you’re able to accomplish. You learn a lot about yourself by owning a business, you change during the process. You become stronger, more resilient and creative to find new and better ways to do things.
My biggest challenge I overcome daily is balancing career, life and business. When you’re a one man band, marketing, producing, creating, and fulfilling, photographer, model… It takes a lot out of you and you really have to be good with your time management. Getting past the idea of oh I’m taking another selfie to post and market myself. Sometimes you question yourself and ask how are you helping people. This is the biggest reason why I’m working on evolving my t-shirt business into a lifestyle brand, videos, food, motivation and lifestyle. I think as you grow and expand it’s good for things to change. I’m always working on ways to become more efficient and save time and also to bring more value to my consumers. I love helping others and I get to do that through Shark’s Bites of Life. The reward of helping others and taking breaks helps me to not burnout and keep producing content and apparel I love and I’m proud of.
I want the world to know that my brand isn’t just workout shirts and tanks. It’s a lifestyle, it’s a community of people who are trying to be their best selves and work on evolving into the person they want to be. I’ve branched out into doing more YouTube videos to share more about me and my life and what keeps me going. I am lucky that I have the support and love from my customers. I use to do booths at fitness expos and gyms. I loved being able to connect on a more personal level.
Honestly one of my favorite things is when people tell me I’ve inspired them to start their own business, eat healthy, move their body more. I love motivating and inspiring others to get out of their comfort zone and just go for it, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain!! I could go on for days about this, but I’ll keep it short.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would pick them up from the airport, go to a cute coffee shop let’s say the Buzzed Goat I love checking out new local coffee shops and support the small businesses. We’d also grab a vegan scone and some protein bars from The Cookie Bar Queen (they are the best). Head to hike camelback mountain or my favorite Pinnacle peak! Shower up, throw on comfy clothes and walk around shopping let’s say Scottsdale Quarter or Biltmore area. Also depends on how hot it is.
If it’s the weekend we would head to the uptown farmers market and shop shop shop. Check out all the cute dogs, order food from the food trucks and walk it off while shopping away.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband Nick Campbell, he encouraged and supported me to pursue my passion of Shark’s Bites of Life and supported me through the highs and lows and long nights sweaty nights of screen printing all summer long in our hot garage / my shop. Running a business by yourself can be lonely, and he is always there for me as my partner to help me keep my motivation!
Kristine Santiago wearing a Shark’s Bites of Life Model in the pink Basic Sweatshirt Brittany Machala wearing the white Lipstick Diamonds Champagne and rock and roll tee with Me in black. Rob Pick – photographer for the booth Fitness expo photos