7 Years in Business, An Interview with David Potter
Today, Dream Elite Pro Store celebrates our seventh year in business. To celebrate, here is a snippet from a recent interview with Fight Planet and Owner of Dream Elite Pro Store David Potter, to spit some jive what we have been all about.
FP: Your business is well known in the fight world. For those unfamiliar what is “Dream Elite”?
D: Well. When a man and a woman love each other very much…. Just Kidding.
Dream Elite Pro Store is a online store, an art gallery, podcast where I shoot the breeze with my buddies and a bunch of famous folk, news article outlet, sponsor, supporter, cheerleader and content creator. It’s the combat sport’s version of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory and my personal love letter to combat sports. Been in business since 2012 and through-out the good or bad times, I’ve loved every moment of it.
FP: Impressive! You have your hand in so many kitchen cabinets. How many employees do you have?
D: It is just me, my accountant, and two factories contracted to make my gear. I’m a one man machine and always played better music as a solo act.
FP: A man of many talents. How did it start?
D: I could say the wheels were put into motion the moment I escaped my mother’s womb, but that would be the long version and I wouldn’t tell it at the expense, possibly boredom of your readers. The shorter answer is as a lifelong follower of MMA/Boxing/Wrestling, by 9th grade in high school I was thinking of ways to break into the business. Not just as a competitor, because I knew that longevity wasnt there even at a young age, but breaking into the business as either a personality and business owner. I would jot down notes, ideas, punch in numbers in my classes to the point where my teachers started to think I was running a gambling ring. When asked by the guidance counselor what I wanted to do after high school, I said "I want to do fucking everything", but i did mention this idea, to which she quipped "there is no money in cage fighting". Then I responded "we'll see about that" as any smug, know it all little shit 17 year old would. That conversation pretty much sealed the deal that at some point in my life I was going to do this.
FP: You have competed in the sport before starting Dream Elite. Wouldnt you say competing was your first dream and this was a back-up plan? D: I always knew I was going to compete in wrestling and mma, that was the enviable, but i always saw more of a future in Dream Elite and as a personality in the sport then I did as a competitor. I saw the writing on the wall at a young age, Average career length of a competitor is up to 35 years old, Alot of these veterans are struggling with money and injuries, and as an adult my schedule is beyond fucking demanding, so while as a competitor I saw it as only being short term and non-consistent, I always saw being a business owner and personality for the long term. My gameplan was always to compete in wrestling and mma, scratch that itch when I get it, sell tickets, put on great shows, tell a fantastic story, keep them spread out to make appearances special and also protect my real money maker: my brain.
FP: Any upcoming events on the horizon?
D: Well originally I was going to call it a day after a serious injury, however the doctor made a serious fucking error in judgement and challenged me that I was done, told me I couldn’t do it, thus I got better a lot quicker than expected to whip my ass with his medical expertise. November will begin my MMA & Pro Wrestling retirement tour with a Pro Wrestling Match in New Jersey under the legendary ACE Pro Wrestling.
FP: Best of luck with that! We will be watching. Nice Segway. Now back on the subject. Almost 7 years in business is a big milestone. You mentioned Dream Elite ran into problems early. What happened?
D: The typical problems that would kill any newbie in business and thankfully I was built for a shit storm. When I filed for an LLC in August 2012, originally it was going to be a marketing company for fighters and businesses. Then I said fuck it, I'm going to follow my original vision starting with making it a wholesale store with all the top brands in combat sports and the other stuff I mentioned. Spoilers, I was getting my ass handed to me on a monthly basis but I get it, why buy from a non-proven entity when they could buy directly from the source, besides the fact profit margins were terrible. All rookie mistakes, like attempting to open up pop up stores, and I spent a good year bleeding money until I finally said I'm going to make my own gear. I designed my own gloves, and during one holiday season in 2013, a bunch of sleepness nights, after a calculated risk I actually turned a profit and in turn saved my ass from shutting down shop.The combat sports community kept this alive and I could never repay them for what they did that holiday season. You see, The combat sports community can smell bullshit from a mile away, they know whether or not someone is in business just to make money or they are in it because they truly love the game, while I’ve seen my peers come and go in the last 7 years, they decided to reward me for my passion by keeping me afloat and allowing me to continue using this platform as a form of artistic expression.
FP: Isn't how you handle yourself in the sport on all levels? Everything is a form of artistic expression? D: I guess you could say that. This isn't just a store, this isnt just a shop, I want to completely separated myself from that notion, but rather this is my visual and vocal art gallery. This is my art. It could be a play on something in the sport or a clever parody, or tribute, or a completely new and different concept, but just like art, this is my interpretation of what I see in the game.
FP: What do you like most about running Dream Elite? D: I dig the fact ive been able to connect to so many people around the world who's passionate about the same thing I am. I don’t like using the name “Customers”, or “Fans”, they are my friends. I like the concept I've been able to talk to and befriend so many of the legends of the game. I dig the fact long after I'm gone, my ideas, my work, my gear with that Dream Elite logo will survive. I wasn't born to be just another brick in the wall, I wanted to leave my foot prints somewhere and this is how I accomplish such feat. No pun intended. I like that I get to contribute so much to the sports and communities I've been so passionate about my entire life. I don't do this for online clout, I dont do this to have followers or likes or to have a fan page on instagram, and I think the community who have been so incredible to me in building this brand recognizes that. I’m truly passionate about this, and I’m proud to say for 7 years I’ve been able to share my passion with folks around the world.
Thank you for 7 Years, everybody.