Surgery was a non-starter, so Reuben started working with a physical therapist named Shane. Soon, he was getting some relief — but his active schedule still presented obstacles. Hotel workout rooms were often inadequate, and gym passes were costly.
Back in physical therapy, Reuben and Shane started talking about a solution. “If more people did these fundamental exercises,” Shane said, “there would be a lot less injury and pain. We should come up with something.” A few napkin sketches later, and the concept for Circ-It was born.
“A traditional abdominal wheel is one-dimensional,” explains Shane, “so it’s not a good option on its own. Circ-it combines the portability of an abdominal wheel with accessories and attachments that extend its capabilities. We created it to be an excuse-buster that lets people get a comprehensive workout everywhere they go.” The team named their business venture XYSTUS and set about making it happen.
The duo took their concept to an independent product designer. “He had some good ideas,” Reuben recalls, “but we needed someone who could think not only like a designer, but also like an engineer and a manufacturer.”
“When we met with IDM, they soaked it up,” says Shane. “They got it. They came up with a way to include a jump rope, resistance bands, and more. And then, they talked with us about marketing the components separately. Plus, they developed a form factor that’s far more compelling than an ordinary abdominal wheel.”
During prototyping, we identified a potential opportunity. By changing the configurations of the handles, we could make the abdominal wheel work side-to-side in addition to forward-and-backward. The therapist was pleasantly surprised — the exercise was beneficial, and yet he hadn’t seen another piece of equipment that could support it. It seemed we were onto something. And that gave us an idea.
Shane would oversee the clinical side of the business, which included developing workout content. Reuben would handle sales and marketing. And IDM would cover the initial capital required for tooling and production.
Together, we tested Circ-It through more than 40,000 repetitions and developed the packaging — which involved producing the product in a range of eye-catching colors. We studied materials, experimented with co-molded parts, and worked to streamline assembly. From there, we handled sourcing from more than 15 vendors, stored the parts, and ran fulfillment and shipping.
What happens next? Fit Everywhere is talking with distributors and other prospective channel partners. And there are more product ideas in the works. “Unlike other ID firms,” says Reuben, “IDM is pretty tech-savvy. If we want to do a wearable and a VR experience in the future, we can make that happen.”
Anne likes things neat and tidy. As an avid gardener, she knows a pristine landscape doesn’t happen by chance—there’s always someone pruning, watering, and tending to the details. Anne is that person for IDM. “I shape things,” she says, “often behind the scenes, to make sure we deliver what we promise.”
At IDM, Anne works to “make excellence a habit” by overseeing our ISO certification program. She also helps cultivate a culture focused on customer satisfaction—whether that “customer” is internal or external. With her self-described “relentless smile” and what Frank Lloyd Wright calls “an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen,” Anne keeps us alert, on our toes, and bringing our very best each day. “I love working with bright people who are passionate about what they do,” she says.
When she’s not digging in the dirt, you might find Anne nurturing her love of reading at the local library.