How This Denim Startup Raised More Than $500,000 on Kickstarter

Barbell Denim met its funding goal in 47 minutes. It has since raised more than 34 times its initial crowdfunding target.

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By Catherine Clifford • May 5, 2014

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

"Strong is the new skinny" has become a mantra for women who lift weights. It's an effort to shift the beauty paradigm from stick-thin to muscular. And while the intention has spread like wildfire in gyms, it has not yet reached the runways.

That niche is exactly where the founders of Barbell Denim come in: They are creating blue jeans for strong, muscular bodies. And it seems they've hit a sweet spot. So far, their Kickstarter campaign has raised over half a million dollars. That's already more than 34 times the $15,000 they set out to raise when they launched their 45-day campaign on April 10.

The Las Vegas-based startup makes its jeans out of a hybrid denim textile that is both durable and flexible.In the video (embedded below) on the Kickstarter campaign page, people are seen wearing Barbell Denim jeans doing yoga, lifting weights and doing squats.

Related: Why Fraudsters Won't Sink Equity Crowdfunding

Designed for athletes, these jeans are made to fit comfortably over muscular legs by accommodating your quads and butt without forcing you to buy larger sizes for the small waist you work so hard for," the Kickstarter campaign description says. An early-bird donation of $99 secured a pair of the athletic jeans.

The $15,000 goal was reached in 47 minutes, according to an email from Hunter Molzen, a member of the Barbell Apparel team. That shoot out of the starting block success was achieved without any traditional marketing. Rather, the Barbell Apparel team went to locations where potential customers would be and talked up their product.

Because Barbell Apparel met its initial goal so quickly, it set new intermediary goals for its crowdfunding project. With $50,000 raised, the company pledged to offer an expanded size offering, and when it reached $280,000, the team said it would offer a bootcut style.

Related: Become a Crowdfunding Wizard: 8 Tips You've Probably Never Heard Before.

The team has yet to announce what its next goal will be or what its corresponding offering will be for the "mystery stretch goal."

Catherine Clifford

Senior Entrepreneurship Writer at CNBC

Catherine Clifford is senior entrepreneurship writer at CNBC. She was formerly a senior writer at Entrepreneur.com, the small business reporter at CNNMoney and an assistant in the New York bureau for CNN. Clifford attended Columbia University where she earned a bachelor's degree. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. You can follow her on Twitter at @CatClifford.

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