Ethan Newquist: Breaking the mold

Newquist does an exercise in the gym while modeling a Goliath Athletics shirt and shorts.

Ethan Newquist

Newquist does an exercise in the gym while modeling a Goliath Athletics shirt and shorts.

By Ben Schneider and James Rioux

When Ethan Newquist works out at the gym or goes on a run, he wears clothes that he created himself; the 16-year-old entrepreneur has his own athletic apparel company, Goliath Athletics.  

Newquist had the idea for the business because he saw potential in E-commerce and online business building. 

“I wanted to hop right on the idea … there is a huge opportunity here,” Newquist said. “It’s never been easier. And that’s what made me take the first step and take a risk with capital and time.” 

As he was developing Goliath Athletics, he did research on what it took to start a business and worked to educate himself on what he needed to do. He credits his self-education with giving him the knowledge he needed.

“I did research on the mundane stuff and what’s worth doing because that’s the learning curve,” Newquist said. “I learned what to do, so I wasn’t stepping in with two feet.” 

Newquist officially began his business when he was a sophomore at Clover Hill in Jan. 2022. When he first started, he worked in his spare time for months building up Goliath Athletics in advance of his first product release. 

“I was grinding after school every single day,” Newquist said.

He started with developing his mission plan, learning about the business world and getting a social media audience to kickstart the brand. To get through the challenges of starting a business, such as advertising, developing products and creating a website, he set a goal and told himself that there was no other option but to meet it. 

“It was tough,” Newquist said. “But I got through it because I had my why power … I told myself June 4, so I put that pressure on myself to get it done.”

He began selling products on June 4 when he released shorts, tank tops and t-shirts made for athletic activities as part of his mens’ drop. He continued by adding womens’ clothes and more mens’ products on July 22. This second drop included additional shirts, tank tops and shorts made for women along with sports bras and other products like hats. Right now, he is working on completing the third product release, which will become available on Oct. 1 and include winter clothes and graphic t-shirts. 

Every piece of clothing features the Goliath Athletics logo and is made from materials that are designed for comfort and athletic performance. Newquist considers his branding to be the most important aspect of his products’ appeal to customers. His brand and its message are based on the story of David and Goliath, which he relates to overcoming personal obstacles. 

“When you’re in the gym training to defeat your Goliath, you look at your shirt and think ‘I have to go one more rep’,” Newquist said. “It’s a motivational and spiritual brand, and I did that with intention. That’s where the name came from.”

I was grinding after school every single day”

— Ethan Newquist

Newquist utilizes a print on demand service, where he designs the clothes and fills orders through a third party supplier when he receives them. The supplier manufactures the clothes and prints his branding on them before they work together to ship the products to customers. He does not have any supply on hand, but he is working with warehouses all over the world. 

“As soon as I get an order it prints,” Newquist said. “If someone ordered from Japan, they would get one from the Japan warehouse. If someone orders from Virginia, they would get it from the North Carolina warehouse.”

Newquist has not gone through the journey of creating his business alone. To help him along the way, he enlisted his friend Ethan Owens to inspire, encourage and work on the products with him. Since then, Owens has adopted the role of ambassador and model for the brand. He is proud of how far both the business and Newquist have come.

Owens and Newquist pose together in Goliath Athletics clothes (Ethan Newquist)

“From a business aspect, we are doing well, constantly trying to upgrade our clothes and quality,” Owens said. “Ethan is constantly striving to get better every day. His business skills have developed tremendously since the first drop and are still growing today. For his age, he’s lapping the competition.” 

In Newquist’s view, the hard work has paid off. He feels that Goliath Athletics is successful, especially for being a new business that does not advertise on a wide scale. He has made plenty of local sales and expanded to selling across the country with plans to go international. 

“I think my farthest order is from California, which is pretty crazy,” Newquist said. “To get international and then farther nationally, the plan is to use social media because that gets to thousands of people.”

His business model supports his international hopes because he has the ability to print and ship all over the world. However, most of his sales so far have come close to home in the Greater Richmond area. Owen Norwood has purchased several pieces of clothing from Goliath Athletics and would recommend it to others.

“I have purchased roughly $250 worth of Goliath Athletics [products],” Norwood said. “The experience was good. It took a while for the first drop to ship but I am wearing GA almost every day.” 

Owens believes that the business has a bright future, and he is excited to be able to keep working with Newquist as they continue to grow it.  

“I see Goliath Athletics scaling up over my next high school years to the biggest Christian clothing brand in Virginia,” Owens said. 

This school year, Newquist decided to devote more time to his business by switching from public school to pursuing his General Educational Development (GED) degree as a homeschooled student. He is thankful for the opportunity because it gives him more time to work, and allows him to spend more time studying business and finance related subjects that he is passionate about. 

“It just boosted me up,” Newquist said. “School got in the way of everything because when I got home I would have homework to do. And so being out of school has just opened me up to so many possibilities. I’m learning six hours a day of real life stuff too. And if you do that every day for a year, you’re just gonna take off.”

With the extra time, he has started another business: a video editing company called Showtime Productions. Though his focus remains with Goliath Athletics, he engages in Showtime Productions as a hobby and productive outlet. Even though he does not see it as a business that he can continue long-term, he feels like it is worthwhile because it is a learning experience that he enjoys.

“I thought, how do I monetize creativity,” Newquist said. “I love videography. I love getting out, filming, editing. And so far, I’m just recording my friends. It’s just been fun. It’s an active source of income … I’ve had a lot of people that just need videography, because when you can do something others can’t, then they’ll hire you for it.”

Newquist hopes to keep Goliath Athletics going for years to come (Ethan Newquist)

While Goliath Athletics and Showtime Productions take up much of Newquist’s time in the present, he is also focused on planning for the future. Though he enjoys entrepreneurship and believes that he can continue Goliath Athletics for years to come, he does not want his day-to-day life to revolve around operating a business. Instead, his desire is to work primarily on day trading with stocks and cryptocurrency. To reach this goal, he researches trading, consults with others who do it and practices his skills using simulations. 

“[I want to do] day trading because I’ve loved that so far,” Newquist said. “I’m on a simulation and about to head over to real money. I just love it.”

Newquist’s efforts in the business world serve as an example to his peers; seeing his success has inspired other young students to pursue their passions. He has even managed to help guide some of them. 

“People would text me saying, ‘hey can you teach me day trading? Can you teach me how to sell stuff online,’” Newquist said. “I give them little tips, and they go out and research and do their homework. And then, they make progress because they follow what they knew they loved and wanted to do.”

Newquist is emphatic that anyone can become an entrepreneur, regardless of age, interests or education. As long as an individual is determined, he believes that they can achieve their goals and overcome any obstacle, true to the message of his brand.

“I didn’t think I’d be able to do this,” Newquist said. “I’d say if you have a gut feeling about something, you should go for it.”

This story was originally published on Cavalier Chronicle on September 29, 2022.