Viking symbolism and Norse mythology can be seen in many aspects of American life: Minnesota Vikings professional football team, Marvel's Thor appearing in eight-plus blockbuster movies, and heavy metal music themes. While these themes are very apparent, Drew Thorngren, founder of Staerk Performance wanted to showcase them further with his new fitness brand.
I got the chance to sit down with Drew to hear his story and why he chose Norse symbols for Staerk's designs.
Story of Staerk Performance
Drew, thank you for taking the time to meet with me today. Exciting things happening with the recent launch of your new apparel brand, Staerk Performance! Before we talk about your brand, give me a little bit of your story leading up to starting Staerk Performance.
I've always grown up playing sports as a kid and found my passion for physical fitness. With having a background of playing five different competitive sports, I always had to keep my body in great shape. Because of that, I thought it was time to start up a fitness brand. I have lived and traveled to many parts of Scandinavia, and love the Viking heritage. I thought it would be great to share that with more of the world.
You mentioned that being in those Scandinavian countries and staying fit were key inspirations for starting Staerk Performance. I know that Staerk is a Danish word, but what does it mean?
You are right! Staerk is Danish for "strong." The name also plays on the English word "stark" which is another unique feature.
And along with the Danish word, Staerk's designs have a lot of connections to ancient Norse mythology. Why did you choose to go along with designs that matched this mythos?
After living in Denmark for a couple of years and later traveling to several countries, I fell in love with the beauty of Scandinavia. These countries are rich with Viking symbols and history, and I wanted to share that with others.
What do the different symbols mean from your apparel line?
So we have four different designs that we use: hammer, amulet, sword, and Thor.
Hammer: The hammer in Norse mythology is symbolic of Thor's hammer that helped prevent giants from destroying Asgard, the celestial home of the gods.
Amulet: Thousands of tiny intricate amulets, similar to the hammer weapon, have been found all over the Viking world since the first millennium.
Sword: The sword is a Viking weapon that symbolizes peace, unity, and freedom.
Thor: He is the Norse god of thunder who protected Asgard. He represents the toughness of Vikings and that warriors could overcome anything.
Your designs are fantastic, as I especially like the amulet one. A lot of apparel brands out there that are going after the fitness consumers. What differentiates you from these other brands?
Staerk Performance is different than any other brand because it mixes Viking themes with a fitness appearance. We are also trying to take the brand to Scandinavia since most of the countries there do not have fitness brands that connect to their heritage.
What would you say then is the mission of Staerk Performance?
Staerk Performance's mission statement is to promote physical and mental health among athletes.
Are there ways for consumers to be involved with the brand along with purchasing apparel?
Our brand is something for everyone. Staerk Performance is for anyone that is passionate about fitness and staying fit it in several ways. We promote adventure seeking, personal performance, competing in sports etc. We love seeing our customers happy with their gear and wearing it while they are out and about working on their physical fitness.