Sometimes, it’s the little things in life that can inspire someone to make a huge change and shift the direction of their future. In Stephen Murray’s case, it was two words printed on a t-shirt that gave him the idea, passion, and strength to create a brand that has helped him, and countless others, continue to stay strong.
After Stephen’s life-altering incident, BMX riders and fans alike were instantly by his side to offer support through the toughest time of his life. At the next BMX competition, riders wore black t-shirts with the words “Stay Strong” on the front and Stephen’s name on the back, both written in yellow. Not only was this incredibly uplifting for Stephen at this time, it was also inspirational. If this small message could raise him up and keep him going, what was stopping him from spreading that message to others that needed to hear it?
“From what started as a t-shirt and an empowering message has now evolved into worldwide distribution. With having a world racing team and top street, dirt and park riders, it has given me the opportunity to give back to the sport that has given me so much and created new opportunities for the next generation.” – Stephen Murray
When Stay Strong was launched, the immediate response was electric amongst the BMX community; this was something their sport needed. Now, the brand reaches millions of people around the world to not only share interesting stories and state of the art gear/apparel, but to show support for anyone who’s going through a rough patch; someone who needs to stay strong.
“I would like to think the people who have seen my struggle and determination to push through my adversity will be able to take the message of “stay strong” to their own life situations so they are able to reach inside and dig deeper.”
Though the idea and story comes straight from Stephen’s own personal experiences, he needed a business partner who he could trust would carry out this important message with intent and care. That person would be Marco Dellisola, Stephen’s life long friend and now business colleague. Marco always makes it a point to put everything he has into every aspect of life. Whether it is training, competing, or building a brand he give is 100%. That is not always easy as there are certainly times where it can get overwhelming.
“Over the last seven years we have worked closely together to make sure that the brand goes in the right direction. There has been highs and lows and very challenging times but we empower each other and work closely to make sure we have a good quality brand.” - Marco Dellisola
Recently at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, riders were representing Stay Strong to spread the brand and message to the entire world. Stay Strong has representation in many capacities of high-level BMX racing. If you ask us, it is the message behind those two powerful words that resonates the most. It can fit any situation for a rider that faces physical and emotional challenges in trying to recover from an injury.
While the brand, with the help of Stephen and Marco, has touched the lives of so many others in need of a friend to keep them strong, the future of this company is obvious – keep spreading love and support. This is truly the beginning of this company and the message as a whole.
“At some point in our lives, each and everyone of us will need to Stay Strong for family, friends or just our own state of mind. STAY STRONG FOR LIFE.” - Stephen Murray
Follow along as we continue to recount all aspects of Stephen's amazing story. In the meantime, be sure to check out the latest products hitting the shop. From now through the end of September, 10% of your purchase will go towards supporting Stephen Murray.
Joseph Miller is a freelance writer based in Richmond, VA. He received his BS in Creative Advertising from Virginia Commonwealth University. In between writing editorials and content pieces, Joseph is currently training for his first half marathon, though his love for snacks may stunt his performance. www.josephhuntermiller.com