Raquel Holgado created the R21 Fitness product range from her experience as a marathon runner, triathlete, long distance swimmer, fitness trainer and coach. She knows firsthand the importance of high quality, useful and comfortable products when training herself or coaching her clients outdoors. She spends an immense amount of time researching, sampling and trialling fabrics and products. Each and every product developed by Raquel are items that she uses on a daily basis and believes customers will enjoy as well.


I moved from Madrid, Spain, to Sydney, Australia, with the goal of learning English. I didn´t understand or speak a word of English! I enrolled into an English language college and studied every day for a year. During that time I started my personal training and coaching business.

Three years later, after growing my business and feeling more confident, I decided to create merchandise to accompany the work I was doing. I didn´t want my name on products so I spent a year trying to find another brand identity. It was very difficult. Every time I thought of a brand name I liked, the domain was not available.


Finally I created a name I liked and bought a domain. I started contacting numerous companies in Australia that supply merchandise.

2017 to 2019

My sister Laura, a graphic designer, and I spent some time working on the logo.


I finally had the logo so I was ready to go ahead with the merchandise. However, after all of my meetings and calls with suppliers, I couldn’t find what I wanted. I didn´t want to order items in bulk before seeing samples first and testing everything so there was a lot of back and forth: ordering, producing, waiting, receiving, trying, sweating, washing, and making adjustments and improvements. Apart from the fact COVID slowed down everything, I had such a busy period of time as I was always outdoors with my clients from early mornings to late nights coaching. Gyms and indoor places had to close so the outdoor demand was huge and I wanted to help people. This is what I do, coaching.


There was a point when I already found some good products however not everything I wanted. So, I kept ordering more samples. At the end of the year I got worried, 2021 was almost gone and I couldn´t find what I really wanted so it was frustrating. I started looking for new suppliers. I ordered and tested many more samples from these suppliers but, again, I couldn’t find the fabrics or quality that I wanted. I wanted high quality, comfortable fabric and useful high quality products.


I decided to deal directly with manufacturers overseas to get exactly what I wanted. This was a bigger challenge than I thought, in fact it was one of the biggest challenges of my life! All of a sudden I had two jobs: full time coaching with a very busy schedule and spending all of my free time working on my new brand and merchandise.

I spent a lot of my savings on ordering more and more samples, testing more than 100 different fabrics, personalising products and shipping. Again, I never ordered in bulk until I tried many samples and created exactly what I wanted.

In order to manage the number of items I was producing with the various manufacturers, every time I made any modifications to my sample of products, I prepared detailed reports with photos, measurements and comments.

There were moments when I thought it was too much for me. Too many manufacturers and suppliers to deal with every day, so much to learn on a daily basis. My home was filled with papers and merchandise samples everywhere - working, testing, sweating, washing products all the time whilst also working on a new website and organising photo sessions of my merchandise.

If I wasn’t busy enough, just before the launch I also managed to run the London Marathon and visit my family in Spain who I had not seen in several years!


I’m pleased to say that I finally did it! I´m thrilled with the final result and having a launch date. (18 December 2022). Regardless of what happens now, the hard work paid off.

From this moment onwards, my plan is to expand and continue to improve the product range.

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