Steve Downs began managing Vince Gironda’s gym in 1970, and then also took a job with SIGNET and moved to Minneapolis where he distributed products to the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa, North and South Dakota, and for a while, in the Chicago area.
Another trainer working for Vince, Ray Raridon, began distributing for SIGNET around the same time as John Balik in 1970. Raridon worked some of the more western states, and began labeling the SIGNET line with his new company name, Natural Source Products (NSP).
Most were not aware that Ray and Vince in the early stages of NSP had somewhat of a silent partnership. Acording to Ron Kosloff, Gironda’s business track record wasn’t the best, more so because Vince had no use for contracts, lawyers, and just about any other legality associated with running a business. Although Ron says there was nothing signed between the two, Vince was active to a certain degree in what Raridon was doing.
Gironda put about as much though into his marketing strategy as he did for the rest of his business affairs. The only reason Kosloff found out about NSP was when Ron phoned Vince from his home in Detroit around mid-1974 to ask Vince’s advice as to what supplement line he recommended.
Ron was seriously considering getting into the distribution and retail of that aspect of the industry. He was totally suprised when Vince replied, “How about mine?”
Even though Ron had become friends with Gironda years earlier, he had no idea that NSP even existed, let alone Vince being involved in any way. Ron couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity and by late 1974, he had received his first shipment of NSP products as an eastern distributor.
This was a significant move in terms of growth for the small company as Kosloff would pan out very well in that frontier.