What inspired you to start your own business?
Opening up swët Fitness has always been a dream of mine dating back to my military days. The dream has been refined over time, as I’ve changed as well! I dreamt of opening a business that could help make people’s lives better. My kids are my everything so it’s also important for me to have balance. The ability to drop my kids off at school and pick them up is very important to me.
What inspires your work and what sets you apart from everyone else?
I realized that within Reno there wasn’t a group fitness studio that structured their workouts similar to a personal training program. There also was a need to get new parents back into the gym with free and high-quality childcare. We accept little ones as early as 6 weeks. As a mom, I understand the importance of mental and physical health in parenthood. Once I realized this demand, we went to work. We created HIIT workouts that focus on building lean muscle tissue. Sandwiching HIIT days with strength days are key to building muscle and preventing those pesky overuse injuries! We’ve also mastered childcare for our little kiddos!
What is your background and how did you develop the skills to start your business?
I love this question! I actually had zero experience in business. I was a helicopter pilot in the Army and have an Aeronautical Science degree. Fitness has always been a passion and I became a personal trainer when I got out of the military. There wasn’t much work there so I decided to put my love of systems to work and started my own business as a home inspector. I gained a lot of knowledge on how to start a business and gain traction with being my own boss. There’s something to be said about your failures being your failures and your success is YOUR success! Owning that is refreshing especially because a lot of it is trial and error, unless you have a franchise. I found failure is what makes us better and instead of trying to avoid it I welcome it, and learn from it. After about 3 years of crawling in crawlspaces in Northern Nevada, I decided it was time to pursue my dream of opening a fitness studio!
What has been your biggest challenge?
Everything. I’ve learned that trying to do everything is impossible. It takes a village. Every business needs a good foundation and until that is in place you’re running on empty. Putting structured systems in place is crucial. We’ve been open for 3.5 years and we are just now on solid ground. Nothing happens fast unless you’ve got a gazillion dollars to hire lots of help. Most of us don’t have that, we’re just trying to live the dream of being a successful business owner. Hiring the right employees is so important and once you’ve found them do anything to keep them. Delegate, delegate, delegate!
Describe your typical work day.
Being a business owner means you’re on call all day every day. That’s my life in a nutshell. I’m not physically at the studio for more than 3 hours a day. I get the most work done from home on my computer while the kids are at school. Once the kids are home at 3 pm all bets are off and it’s hurricane season. Sometimes I’m up at 5 am to knock out admin or stay up until midnight after the kids are in bed.
Which small businesses are you inspired by?
I’m pleading the 5th on this one. I’m honestly not sure I have one. I have so much respect for ALL small business owners. Especially the ones that don’t have that magic playbook on how to succeed (aka a franchise). I look at their fancy ceiling tiles when I walk into their stores or see the dirty stained tiles and feel their struggle with how much one ceiling tile costs. I empathize will all small businesses and do everything in my power to support them. These businesses are a labor of love and they all inspire me.
If you could go back to the beginning knowing what you know now, what would you have
I wouldn’t change much. Mainly because all my failures have led me to where I am now. Once you’ve been told your business has saved someone’s life, that changes you and your perspective. It’s a business, we have to make money but when you hear that, it becomes so much more. The one thing I would change is how much money is spent on the buildout- no one cares about how fancy or expensive your bathroom tiles are! Spend the money where it counts-Your employees.
What’s your best advice for someone who wants to start their own business?
They say the only bad workout is the one you didn’t do. I would rather fail a thousand times than live my life wishing I would have done more. Regret is an awful feeling. However, you can’t just blindly start a business. Have a plan. Once you’ve figured out how much money it will cost to start, triple that and you will be set! Aside from having my children and flying medevac in the Army, opening swët Fitness has been one of the best decisions in my life. I’m very proud of it.