Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Maya Bryant, Founder of Barre Empowered, located in Grand Rapids, MI, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Barre Empowered exists to provide a joyful and empowering way to engage in movement. The goal is to help you feel fierce and confident in your body. We work to implement healthy behaviors like exercising regularly, getting adequate sleep, finding ways to reduce stress, etc., in a healthy and sustainable way.
Tell us about yourself
Barre Empowered was birthed from a pilot study in my Master of Public Health project, which implemented a Barre program for undergraduate women to study the effect on mental health and body image satisfaction. The results of this study showed that women had significant improvements in their body image satisfaction and modest gains made in their mental health independent of their weight.
Barre Empowered, therefore focuses on overall health promotion. Not diets, as they fail 95% of the time, or even exercise as a means to change the body. Moving your body can and should be a joyful experience and a celebration of what your body can do. Not a punishment for what you ate, looked or felt.
At the core of Barre Empowered, we focus on health-promoting behaviors. These include actions like getting 7-8 hours of sleep, eating an abundance of different nutrients, limiting alcohol consumption, not smoking, and exercising regularly. We know that independent of weight, these are the behaviors that determine our health.
Therefore, a large part of our work is removing the toxic language from health and fitness that determines that only those with thin bodies are healthy, and you must exercise for hours per day at the gym to get "results." At Barre Empowered, we focus on results like improved mental well-being, body image satisfaction, feeling empowered, and promoting fitness for all shapes and sizes. The message? Healthy looks different on EVERY BODY!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Creating a non-diet, weight-inclusive space for all bodies to exercise that is empowering!
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Balance with life, work, and other obligations in life.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Outline a clear goal, the ideal person you are looking to serve, and the service you hope to provide.
- Identify what separates you from everyone else who is providing the same product or service, so you do not blend in with everyone else.
- Start scared and have faith in yourself to figure it out as you go.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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