Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ashlynn Howe, Owner of Be Well Barre, located in Grand Rapids, MI, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I own Be Well Barre, a virtual barre studio that helps women experience joy in movement by bringing the boutique class to their own space. BWB offers live stream and on-demand classes and community connections and is focused on creating a positive body-exercise mindset by using body-neutral, compassionate, and encouraging instruction.

Tell us about yourself

I am a school counselor by day, so my passion is pairing my counseling education with my group fitness education to help women find mental freedom and joy in movement. I taught for several small businesses before launching my own virtual studio in 2021.

My absolutely FAVORITE part of being a group fitness instructor is the feeling of camaraderie simply paired with helping people enjoy themselves. The smiles and the way people feel during and after class are enough to keep me coming back. :)

I also love when women share that their relationship with their body and exercise has completely changed since joining a class - that they have more self-compassion, are learning to listen to their bodies, and are having FUN doing it.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Hands-down the community that The Recovery Barre builds. TRB is a free live stream class held every Sunday that combines a recovery meeting with the movement for women in sobriety. The connection that is built in this space is so safe and special, and the feedback I've gotten from women who have joined and since stayed sober just completely warms me. If you are sober-curious, sober, or in recovery, we'd LOVE to have you!

On the small-business side, I am proud of everything I've learned about website/content creation, email workflows, marketing, and all of the day-to-day back-end management. That isn't my professional field, so I still have a lot to learn, but I am super creative by nature and really enjoy reading, educating myself, and attending webinars. I also recently applied and was accepted as a Barre Above Program Specialist, meaning I can host barre instructor certification day training.

It's been such a joy to meet established professionals in the field and continually educate myself!

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

For me, keeping up with "showing up" on social media can be difficult. It takes a lot of thought and time to create content, and from what I've experienced, you have to be consistent for the algorithm to work with you. You wear all of the hats as a solopreneur! :)

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Stay focused on YOU and your brand! It can be extremely easy to look around and note what others in the industry are doing, but you are unique and have a specific set of skills that YOUR customers come to you for. :)
  2. Stick with pricing that makes sense for your costs, time, and expertise. It can be really distracting to see big businesses that are able to offer membership nearly free, but that isn't a small business reality, and that's ok. Try not to feel bad about it or to feel like you need to compete with huge companies - especially if you're just one person. Being small offers connection, community, and individuality, which in my experience, members are THERE for!
  3. Be open to continually learning and sticking with it for the long haul, even on the days that might feel discouraging! Try not to let those days make YOU feel discouraged as a person. Small businesses can be so tightly tied to who you are - we open them because we have a passion point, after all! Remind yourself that losing/gaining members is, at a certain point, just part of normal business. It doesn't mean you aren't good at what you do -- there are many reasons why people try new things and move on that have much more to do with their own life and schedule than it does your service. Everyone has their own unique gifts, and the right people who jive with your message are the ones who will stay. :) Keep showing up for them!

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I never imagined that I would love running a small, mainly virtual business the way that I do! I absolutely love having the creative freedom to put my ideas and dreams into play. If you've thought about dipping your toes into entrepreneurship, I highly encourage it! Being patient is key because you have to be in it for the long haul and know that good things take time. If you can do that, you'll enjoy all of the little things involved along the journey.

I love collaborating with other solopreneurs, so feel more than welcome to reach out and connect!

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.

Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.