Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nicole Heriot-Mikula, founder and owner of BringtheHoopla, located in Seymour, CT, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
BringtheHoopla is an educational fitness company that provides high-quality programming for students in grades Pre-K thru 8 by using our handmade hoops as a form of play, exercise, and learning. Our unique curriculum aligns with state and national standards to ensure developmentally appropriate programming that promotes physical literacy. We use positive reinforcement and encouragement to foster persistence, self-confidence, and free expression for all students.
BringtheHoopla’s mission has always been to create programs that inspire creativity through movement. Our customers are grant providers, educators, librarians, Parks & Rec directors, Program Directors, families, and anyone who wants to implement impactful programming for their children and students!
The beauty of BringtheHoopla:
Everyone can hoop. The benefits of hula hooping are endless: Hooping is a positive and fun activity that intergenerational families can enjoy. Hooping burns up to 500 calories per hour. Hooping is heart-healthy. Hooping increases energy, develops balance and coordination, and improves flexibility. Hooping helps with posture, endurance, and overall core strength. Hooping calms the mind, relieves stress, and promotes laughter.
Tell us about yourself
I became a small business owner because I wanted to directly impact my community and build something from the ground up. I started BringtheHoopla because it motivated me to think big, take risks, and create a business model that could evolve and grow as I grew my family as well as the ever-changing needs of students. I wanted to introduce a unique way to foster self-expression, creativity, teamwork, and leadership.
Through the years, we have built a strong, loyal team, and I believe we continue to grow and thrive because we believe in the power of our programming, and the proof we have is the smiling children we are honored to teach every single day.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
BringtheHoopla has been committed to the communities we serve since we opened in 2011. We believe the success that we achieve is directly connected to being a positive force in the place we call “home” and beyond.
In 2014, I co-founded a city-wide effort, Celebrate Shelton, which focuses on cultural arts engagement through high-quality events that are free to the public and highlight small businesses, live music, handmade artisans, food trucks, and children’s activities in my hometown of Shelton, CT.
We are in our 9th year and have a palate of 7 events this year. We are psyched!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Time. There’s never enough of it. I’ve been exploring work/life blend lately as opposed to balance. There is no balance because work and life co-exist at all times; work is my drive and my passion, and it fulfills me. But so do other things like my incredible husband, my three little girls, and my entire village. It’s tricky at times, but it’s all worth it.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be your authentic self. Always. Do not minimize yourself to make others comfortable. Take up space and be focused on your goals.
- Work hard, but constant “hustle” is not sustainable. Take care of yourself. Self-care is important.
- Surround yourself with people who lift you up and who you can trust. Do not allow others to create your path. You got this. And if you don’t, hire qualified people in the field of their expertise to assist you.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Be good to one another. As business owners and entrepreneurs, the one-to-one effort and energy we offer to each client, customer, partner, and colleague, is invaluable. It is the magic in what we get to do every single day.
Stay humble. Keep learning. There’s always room for growth, always something you can build upon. We are all works in progress.
Finally, keep an eye out for BringtheHoopla near you! We are currently facilitating programs in 150+ public schools, summer camps, and municipalities in 2022. We will launch a boxed curriculum that can ship worldwide by 2023!!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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