Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Clarissa Smirnov, Founder of Clarissa Pilates, located in San Francisco, CA, USA.

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

Clarissa Pilates bridges the gap between fitness and Exercise Therapy to deliver challenging workouts that have rehabilitative benefits and help people get stronger and feel more confident in their bodies, even if they're injured, have physical limitations, or are just starting out. Our customers are men and women who want to have more energy for the activities they enjoy, feel more confident in their bodies, and get stronger without getting hurt.

Tell us about yourself

When I was 25, my spine was injured in a car accident, and I learned firsthand what it's like to live in pain and not be able to do the things I enjoy. Honestly, it was depressing. I was determined to change my life, and through my Pilates training and education on neuromuscular retraining, I was able to get back to feeling like myself again. My body went through a lot, and with that came a deep appreciation for all that's possible through the transformative power of the Pilates method when combined with functional training and neuromuscular retraining techniques, and I was really drawn to the possibility of sharing that power with everyone who needed that change in their bodies and lives. I am so grateful I decided to embark on this journey, and I wake up every day stoked that I get to do what I love and fulfill my passion for helping others. I am greatly inspired and emotionally rewarded by the transformation I get to see every day in my student's bodies and lives.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner was to be able to work around the financial unpredictability of my practice and feel like I can continue to do this work and help others without fearing I may have to go back to a regular job to sustain myself.

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

Wearing multiple different hats at the same time and feeling like if I stop for one second, everything will fall apart.

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

  1. Follow your heart and passion - that's where your purpose is.
  2. Don't be afraid to fail. Your mistakes will be your greatest lessons.
  3. Start!

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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