Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Janie Kokakis, co-founder of Flobody, located in Des Moines, IA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Flobody is a community-driven fitness company motivated to bring boutique-style fitness to you through our patented Flobody Gym-Think reformer but rolled up into the size of a yoga mat! We understand how busy you are and that paying for that expensive Pilates class 15 minutes away may not be in the cards, so we bring that same experience into your home because you deserve it! We are passionate about creating joint-friendly workouts that help make lasting change without any impact on your joints.
Tell us about yourself
I'm the co-founder of Flobody, along with my husband, Anthony, who invented the Flobody to fill a need of our own- Reduce the clutter in our tiny condo after having our first baby! I've always been passionate about moving my body, so it wasn't until after I had our son that I experienced the struggle of making it to the gym or studio.
Once I experienced a workout with the Flobody, I knew we would be able to share this at-home experience with the world! After years of refining and constantly evolving, I am confident that we are changing lives through our product and, most notably, our community. Our community (shoutout to Flobody Family) motivates us to keep growing by watching their growth unfold. It's fun to wake up in the morning to messages about how people's lives have changed physically, mentally, and emotionally!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I think the little wins in business should always be your biggest accomplishment. It's that snowball effect that keeps building until one day you wake up, look back, and think, wow, I can't believe we made it this far. My husband and I have a saying, " Never too high, never too low," which helps us stay grounded! If I had to pinpoint one of our most significant accomplishments, it would be successfully running our first Kickstarter campaign, which taught us so much about the power of community and production. Ultimately, allowing us to become something other than just another great idea!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
When you own a business, it really is your baby! The ability to shut it down at the end of the day is nearly impossible! It has taken us years to figure out how to balance family and work! If I could give anyone advice on balance, it's to just be OK with your life being unbalanced! I don't even like to use that word because there's always a season where something will need more attention, and that's OK!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Learn to be at peace with the neigh sayers- especially in the beginning. Most of the time, it comes from a place of love. Change and growth can be scary, even if they aren't making the change! After all, most people will never understand your business until it's successful in their eyes!
- Always lean into your community and be transparent! Allow them to be part of your journey, take them inside the business, ask for feedback, and allow them to make minor decisions (color choices, etc.). Transparency is key, especially in the beginning when you are always putting out fires. We learned this early on during our Kickstarter with logistics and delays!
- The power is in the pivot. Throughout the pandemic, we have seen companies pivot to stay alive and thrive. Knowing when to pivot comes with experience, but looking at all aspects of your business from a different lens from time to time is vital. Always be auditing. Don't be afraid to take the leap because if you aren't growing, you're dying!
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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