Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kaitlyn VanderMeer, Owner of KP (Fit)ness, located in Kalamazoo, MI, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I own a small yoga and fitness studio in Kalamazoo, Michigan. We offer a variety of yoga classes, barre, and bootcamp fitness classes. We also offer Thai Massage (way different than Deep Tissue - think "Forced Stretch"!). Our customers are people who want to better their health and incorporate movement into their daily life.
Tell us about yourself
I graduated from college with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design. I worked in the field for roughly six years but was never truly satisfied. I started to get into fitness from being at a desk all day long and craving movement. Once I started, I wondered if this would be something I would be interested in teaching! So I took a chance, I worked on a certification for barre, and immediately two studios hired me. Slowly teaching fitness evolved into teaching yoga which evolved into quitting my desk job and becoming a full-time yoga/fitness instructor.
The business aspect happened by chance. A friend messaged me asking if I would be interested in opening a business in the same location as her and one other person. We each run our businesses separately but share a physical location! From the time she messaged me to the time I held my first class was just under 7 weeks - it was insane! And it has been nothing but growth since! I'm currently in the process of moving my studio to a new location that will be just mine! :)
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
That I haven't run it into the ground yet! :) This all feels like a big whirlwind some days. Who said I could run a business? Let alone a business that is doing well! But the biggest accomplishment, I would say, is hiring new instructors to start teaching more classes. It was just me for about 17 months, and now I have 4 new instructors slowly starting to take over classes I was teaching and adding more to the schedule!
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
I have two, honestly :)
- Keeping a work/personal life. I work constantly - if I'm not in the studio, then I'm marketing, budgeting, or planning events.
- I find keeping boundaries hard, meaning I want to answer emails immediately. I need to work on work hours being work hours and personal hours being personal hours!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Don't do it! Just kidding :)
- Have boundaries/policies from the beginning. And keep to those boundaries/policies (sometimes that's the hardest part)
- Know that if it doesn't feel right, change it. I've changed numerous things since opening - just know your reason behind why you're doing something and stick with it!
- Try to have fun!
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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