Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Laura Wilson, Founder of Natural Pilates, located in Beverly Hills, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am one of the most sought-after fitness experts in the country, and I specialize in Pilates. In 2005, I launched Natural Pilates, which is a form-focused athletic approach to classical Pilates that helps increase strength, improve flexibility, and gain mindfulness. I began with one studio in Beverly Hills, California, and over the course of 10 years, I grew my clientele and eventually added locations in Brentwood (2017) and West Hollywood (2019), as well as Sherman Oaks and NYC in 2022.
Tell us about yourself
My success has been one of discipline and focus that began in my native country of Romania, where I grew up a gymnast, dancer, and member of Romania's National Archery team, winning two national titles. Through an inter-exchange student program in college, I arrived in America in 2002 at the age of 21 with just $100 in my pocket. I took a job as a housekeeper in New Jersey, cleaning houses and motels until I saved up enough money to move to LA, where I enrolled in a massage therapy program.
While working at a physical therapy clinic, I was introduced to Pilates and recognized the many benefits it could offer athletes like myself for full-body conditioning, injury prevention, and rehabilitation. In fact, the physical therapist I worked for recommended that I pursue my Pilates Certification regardless of my English not being that great. However, I could speak the language of fitness, and a whole new career path was opened for me. "I love to help people feel strong and build confidence. The community of clients and the support we give each other is the driving factor on doing my best every day!"
Through my continued hard work and determination, I was able to establish a Pilates empire in both Los Angeles and online, and the Natural Pilates training method was born. I was also able to fully self-finance the first studio and the other locations that followed.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
The biggest accomplishment as a business owner is to potentially have the ability to inspire employees, clients, and the Natural Pilates community to grow and improve every day!
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Being a business owner is fun but hard at the same time. You are responsibly managing all the moving parts that will create happiness and harmony in the working space. It demands a high level of responsibility when it comes to employees and all business expenses, making sure the business gets enough revenue to sustain the cost. Another difficult aspect is overall communication.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
You need to be 100% in without knowing the outcome! Show up and do 100% every day. Be original, and most importantly, be you.
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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