September 19, 2011
A quick reminder for you. The deadline for the coming WomensNet.net Amber grant application is this September 30th. If you still haven’t told us your story, please take a few minutes right now to fill out your Amber Grant application. You could be the next grant winner, but you have to tell us about yourself and your business before September 30!.
The Women’s Net Amber Grant Winner Is…
Congratulations to Kristina Faulkner, owner of Get Inspired Fitness in Maineville, OH. Kristina is the winner of the latest $1,500 WomensNet.net Amber Grant. (The next Amber Grant winner will be selected on October 1, less than two weeks away!)
She caught our attention with her answers on the Amber Grant application. Below is what she told us about her business dreams in the application – and the final 4 questions are from a follow-up interview after we told her she had won:
1. Why do you want to be self-employed?
“I love being self-employed because I am a creative person and always have different ideas on how to expand my business. It’s great not to worry about corporate policies or having my ideas stifled for different reasons. It allows me to listen to my gut, that good ole women’s intuition.”
2. Tell us about your business.
“Get Inspired Fitness began as a boot camp company, only offering 3 classes per week. When I was pregnant with my 3rd child, I unfortunately was ill and couldn’t exercise. One day I looked at my window at the park behind my house and realized there was a need for a boot camp company. I now have been open for a year and a half and have 13 classes on the schedule. Also, I took my vision a step further, we are not just a boot camp company, rather personal training in a small group setting. I wanted to offer clients the ability to get that one-on-one attention and results without paying outrageous training rates plus getting the support from their peers.”
3. If awarded the WNN Amber Grant – what are your plans for the funds?
“At this point, I feel I cannot grow any further without some help. I have been lucky so far not to drown myself with loans and purchased equipment and marketing materials when I could afford them. However, with the growing competition around my area, I need to step up my game. I’ll use the grant money to update my website, make it more relevant and I would like to increase my marketing by possibly using billboards and print ads. If there are monies left over, I would love to spruce up my little studio with new floors and mirrors, make it feel more like a gym.”
4. Anything else you would like to add?
“I would appreciate the WomensNet.net grant so very much. I have been blessed to be a stay at home mom for over 9 years. As gratifying as it has been, I always felt like I needed something more. This little business is something just for me. An idea that I have been able to develop and see grow. I am amazed and so humbled every time someone gives me a check. And I even more humbled, when they give me a hug and tell me how I have changed their life. I would just like the opportunity to continue my journey and to be able to grow so I can help others change their lives as well. Thanks so much for your consideration!”
5. Have you always had a passion for fitness? We ask this because we are true believers that companies that are built on passion, survive over those that people just do for “a job”.
“Absolutely and I have to attribute that to my wonderful mom. As a young girl, about 12 or 13 years old, my mom and I used to work out after dinner, more of a bonding time for us and I remember then how much I enjoyed the classes, the leotards and all. As I grew up and moved around New York and then Ohio, it was always a priority for my family to find the local gym. My love for fitness has carried into my career when I became a personal trainer and then received my Bachelors in Health Education. There is nothing more rewarding then truly helping people have a functional and healthy lifestyle.”
6. What have been great business decisions that you’ve made and what were the results?
“The best business decision I have made is keeping my overhead low. When I first started, I only bought equipment and such with the money I had so everything I have at this point I own. I don’t have major debt hanging over my head which allows me to focus on my clients and not impending bills.”
7. With the above being asked, we have to ask….what have been your worst business decisions?
“My worst business decisions have been not planning ahead. Fitness is a finicky business and very seasonal and I have learned that you need to be prepared for not only the busy times but also during the slow periods.”
8. How long have you been in business, what lead to you starting look2befit?
“It will be 2 years this January when I opened Get Inspired Fitness. I opened the studio with the intention of helping people find a love for exercise that will not only help them with their short term goals but carry with them for a lifetime. After all, it’s a lifestyle change not a quick fix. My clients inspire me every day and with the support I have from my family, Get Inspired Fitness will continue to thrive and inspire others!”