Time for another #FemaleFridays chat on the Female emPOWERED podcast! This week, I had the opportunity to talk to Kari Saitowitz, founder of Fhitting Room in Manhattan. A self-described “accidental entrepreneur,” Kari launched Fhitting Room when she noticed a need for a fitness studio that combined one-on-one personal training in a motivational group setting.
How Fhitting Room blends personal attention with group fitness
Before founding Fhitting Room, Kari was in marketing and brand management, working for corporations like American Express and Pepsi. Her time in the corporate world taught her a lot of valuable lessons and skills she’d soon put to use as an entrepreneur. But how did she make the big leap from corporate to being a small business owner in the fitness space?
In the years between the birth of her first son and when she left the corporate world, Kari worked as a stay-at-home mom. She noticed other moms talking about fun fitness classes they were taking at new boutique studios popping up in the city. But...many of them had workouts or personal trainers on the side, too.
“I felt like there was a real need in the marketplace to bring together the benefits of a personal training session and having one-on-one attention and education,” said Kari. “And really understanding that you were doing things correctly, and a feeling of safety and security in a fun group environment.”
That’s how Fhitting Room was born. Kari opened her first location about a year later. Today, Fhitting Room has three brick-and-mortar studios in New York City, as well as an on-demand platform and live digital classes on Zoom. In March 2021, Fhitting Room will celebrate their eight year anniversary. (Congrats!)
Kari and I also talked about how business owners can find good employees, balancing a career and family, Fhitting Room’s experience with COVID-19, and much more. Listen to the full episode to hear it all!
In this episode we discuss:
- [01:15] How Kari discovered an unmet need in the fitness industry and got the idea for Fhitting Room
- [05:30] Transitioning from a career in the corporate world to being an entrepreneur
- [08:15] Kari’s advice to new small business owners for adding the right employees to your team
- [12:30] Tips for founders/CEOs for keeping your team in the studio engaged and the importance of communication
- [19:30] Kari’s experience with COVID-19 the past year and how Fhitting Room adapted when group fitness classes were not allowed to reopen in NYC
- [26:30] How digital classes and platforms have benefited fitness studios and clients during the pandemic
- [30:45] Juggling a family and being a CEO, how that “perfect balance” of the two seems out of reach, and what Kari strives for instead
- [38:00] Where you can find more info on Fhitting Room
Links mentioned in this episode:
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Interested in being a guest on a future Female Friday episode? Email me at [email protected]!