GHD, Baking and Fitness
What made you want to start a business in home fitness?
I didn’t set out to start a business in home fitness! To be honest, when Jenny and I started discussing the idea of Fit for Keeps back in January 2014 I wasn’t even looking for a job. My youngest son was 9 months old and I was taking time out being a stay at home Mum. But once we got chatting about the opportunity to do something new and exciting in the home fitness market, I couldn’t resist giving it a go.
Where did you work before Fit for Keeps?
I’ve always worked in marketing (apart from a brief stint at the BBC in Leeds as a Broadcast Journalist when I first graduated). My last role before Fit for Keeps was at ghd in Leeds. I was Global Brand Director.
What are the similarities / differences between working at ghd and working at Fit for Keeps?
There are more similarities than you might think. The main one being around helping women to feel great about themselves. During the research groups we did with women about the Tuffit, the things they told us about exercise being empowering and making you feel more confident were really similar to the things I used to hear women say about how having good hair makes them feel.
The main difference is that being in a start-up business you are constantly fighting to get people to work with you and take a chance. When I worked at ghd doors were opened more easily.
How did the idea of the Tuffit come about?
It started with Jenny wanting to create something for her clients to use in-between sessions. She’d had this idea about a ‘box of goodies’ that she could build programmes around. When she was telling me about it I think I must have had my marketing head on (instead of my mummy head!) and was just really curious about what barriers prevent women from working out at home, even if they did have some equipment. From there we just decided to do some research to find out and the results gave us a really good steer on how to approach the design.
What’s it like working closely with a fitness professional like Jenny – do you ever feel under pressure not to eat cake?!
Sometimes! Although Jenny likes cake too so we have cheat days! Even though she’s a fitness professional, Jenny is great at just understanding the everyday challenges women face when it comes to fitting in some form of fit. I’ve found previously that personal trainers can be a little bit too aggressive in their approach – and you end up just feeling bad about what you’re not achieving instead of what you’ve managed to do – Jenny is amazing because she totally gets it. Jenny’s philosophy is all about building fitness into your lifestyle rather than having unrealistic expectations that it should always be your top priority. She really did inspire the name ‘Fit for Keeps’!
What was the biggest challenge in getting the Tuffit launched?
Learning enough about manufacturing to actually get the Tuffit to prototype stage. I have no previous experience in manufacturing so this was quite a big challenge for me.
What colour Tuffit / CoreCurve do you have in your house?
I have a Taupe / Pewter combo, it fits with the colour scheme in my bedroom perfectly.
What’s your favourite Tuffit exercise?
Probably the Bulgarian Squat. Nothing like feeling the burn on that one!
What do you like the least?
Lateral Raise – but only because I recently had shoulder surgery so I have to be really careful on this one.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
TV. Lots of it. Particularly box sets. Some of my favourites include Scandal, Suits, Greys Anatomy, Made In Chelsea and Pretty Little Liars. Me and my OH have just discovered Modern Family on Sky it’s absolutely hilarious.
How do you relax?
Do you mean when I’m not watching TV?! I’ve recently started baking more at home and really enjoying it. My oldest son has had eczema since birth and we’ve discovered it’s linked to certain foods. He can’t have dairy or eggs which makes treats a bit tricky so I’ve been perfecting cookies and cupcakes that are dairy and egg free. Obviously I enjoy spending time with my family including Mara our beautiful cat. Sunday afternoons usually consist of a roast dinner, family movie, a big bowl of popcorn all snuggled under a duvet. Bliss.
Well at Fit for Keeps we have some more products in the pipeline that we’re getting ready for launch. Away from Fit for Keeps, I’ve just recently started running with my amazing friend Vicci – we spur each other on. It’s slow progress but hopefully a 5k in the not too distant future.
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