Evolve U Fitness
Nominees for the Joel Labovitz Entrepreneurial Success Awards – 2015
Erin Shikowsky and Ashley Hall began their journey together in April of 2013 traveling around the local area offering boot camp style classes to groups of women. They officially filed for a business listing as Evolve U Fitness & Wellness on April 27, 2013. The first group of women they met with on a weekly basis worked out in the garage at one of the women’s houses. Their following slowly grew and by May, 2013 they had plans for a studio offering a variety of group fitness classes. Evolve U Fitness opened its physical doors on June 10, 2013, just a few months after the idea to create an inspirational and educational space was born.
Evolve U is a fitness studio providing group fitness classes, boot camps, life transformation programs and one on one personal training services. They strive to offer the fitness industry’s top trends and a wide variety of workouts to suite every age and fitness level. Their clients include everyone from senior citizens to teenagers and they are in the process of expanding their clientele to meet the needs of young athletes. Along with classes and programs in the studio, they also go on-site to local assisted living facilities, host classes outdoors and attend various local community events. They truly are and continually strive to be tailored to individuals (U).
Their success is in the achievements and successes of their clients and the sheer fact that they are able to get paid for doing what they love. “It is so hard to put into words what the women accomplish in and out of the studio. Absolutely nothing is more rewarding than seeing our clients not only lose weight, but totally transform their eating habits and lives” say Ashley and Erin. They have hosted four weight loss challenges thus far and within each one the women have collectively lost hundreds of pounds, some have discovered their true professional callings, while many have inspired other individuals to change their lives as well.
The week they opened the doors of Evolve U, they offered eleven classes and started their first weight loss challenge with over forty women. From that day until now they have a 74.79% retention rate, have expanded their class offerings to an average of twenty classes per week, and offer several small group training sessions per week and have two different lifestyle transformation challenges up and running .They are continuing to grow their customer base, and now sell Evolve U merchandise tailored to their clientele and have a huge need for more space to adequately meet the needs of their clients.
One of their largest successes is what they have been able to give back! As their membership and following has grown they have made it one of thier priorities to give back, not only through the donation of time and money, but also through fundraising as well. Below are a few of their biggest successes regarding fundraising:
Food Drive for the Falls Hunger Coalition in 2013
Collected over 200 pairs of shoes in 2014 for Soles 4 Souls
Monetary, food donation and clothing donation drive for Kootasca and Friends Against Abuse in 2014.
Relay for Life 2015
The biggest key to their success is their ability to evolve and meet the needs and wants of their community and clients. It’s important for them as instructors to keep their workouts new, challenging and fun. Their advice for other entrepreneurs is to first be prepared to do the work! Understand that whether you succeed or fail is ALL on you. It’s important to listen and take advice, but also remain true to you and your dream. Take your passion, create a vision, put together a team (lawyer, banker, clients, etc) of amazing people that you know, trust, and will walk with you every step of the way. Starting a business is a huge risk, but you have to believe that the risk is worth it. And that no matter what the circumstance, you can find a way to learn, grow, move forward, and make a profit.