Andrea Metcalf is a celebrity fitness expert with more than 300+ television appearances including the NBC Today Show, Steve Harvey and bi-weekly appearances on FOX TV Chicago. With a best-selling book, numerous DVD’s, and speaking engagements across the county, Andrea hopes to inspire people to live better, healthier and happier. Founder of the Women’s Dream Conference which inspired women to take the step to founding their best life, Andrea recently leaped into a new business venture called Studios FUSE, a collaborative boutique fitness space with an internet cafe, juice bar and soon to come wine bar. Andrea is the mother of three, sister of 4 girls and mom to Wrigley the bulldog.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I’ve been an entrepreneur since 1989 when I started a small gymnastics club in Willowbrook, IL, while coaching high school athletics at Hinsdale South HS. There was a need for gymnasts to come to high school with prior lessons and skills, so I restarted and age-group gymnastics program that spurred my love for the sport. From there, I’ve founded 3 television shows, a boutique fitness studio in Westmont, a facial bar, indoor Surf Fitness Studio (Hang 5 Fitness) and most recently Studios FUSE a collaborative fitness space and cafe and developed my speaking and media skills to become a health brand and influencer.
Tell us about your business.
Every business is different but the same.
- Care about people.
- Have passion for what you do.
- Have a game plan and execute.
Some of my biggest successes have come from thinking outside the box and being persistent in making things happen.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
The Women’s Dream Conference (held on Oct 12th, noon – 4pm at 850 N Lakeshore Drive Ballroom), is my way of sharing expertise and knowledge as well as to inspired female professionals to think big, and develop their own voice. Having several successful professionals come into the room and share their stories is life changing. Each year that we’ve put together this event, I have learned so much, met so many amazing women and felt inspired to do more myself.
My biggest accomplishments start with my family. My children are amazingly independent and happy in life. After that, I feel there have been so many high points to be grateful of: Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, writing a best-selling book, creating CLTV Living Healthy Chicago TV show, writing for oprah.com and pulling this last deal together for the collaborative fitness space, Studios FUSE housing Hang 5 Fitness, Yoga Space, Kick@55 Fitness, and Spring studios under one roof.
Where is your business based?
My main business is based in Chicago as a health expert and 2215 N Halsted is the new location for Studios FUSE opening November 2017.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
Specifically for Studios FUSE, it started with an idea that many other small fitness studios owners and I shared – the pain point of not being able to offer lockers, showers, juice, etc. Amenities other large gyms and brands could – so understanding what the problem was the starting point. Then finding a solution and like-minded people, a gym space, and then writing/negotiating the contracts. We are almost there as our buildout will start soon.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
All media plays a role in our businesses – Facebook, TV, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and networking. They are all key to getting the word out. But having a good service and delivery is what keeps your customer base engaged and growing.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
There are always obstacles. Find solutions and keep trying to move forward. They help you become successful. Failure teaches us.
How did you overcome these challenges?
The biggest way to overcome challenges is to have a plan B, and C etc. Every one’s path will be different, but be ready to keep getting out of bed and moving forward.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
Small success, journaling and having great friends and family to keep me smiling helps me stay focused and motivated through those days I just wanted to throw in the towel. But also keep in mind, you have to know when to throw that towel in. Closing my spa business this past month has been a relief and disappointment at the same time.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
We are the first fitness food court of its kind. The closet thing to us is Studio III, but they are all owned by the same group so they are completely melded together – while this new project has distinct brands, owners and ways of doing business which makes it truly a collaboration.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
SLOW down. I tend to jump right in and start moving while being a little more thoughtful can go a long way.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
While moving slow is important, it’s also just as important to move. Can’t tell you how many people have told me, I had that same idea – but they did nothing.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
- Google Docs
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
Most recently I finished reading “Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior” by Jonah Berger.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
We are looking for Brand Ambassadors. Those who love fitness and are able to help spread the word about our studios by trying all the classes, bringing a guest with them and engaging in our brand on social media. Contact studiosFUSE@gmail.com to be considered for our board which receives a 3 month free unlimited class membership.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
Get the gyms open! And then customers coming in and staying with us – hoping they see the value of this collaboration.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
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