Here on the zingfit blog, we spend a lot of time in our studio stories focusing on the entrepreneurial journey of studio owners. But something often overlooked is the balance it takes to start a business when one already has the full-time job of parenthood. Today, in honor of Mother’s Day, we talk to Tammy Stocker (mother of three) and Stephanie Miller (mother of two and full-time special ed teacher). Tammy and Stephanie are the co-owners of PULSE Cycle, Bootcamp & Pilates Studio in Peters Township, PA. Owning a boutique fitness studio hasn’t been an easy journey, but both women have created a thriving fitness community all while being supermoms!
From Motherhood to Mompreneur
Stephanie & Tammy got into fitness for different reasons but with the same purpose in mind—to better themselves and lead by example for their children. When we talked to Stephanie about where she got her start, she shared, “I used to not work out and I was 100 pounds overweight after I had both kids. I just knew that I needed to make some changes in my life and I never wanted to raise my daughters to feel the way I was feeling.” From that breaking point, she got into working out and her passion snowballed from there, eventually leading her to running bootcamps.
Tammy, though athletic from a young age, was also surprised to find herself working in the fitness industry. Originally trained in healthcare, Tammy thrived for many years working as a traveling nurse. She never imagined she would leave nursing: “I had three children and I didn’t work anymore. But I was like, I need to do something with my life and I can’t work the hours of a nurse while I have a traveling husband and three babies.” She was already passionate about fitness and knew the body well so fitness instructor felt like the perfect fit.
Tammy and Stephanie met while working as instructors at the studio they now own, although back then it had a different name. When the opportunity to own the studio came up, both women decided to take the leap from instructors to business owners—and PULSE was born.
So What Was It Like Becoming A Fitness Studio Owner?
“It was actually pretty nerve-wracking, but exciting in the beginning. I mean, I have a medical background. I don’t have a business background,” shares Tammy. As most new fitness studio owners find, it was a big learning curve. Tammy and Stephanie have to constantly flex their organizing muscles to stay on top of everything. Both shared one of the biggest secrets to keeping it all together: know when to shut it down.
As a new studio owner, it’s all too easy to let the studio run you. Sometimes it feels as if there is an infinite amount of work to be done. If one is not careful, they could find themselves answering emails and calls or planning marketing into the wee hours of the morning.
“I try not to work during certain times,” says Stephanie, who is also a full-time special ed teacher. “To allow for family time—after a certain time of night, I turn it off. I really have to be organized about it because I basically have two full-time jobs plus being a mom.”
Tammy says this was something she really had to learn along the way. “You know I used to be glued to my phone—text messages, phone calls, etc.. And eventually, I was like, you know what, I’m not even living in the moment. Like, I’m not even enjoying anything. So I decided, if it’s during certain hours and it’s something with the studio, I’m going to focus on it. But then sometimes I have to shut it down and that’s why my voicemail says all calls can be returned in 24 hours.”
It Takes A Village
A huge part of PULSE’s success is due to the support system these hard-working women have in place. Both admitted they couldn’t pull it off if it weren’t for their amazing team and supportive husbands. Something critical to success, according to Tammy, is making strategic hires and building trust with a stellar management team so they can ease off the day-to-day and just get actionable reports back from their key staff members.
The Work Is Worth The Payoff
When talking to the mom-preneurs behind PULSE, it’s hard not to notice how much joy and fulfilment running the studio brings them. “This is beautiful and it just fits. Like with my family life, it keeps me healthy, it keeps me motivated. Most days, it’s easy and it’s fun. You’ve got your moments of feeling overwhelmed. But you know, in the end, that all gets wiped away and everything just works out,” says Tammy.
Stephanie shares she believes other mothers who are aspiring studio owners can do it too:
“As long as you’re organized, you set goals and you have an idea of what you want to do. I think it’s a great message for your kids. I know that my girls are constantly like, ‘wow Mom, you do all that?’ They noticed and they’re already learning a good work ethic and seeing it’s all doable and manageable as long as they set their minds to it and are determined.
And you know, I always say to my kids, ‘lazy gets you nowhere.’ And when we do travel, I make sure they appreciate it—by saying things like, ‘we can do this because mommy works really hard at her job. You have to work really hard at a job and be dedicated. And you know, mommy cares about fitness so I’m really passionate about my job.”
One thing is for sure: PULSE is owned and operated by two strong women. Along with the PULSE staff, these women have created a welcoming studio full of love, fitness, and a positive attitude towards a healthy lifestyle.
A huge thanks to Tammy & Stephanie for sharing their stories, and Happy Mother’s Day from zingfit to all the fitness moms out there!
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