November 22, 2016 by Erika Kofler
At Asheville SCORE we are honored to work with a wide variety of clients in Western North Carolina. Our entrepreneurs are forward-thinkers who strive to grow their business “outside the box.”
Taija Ventrella is one of these entrepreneurs. Taija is the owner of Vitality Fitness, a local fitness studio that focuses on coaching people of all levels and abilities to transform their lives through personalized, body-positive fitness programming. Her hard work was recently recognized when Vitality Fitness was voted #1 Fitness Studio by the Mountain Xpress “Best of WNC” Reader Poll for 2016 with Taija being voted among the top 3 best physical trainers for the 2nd in a row.
Vitality Fitness hosts events like Wake-up Shake-up, which takes a fun and compassionate approach, aimed at engagement through movement and education, empowerment to lead a healthier lifestyle, and enrichment from greater self-confidence.
What service does your business provide?
One-on-one and small group fitness training in a safe, fun, supportive, and inclusive environment.
What prompted you to start this business?
As an “alternative” person, I didn’t fit in in traditional gym/fitness communities. Along with being told I wouldn’t succeed, I was tired of feeling like a cog in a machine of the corporate fitness world, especially when the service we offer is so personal.
I wanted to see a body-positive, self-care based fitness movement (instead of one that feeds on people’s insecurities and self-body-hatred).
How have SCORE services helped you?
Asheville SCORE gave me more direction as to what I should be focusing in terms of marketing, branding, and growing the business.
What would you pinpoint as being the main challenges in opening your own business and how did you manage them?
Feeding myself without a paycheck and working ALL of the time – goodbye hobbies and social life.
What has been your greatest success so far?
Clients telling me I’ve changed their lives. Providing a safe space that encourages clients to focus on the amazing things their bodies can do instead of just how they look.
What goal do you hope to accomplish next?
Grow my client base!
What advice would you give potential or new entrepreneurs?
Be ready to work hard, all of the time. As much time as you imagine you’ll be spending on your business, double it.
What would you describe your journey as an entrepreneur?
Exhausting, yet inspiring. Terrifying, yet empowering.
How do you enjoy your spare time?
What spare time? No really…