Small Business Saturday with Realtor Stacey Donadio is BACK this week featuring F45 of Shrewsbury! F45 Training opened in September 2019, and was an instant success! Learn more about this Monmouth County small business in Stacey’s interview below, including how they muscled through shutdown during COVID, their favorite local business, and some REALLY exciting new business plans for 2021!
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I am originally from Wilmington, DE and now live in Locust, NJ after moving down from NYC.
Tell us about your business!
F45 is a boutique fitness studio located next to Dean’s Market in Shrewsbury. The F is for Functional and the workouts are just 45 minutes long. No two workouts are ever the same and it is truly for everyone from professional athletes to people that have never picked up a dumbbell. Our goal is to make people feel as though they have walked into our living room and are being welcomed into our home. We are results oriented and our members blow my mind every day with their transformations.
What’s your background? What made you go into what you’re doing now?
Prior to opening the studio in September of 2019 I spent almost two decades working on Wall Street in algorithmically traded equities sales. It was an environment that I thrived in, but the arrival of a baby girl in 2013 began the balance of family, career and trying to fit workouts in. As a competitive runner turned fitness junkie, I had always relied on exercise to stay focused and grounded. As a self-motivated gym goer and ACE Certified Personal Trainer – I begrudgingly participated in group fitness. After attending an F45 class in Manhattan, I was hooked. The class managed to channel my inner athlete and create a camaraderie like no other class I had experienced. All in an effective, efficient and electric environment! After understanding that F45 could be adapted for ANYONE, I realized it was an opportunity to provide a viable, exciting option for leading a healthier lifestyle for others. I immediately began liaising with F45 Headquarters and planning the redevelopment of the property where F45 Shrewsbury now sits.
What do you love about having a business in Monmouth County?
My favorite part of having the business in Monmouth County is getting to know members and helping them to make meaningful connections with other members. Whether it is a business, friendship or romantic relationship it is truly rewarding to connect people and witness the joy that the connection brings to them.
What has been the most challenging part of running your business during COVID, and how did you overcome it?
While this past year has easily been the most challenging of my career, it has also forced me to dig deeper than I ever have. I was on a ski trip with my husband and daughter in Vermont when we first got word that the mountain shut down. Hours later Governor Murphy announced that most businesses in NJ also must shut down that same night. We drove home and I immediately began working in the car to figure out how to virtually connect with all of our members. I worked through the night and had my team meet me in the studio at 6AM the following morning. By 7AM we were streaming our first virtual workout. We continued to provide virtual workouts every day for the next 3 months. When we were finally able to hold our first outdoor workouts at Count Basie Field in Red Bank, members crossed the field with tears in their eyes. Word about these workouts started to spread and some grew to over 75 people per session! We continued with outdoor workouts for 4 more months before finally opening the studio doors back up for a limited capacity indoor workouts. The most challenging balance has been to continue to grow the membership but to keep it small enough to live within our capacity restrictions.
What are some exciting plans you have for the business in 2021?
In the summer of 2021 I will be opening Recovery Cove just next to F45 in Shrewsbury. It is a place for athletes and non-athletes to accelerate both weight loss and muscle recovery, and reduce inflammation. We will be offering Wholebody Cryotherapy, Local Cryotherapy, Infrared Sauna, a leg recovery system and bodyfat analysis.
What’s your favorite business in Monmouth County (other than yours!)
I love The Market at My Kitchen Witch in Monmouth Beach. The past year has taken away any time that I have to cook but I am able to eat healthy and delicious meals that can be heated up in minutes! The menu constantly changes so I never get sick of it. Now more than ever I want to support fellow small business owners!