This September Empower will be celebrating 5 years in business. Jessica and I are so excited that we have achieved this milestone, and we are so thankful for our wonderful staff and clients that have made it possible. We are planning to celebrate the entire month of September with specials and promotions, but we will take a little time out on September 20 and 21 to honor you, our loyal and trusted clients for your support. More details will be made available in the coming days, but you can take a sneak peek and learn more about the 5 year celebration by clicking here.
Before we look forward to the future of Empower, I wanted to take just a few minutes to look back at the last 5 years. For those of you who were around in 2005 you may remember how it all started, but for those of you that have joined the Empower team in the last few years you may not know much about our history. So here it goes
The concept of Empower Personal Training is the long time vision of Jessica Bottesch and Ronda (Michaels) Williams. We started way back in 1993 as freshmen year suitemates at UNC (Go Heels) and we became fast friends and study partners. We used to spend late nights studying together and our study sessions would often drift to conversations about opening a sports medicine facility once we were out of school. Fast forward a few years ñ Jessica received her Masterís degree in Sports Medicine, and I went on to get my Masterís degree in Sports Management. In 2003 our vision really started to come together and we started to brainstorm having our own facility. By this time our experiences had taken us both in the direction of personal training and overall wellness so our concept shifted a little from an outpatient rehab facility to a studio environment that focuses on total health and wellness.
The next year or so we brainstormed names for our company and worked with a close friend to design our logo. Finally in early 2005 we got really serious about realizing our dream. We cranked out a business plan and began searching for an ideal location. We found our current location, and it immediately felt like the right fit for our business. We went through the process of lease negotiations and studio up fit and by Sept. 2005 we opened our 3000 sq. ft. studio with two employees ñ Jessica and me.
If you were around in 2005, youíll remember that Jessica and I did everything ourselves ñ we trained, we marketed, we answered phones and we even served as the cleaning crew (albeit for only one week). You might remember that we used to schedule appointments the old fashioned way ñ with good ole paper and pencil and date book at the front desk. My how things have changed and we are now able to leverage technology and provide online scheduling and billing services through our state of the art, industry leading software MindBody.
Slowly things started to pick up and we were in need of additional staff to handle the increased business. Let me just throw in a side note here, but Jessica and I personally think we have the best staff in the area. If it were not for our dedicated team of professionals we would have never made it this far, and we are eternally grateful for the loyal staff members weíve had over the years. At this point we have 12 personal trainers, 2 registered dietitians, 1 massage therapist and 2 group fitness instructors on our staff for a total of 17 employees.
At our two year mark in 2007 it started to become apparent that we were running out of space in our current digs so we expanded into the contiguous 1000 square feet. We added a few more pieces of equipment, but mostly what we needed was more space for our expanding client base. If you currently train at Empower you know that the long runway in front of the cardio equipment can seem endless if you are pushing the sled or doing inchworms or walking lunges the entire way. Again we owe it all to our wonderful clients for making the first expansion a reality.
Jessica and I are excited as we pause and reflect on Empowerís growth and success over the past 5 years. We thank you – clients, staff, family and friends for supporting us as we realize our vision to ìEmpower people and communities to lead stronger, healthier, happier lives.î
Stay tuned for more details about the 5 year Red Carpet Celebration and for more information about Empowerís plans for growth as we pass this milestone anniversary.