Finding the (Fit) Formula for Success
Sharon Prothe & Melinda French | Brookside, Kansas City, Mo. | Main Street
From work to mat to dinner plate, there are many factors that impact our life—and maybe even distract us from making the healthiest choices we can. Founded exactly one year ago today, Fit Formula offers classes specially designed to help folks navigate those distractions to create a healthy eating plan, intense workout and a more mindful way to look at your life.
While they’re more than happy to share the secrets to fitness success, we also got co-founder Sharon Prothe to spill her secrets to startup success and what inspired her to turn a passion for fitness into a business.
What’s your big news?
This past summer, Fit Formula was chosen by Nike to host their Style Guide Live – a workout led by their master trainer, Flor Beckmann, followed by a trunk show. It was the first event of its kind in Kansas City. We also a launched yoga for athletes class.
What did you go for help to start your business?
I didn’t have any investors, but as I go further into my journey as a business owner with Fit Formula, I wish I would’ve known more about these resources that are available. They’re so important to entrepreneurs and the city – KCSourceLink is fantastic for curating all of these opportunities in one place.
What inspired you to start your business?
I was inspired to start Fit Formula when I started teaching my nutrition workshops – I noticed many people teaching either nutrition or fitness but not both. So many messages focus on only one of those aspects, but it really takes a balance to achieve your fitness/health goals and I wanted to educate on all three of those disciplines. Fit Formula combines multiple disciplines of fitness such as cardio and yoga and nutrition. That feeds into our slogan, “What’s your Fit Formula?”
What sacrifices in your personal life did you have to make to become a business owner?
You usually leave a comfortable job with a secure paycheck and salary for the vision and desire to produce your own dreams. If you have a vision and a dream and a goal you have to work the hours that are presented to you. It is out of desire, not martyrdom.
What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
There will always be competition in fitness, even more so now that yoga is becoming mainstream. We separate ourselves from the competition by not competing. We have an inspired, authentic offering that is based on science and facts and research. That is what Fit Formula is – it is not a trend.
When times get tough, what inspires you to keep going?
When people have testimonials or feedback regarding some of the positive health changes that have happened in their life such as increased mobility or weight loss – things that were sparked by attending class here, keeps me going.
What can/should Kansas City do to be more business friendly?
Remove the tax on fitness – fitness shouldn’t be taxed, it is vital to the health of a community. Also, make the resources available to support entrepreneurs even more visible so that people can be aware and have access.
Where does the city get it right?
We have some powerful international brands that started here, which inspires the local entrepreneur to see that anything is possible. The city as a whole is so wonderful about supporting and promoting the arts and sports and restaurants and each other. Kansas City embraces new businesses in a way no other city does – there are so many opportunities and resources for business and women in business to thrive.
Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire.
Teresa Walsh and Bonnie Kelley, Silpada
Jennifer Janesko, Janesko
Jo Marie Scaglia, The Mixx
What lesson did you learn the hard way?
Be sure to consult your intellectual property attorneys every step of the way - from your idea to the grand opening in order to protect your brand.
What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
Vision – know what you’re heading. Patience – know what you stand for.
Find your fit