It started with a Facebook event...
I saw a dream board inspo event on Facebook hosted by Motivate by Chelsey, a womens-only HIIT gym located in Evansville, Indiana. I figured that this event may be a good way to meet other ladies chasing their goals while I embrace my own fitness goals for 2022. So I went out on a whim and decided to show up not knowing what to expect. Truth be told, my fitness goals have sometimes floundered. Setting great expectations was one thing but the follow-through was a whole other story for me. I stepped into Motivate by Chelsey and can I just tell you that this space exuded women positivity and badassery. I mean, we’re talking quotes are canvassed on the walls and the gym has an epic selfie wall full of badass fuel like ‘Live your dream,’ or ‘FIERCE,’ or ‘Girls Run the World,’ and ‘Her soul is royalty.’
"Honest, raw, vulnerable"
The girls in attendance were honest, raw, vulnerable and they talked about how much they really appreciated what this gym meant to them, their confidence and wellbeing. If one lady started speaking and needed a boost of reassurance, another piped up and lent a vote of confidence. I was like, Did I just find a tribe of wicked awesome women? The next night, I was in the gym trying out her free first class. The room was darkly lit and had very vibrant glows from the LED-lights bordering the room. The vibe was electric and the 'atta girl' energy was lit. Yes, it kicked my ass. But I felt so inspired and strong.
"She turned an all-sex gym into a women's only powerhouse."
And from that point on I had to know more behind the story of Motivate. So being the inquisitive person that I am, I reached out to Chelsey to get to know her and her vision for why she turned an all-sex gym into a women’s only powerhouse.
It wasn't an easy road but she had the support and encouragement from family and some friends along the way. When Chelsey rebranded in October of last year she explained, "I was nervous but when I put it out there, everything has just exploded since then. And it’s been one of the best decisions in my business. My favorite thing about empowering women is that they work so hard. The girls bust ass in here with a 60 min workout. To see their confidence is awesome when they are safe and comfortable in their sports bra in my gym."
Burned Out & Tired
The time before this Chelsey's gym was called ‘Chelsey’s Fit Factory.' A whole lot of life transitions happened all at once and Chelsey became discouraged and stopped caring. It was a difficult time for her since she had just lost a lot of friends in this process. Chelsey explained, "I struggled in feeling I needed to be perfect because my last gym failed in expectations. I lost a lot of friends in this process. It set a tone. I started questioning if I was meant to own a business.”
"At that time, it was either succeed or shut it down, sell it and move to Florida."
So when she shut down in February of last year, she took some time to slow down. “I didn’t know where I wanted to go. But I gave myself time. I made a decision. At that time it was either succeed this time or shut it down, sell it and move to Florida.” Since rebranding in October and creating a women’s only gym, membership has exploded. At first only a few members joined and started putting in some serious work on themselves. The confidence women felt in the gym caused a word-of-mouth campaign and right before Christmas it really took off.
"What sets my soul on fire is other women working together."
Being women's 'hype-man' is "what sets my soul on fire [to see] other women working together.” In addition to the badass women that inspires her, she became a mother. Once she also had a baby, she wanted a healthy life for her daughter because “she is really watching me.” When asked what inspires her she said, “Because I have RA (Rheumatoid arthritis), I don’t have a choice to not workout. I’m super active. I’m trying to do a lot of things without medication. I’m motivated by health." Chelsey went on to explain from her rebranding, she really started to see women lift each other up and that's her passion, "I love the environment and atmosphere of a group."
From being empowered to slow down to finding her voice and growing organically...
When I encouraged her to brag on herself she said that she was proud, “for not giving up. Keeping it rolling. Keeping it going. Once I have an idea, I go with it. If it’s a good idea, I keep it going. It’s crazy to think I’ve opened a gym 3x. I am proud of myself for overcoming obstacles and making way this time. I’ve done a lot better job in not settling until I find what I want. I’m proud of myself in my focus and adding things slowly. This time around I’m allowing myself to grow organically. I’ve never really talked about my business and now I’m starting to."