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The Power of Purpose in Entrepreneurship: Fitness Snob

The Power of Purpose in Entrepreneurship: Fitness Snob

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The Power of Purpose in Entrepreneurship: Fitness Snob

Fitness Snob StartUp 101 Interview

Decades of marketing experience combined with a solid business idea is a great start for any entrepreneur. But you’ve still got to get consumers to not only recognize your brand, but support it as well.

Kim Turner, the owner of the fitness studio Fitness Snob said that’s been the unexpected challenge of launching an apparel line under the same name.

“Our studio in Washington, D.C. has resonated deeply with our community. However, upon launching our sock line nationally under the same trademark, we realized that the name could be misinterpreted as being judgmental by those unfamiliar with our ethos. The name embodies our commitment to unapologetic fitness preferences, but it can understandably polarize those who misunderstand that intent,” Turner said.

Turner said the business is embarking on an “intensive” awareness campaign to share the brand’s backstory and philosophy in an effort to connect with the public. She’s using social media and targeted events to shift the perception of her brand and said she’s confident that through “perseverance and a commitment to authenticity,” the company will navigate the challenge.

Fitness Snob Sock Line

Turner, who has spent over 20 years working in marketing for Fortune 500 companies, launched Fitness Snob as a fitness studio in 2017. She launched her apparel brand because she saw a gap in the market.

“Many brands excel in providing top-tier activewear but often overlook the finishing touches that truly elevate an outfit. That realization led me to launch my fitness apparel accessories line, starting with crew socks,” Turner said. Our (crew socks) embody the ethos of our brand—seamlessly blending fashion with function. We aim to cater to the fashion-forward fitness enthusiasts who refuse to compromise on style.”

Even with a strong marketing background and an established local brand, incorporating an apparel business took time, as did building a customer base outside her fitness studio’s immediate community.

Turner said the first online sale to a non-friend or family member was a “delightful shock” and the culmination of hours of dedication and passion.

“I remember vividly seeing the purchase notification pop up… the excitement was palpable as I realized that someone out there had discovered our brand and saw enough value to make a purchase,” Turner said. “I may not have a dramatic story about landing that first client, but the sheer joy of seeing our hard work translate into tangible support from a stranger was incredibly validating.”

As for learned experience and entrepreneurial advice, Turner said building a strong social media following and a mailing list is key to success. An established connection to an audience makes for a much more impactful product launch and gives potential customers a reason to engage with the brand.

Turner said she neglected to expand Fitness Snob’s reach beyond Washington, D.C. This slowed the brand’s growth online and meant more work to build and sustain it after it launched.

Building an audience and establishing a brand is essential, Turner said, but without having a stated purpose it can be easy to lose sight of why you’ve started down the path.

“Define your purpose. It not only guides your decision-making but also infuses your work with meaning and fulfillment. Understanding why you’re in business beyond just making a profit can be a powerful motivator during both the highs and lows of entrepreneurship,” Turner said. “I’ve found that having a strong sense of purpose has not only driven our brand’s mission but also resonated deeply with our audience.”

Fitness Snob Athletic Apparel Line

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Another piece of pre-launch advice: do your research.

Turner said understanding the needs, preferences, and pain points of her target market helped her optimize her products and tailor them to effectively meet market demands. It also helped shape her brand messaging and market strategies.

The other essential for any founder – a strong network of friends and supports to call on. No business succeeds in a vacuum, and no one can do everything themselves, so it’s vital that a founder surround themselves with people who can help, even if they’re not officially part of the company.

Turner said Fitness Snob doesn’t have a formal board, but she does have “trusted advisors” with whom she can bounce ideas off or solicit feedback.

The company’s products are available on the Fitness Snob website, but Turner also opted to sell them on Amazon and TikTok Shop. Each platform comes with its pros and cons. Her website allows for greater control over the branding and customer experience, but Amazon and TikTok offer visibility and access to a built-in customer base, though they both come with fees and sizable competition from other founders.

That’s why, even with her marketing experience, Turner still makes it a point to learn anything she can from any resource.

“One of my go-to tools is the YouVersion app, where I search for daily devotionals focused on entrepreneurship. It not only helps set a positive tone for my day but also provides a source of resilience during the inevitable ups and downs,” Turner said. “I also find podcasts to be a treasure trove of inspiration and practical insights. One of my favorites is How I Built This, which features captivating stories of successful entrepreneurs and their journeys.”

Turner said studying the stories of other founders bolsters her confidence in her journey and reminds her that success doesn’t happen overnight.

Expanding her locally recognized brand to a national audience presented a range of challenges, especially the first impression of the name Fitness Snob. Turner’s clearly stated purpose, passion for her work, and a strong network of supporters and friends have given her the drive and confidence to meet the challenge.

Taking the leap into becoming an entrepreneur takes lots of work, and there will be stumbles along the way, but as Fitness Snob’s story shows, no challenge is insurmountable with the right tools and network behind you. If you’re facing a challenge in your entrepreneurial journey, remember that every obstacle is an opportunity to learn and grow. Let us know in the comments what obstacles are keeping you from starting your own business and how you plan to overcome them.

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The Power of Purpose in Entrepreneurship: Fitness Snob

The Power of Purpose in Entrepreneurship: Fitness Snob

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