HomeRule BreakersKim Turner: Founder and CEO of Fitness Snob, Advocate for Personalized Fitness...

Kim Turner: Founder and CEO of Fitness Snob, Advocate for Personalized Fitness and Lifestyle Choices

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As part of the Morning Lazziness series about empowering women who encourage and do incredible things with their ideas in society, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kim Turner.

Kim Turner is the founder and CEO of the women’s crew sock brand Fitness Snob. Kim created Fitness Snob not to judge others, but to cultivate a fitness lifestyle that’s unapologetically about YOU and what’s best for you – from what workouts you do, who you do them with, and what you wear while you’re doing them! Prior to Fitness Snob, Kim was the owner of Fitness Snob Studio, a one-of-its-kind “WeWork” of fitness for independent instructors to run their own businesses and ran her own website Fashion Cents, to help give the world inexpensive options to achieve greater fashion sense. Before launching Fashion Cents, Kim owned FLAUNT Women’s Apparel & Image Consulting Boutique in Chicago’s South Loop.

Here’s what we found out about Kim‘s daily routine, followed by an exclusive Q+A.

Can you share the story behind your journey as an entrepreneur? What inspired you to start your own business?

My background spans brand management in Fortune 500 companies and numerous entrepreneurial ventures. From launching a fashion and image consulting boutique in Chicago to opening a fitness studio in Washington, DC, I’ve always been captivated by both fashion and fitness.

Before diving into my current venture, I was consistently engaged in the fashion and fitness industries. I noticed a significant gap in the market for fitness apparel accessories. While many brands offer excellent activewear, they often neglect the final touches that complete an outfit. This insight inspired me to start my own fitness apparel accessories line, beginning with crew socks.

Our first product, Fitness Snob crew socks, perfectly embodies our brand’s ethos – seamlessly blending functionality with fashion. In a market full of generic white crew socks, we cater to fashion-forward fitness enthusiasts who refuse to compromise on style. Our crew socks are more than just essentials; they’re statement pieces, meticulously crafted to provide both support and style.

What sets us apart is our diverse range of crews designed to reflect the dynamic personalities of our clientele, empowering them to express themselves both in and out of the gym.

I take great pride in merging my passions for fashion and fitness to create a brand that resonates with those who refuse to settle for the ordinary. For potential clients, followers, and fans, I want them to know that our brand is not just about apparel; it’s a mission. We’re here to promote unapologetic fitness preferences and affirm that whatever choices we make for ourselves are valid.

Our brand goes beyond clothing; it’s a celebration of individuality, self-expression, and inclusion. We’re dedicated to empowering our community to embrace their unique journeys and welcome others who defy typical expectations in fitness spaces. Join us as we champion diversity, authenticity, and the freedom to express oneself boldly, both in and out of the gym.

What challenges have you faced as a woman in the business world, and how have you overcome them? 

As a woman in the business world, I’ve faced my fair share of challenges, from navigating male-dominated spaces to overcoming stereotypes and biases. However, I’ve learned to tackle these obstacles head-on by staying true to myself, cultivating confidence in my abilities, and leveraging my unique perspective as a strength rather than a limitation. Surrounding myself with a supportive network of fellow female entrepreneurs and mentors has also been instrumental in overcoming these challenges.

How do you balance your professional and personal life as an entrepreneur? 

Balancing professional and personal life as an entrepreneur can be a juggling act, but I’ve found that setting boundaries, prioritizing self-care, and delegating tasks whenever possible is essential for maintaining harmony. By establishing a clear schedule, incorporating time for both work and relaxation, and learning to say no when necessary, I’ve been able to strike a healthy balance between my professional ambitions and personal well-being.

What strategies have you found most effective for networking and building connections in your industry? 

Networking and building connections in the industry require authenticity, persistence, and a genuine interest in others. I’ve found that attending industry events, joining professional organizations, and actively engaging on social media platforms have been effective strategies for expanding my network. Additionally, nurturing existing relationships, offering support to others in my field, and seeking out opportunities for collaboration have been invaluable in building meaningful connections over time.

How do you approach mentorship and seeking guidance in your entrepreneurial journey?

Mentorship plays a crucial role in my entrepreneurial journey, and I actively seek guidance from experienced professionals who can offer valuable insights and advice. I approach mentorship with humility, openness, and a willingness to learn, recognizing that I have much to gain from the wisdom and expertise of others. Building authentic relationships with mentors, expressing gratitude for their guidance, and actively applying their feedback and recommendations have been key strategies in maximizing the benefits of mentorship in my entrepreneurial endeavors.

Can you talk about a specific setback or failure you’ve experienced in your business, and how you bounced back from it?

Our fitness studio in Washington, DC, known as Fitness Snob, 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 judgemental by those unfamiliar with our ethos.

This unexpected challenge requires an unexpected dedicated effort to educate our audience. While the name ‘Fitness Snob’ embodies our commitment to unapologetic fitness preferences, it can understandably polarize those who misunderstand its intent. 

We are embarking on an intensive awareness campaign, delving into the backstory of our brand and its underlying philosophy. We engage our community through various channels, from social media to targeted events, elucidating the meaning behind the name and its alignment with our values of inclusivity and empowerment.

It is a journey marked by adaptability and an opportunity for deeper connection with our audience and a reaffirmation of our mission. Through perseverance and a commitment to authenticity, we will successfully navigate this challenge.

In what ways do you prioritize diversity and inclusion within your company or startup? 

At Fitness Snob, diversity and inclusion are at the core of everything we do. We believe that being a Fitness Snob is about being unapologetic about our fitness preferences while also prioritizing inclusivity and empowerment for all. We strive to create a welcoming and supportive environment where everyone, regardless of age, ethnicity, body type, or background, feels valued and included. By promoting diversity in our products and our messaging, we aim to inspire women to prioritize their health and well-being and to embrace their unique fitness journeys. Together, we’re breaking down barriers and creating a more inclusive fitness community where everyone feels empowered to pursue their fitness goals without hesitation.

How do you stay motivated and resilient during tough times in your business? 

Just like building strong muscles is crucial for fitness, developing resiliency muscles is essential for entrepreneurs. When faced with challenges and setbacks, it’s our resilience that enables us to bounce back, learn from failures, and keep pushing forward toward our goals. Knowing that our work is making an impact and positively influencing others is a powerful source of motivation. And when obstacles inevitably arise, it’s our resiliency muscles that allow us to rise to the occasion.

What advice would you give to other aspiring women entrepreneurs who are just starting out?

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. Reflecting on my own journey, I’ve found that having a strong sense of purpose has not only driven our brand’s mission but has also resonated deeply with our audience.

Can you share a memorable success or milestone that you’ve achieved in your entrepreneurial career? 

One of the most memorable milestones in my entrepreneurial journey was securing my first wholesale client just six months into launching Fitness Snob. It was an incredibly exciting moment and marks a significant step forward in our growth and success. This achievement not only validates the quality and appeal of our products but also opens up new opportunities for expansion and partnership. It was a proud moment and a clear indication that Fitness Snob is on the right path toward building a successful and impactful brand in the fitness industry.

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