Rolodex: Denver Entrepreneurs to Know
Being #Badass with Torrey Newman
Jessica Fialkovich @jfialkovich
Colorado is a fitness mecca. We consistently rank in the top healthiest states in the United States, and since 2000 we have had the lowest obesity rate in the nation according to the State of Obesity surveys. It is no wonder so many fitness businesses are born--and thrive--in the mile high city.
This month, we catch up with President, Founder, and “Chief Badass” of Fierce45, Torrey Newman. Torrey has brought the latest fitness revolution--Lagree Pilates--to Denver. Lagree movements are slow and controlled on a Megaformer machine, providing one of the most intense workouts I have ever experienced! I talked with Torrey to learn a bit more about her biz, her drive, and what makes her such a badass broad.
How did you decide to start your business?
I always knew I would own a business. I was always writing business plans, but the timing was never right. However, when I was in online video advertising sales I continued to build up my nest egg. I ended up quitting my job in March of 2014 and ended up facing death twice in the six months following that.
Ok, you have to tell me more about that.
On a trip to Alaska, I was skiing and lost my ski on a ramp. The slope was extremely steep, as I was reaching for my ski, I kept coaching myself…”you can do this.” No one was there to help, and it was up to me to save myself. Then, later that summer, I took a trip to Cabo with a hurricane approaching. We ended up stuck in the hotel during the storm in total survival mode. We stole all of the water and toilet paper from all of the empty rooms! After the storm, the hotel put us on a bus from Cabo to Tijuana, but we ended up following the storm. The bus had to pass through rivers and sometimes wait days on the side of the road for the storm to pass. Some of the other cars did not make it. When I returned from those trips I knew I was ready to open the business. I was not afraid of the what-ifs anymore.
In between the trip to Alaska and Cabo I was in Dallas and took a Lagree fitness class. I had some familiarity with Lagree, but that was it. It was the right time, I loved the method, and right after Dallas, I reached out to Sebastien Lagree.
What do you absolutely love about your business?
The best part is witnessing the physical and mental transformations of our clients. We recently featured one of our members, Matthias, that lost 28 pounds since January not doing anything else. Others have reached out to me and said they completely overcame postpartum depression. Running a business where you better people's lives is truly amazing.
What has been the biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
When you recognize an employee is not a fit for the organization, and the person or position needs to change is always a challenge. In the long run, it is best for the business, but at that moment it is very hard. We hire and fire based on our five core values, and that has helped me in that process.
What’s next for Fierce45?
Fierce is going to continue to grow in Denver, and maybe even outside of the state. We are going to continue leading and developing staff and coaches and strive for the highest level of teacher training, to keep the standard that we have already created.
You have a business, your husband has a business, and you have children. How do you balance it all?
(Laughs.) Barely. I am a fan of messy hair and leggings. I meditate. Honestly, I am re-energized from the business, it feels like a natural extension of myself. It is true--it never feels like work when you love what you do.
If you could give advice to a fellow or budding female entrepreneur, what would it be?
Be authentic, stick to your personal values, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
How can the Broads of Denver help or serve you?
Take a class! We have so much fun in our small group classes which results in friendship and family. Spread the Fierce love!
Fierce45 has three locations in Denver: Lohi, Hilltop, and West Wash Park. The first class is free and they provide childcare (additional cost) during classes.