We had the good fortune of connecting with Danielle Spangler and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Danielle, what do you attribute your success to?
When I think about how my business has grown and changed since I began my journey over 25 years ago, I believe a few factors have helped me with the success of my brand. First, I have a niche clientele as some one who specializes in prenatal and postpartum fitness and sometimes a niche can be limiting and other times it can be extremely helpful to your business as you are honing in on a specific client base that may not have a lot of resources which is very true in prenatal and postpartum fitness. I have spent years catering to this population which has also helped my brand succeed. Another factor I believe has helped with the success of my brand is the hard work and “never giving up” attitude. Your mindset is everything when you have your own business. As my business has grown over the years, I knew I needed to bring on more employees, I have found an amazing team who is hard working and also supports the business model. Having the right people on your team is so vital. I will say though my most important factor behind my success is my passion to help empower women, especially new mothers and pregnant women. As a mother myself, I recognize that the job of motherhood in itself is the hardest job in the world and sadly women do not always get the support they need. Teaching women about their bodies and giving them the physical tools to help them navigate a healthy pregnancy, easier childbirth and faster recovery is so very important to mothers. This has been my lifelong career in helping women physically, emotionally and with a supportive community of other women around them.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
When I was in college in the mid 1990’s studying Exercise Physiology, and beginning to teach group exercise classes, I never imagined I would still feel so much excitement and gratitude for the same job I was just beginning. I feel very lucky to have a job that I love for almost 30 years and an opportunity to transform lives. I am also so lucky that I have an amazing team of instructors and trainers I work with. We primarily serve women and specialize in women’s health, although, we have some wonderful male clients. I enjoy working with women, especially pregnant women and new mothers. As a mother myself, I recognize this group as an underserved market in the fitness industry. I also understand the struggles women encounter during this time and recognize they need extra support and guidance for safe and effective exercise programming. Even though we work with women from all stages in life, this group has a special place in my heart, Going back to the days in graduate school, I became interested in what kinds of exercises were best for pregnant women and new mothers and I was surprised there was little to no information about exercise and pregnancy and nothing about how to exercise after having a baby. Over the years I created a program which is now called “Core Mom” and is also my LLC established in 2017. “Core Mom” stands for “Corrective Obstetrical Related Exercise”. I am so proud of the way this program has evolved in the almost 20 years I have been teaching it.Of course there have been obstacles this year with COVID-19 but we brought back in person (outside, socially distanced with masks on) Core Mom classes in July and they are going great! I feel for pregnant women and new moms especially right now with being stuck at home and having a lack of community and support they would get from mommy and me groups. This is one reason I created Core Mom, to give women a chance to connect with other women who are in the same phase of life so they might find friendships and support with one another. My goal for Core Mom was always to expand the program and offer it in multiple facilities as well as virtually. This is still my intention and we are hoping this may eventually happen when the time is right. It has definitely been a bit of an obstacle trying to grow and expand Core Mom while running a brick and mortar studio, teaching and training clients every day and working as a prenatal and postpartum fitness educator. I am sure many small business owners feel the same way with not enough hours in the day. After teaching my prenatal and postpartum fitness program for many years at multiple facilities, from Beach Cities Health District to Bionic Body to Yoga Works, I was fortunate to start my own pilates studio in Redondo Beach called “Beach Life Fitness Boutique”. This was an exciting new adventure for me that began in February of 2019 as I now had pilates reformer classes as well as the Core Mom program under one roof! I love the fitness community we have created that is not limited to pregnant women and new mothers but they are a big part of the studio. My team and I have a unique approach to fitness which is more functional and corrective based. It means the workouts are always different and focus on exercises that make you strong for every day life, improve posture and reduce injuries. Again, we have had challenges this year with COVID-19 but we are so grateful to have a wonderful outdoor space in which to have classes and our clients seem to appreciate the smaller class sizes and socially distanced reformers. We also have unique classes like a restorative women’s class that focuses on pelvic floor and core strength. Recently we have expanded our space and will be bringing so many new classes to the schedule like meditation, sound bath, cardio dance, barre fusion, trampoline classes, power yoga, retro aerobics, step and more! In addition to owning a pilates studio and operating a program for pregnant women and new mothers I have been a mentor to my peers in the fitness industry. I have written several continuing education courses on the topic of prenatal and postpartum fitness for both medical and fitness professionals for organizations like the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Fitness Learning Systems and the Medical Fitness Network. I am very proud to serve on the Medical Fitness Education Advisory Board and I get to present on this topic at Medical Fitness Conferences several times a year. Mentoring other fitness professionals gives me so much pleasure because I recognize how helpful it is to have someone who has been in the industry to help direct and guide you on their journey. My biggest obstacle hands down has been dealing with Covid-19 and trying to adjust to having outdoor classes and getting clients to return. Otherwise I have typical obstacles like most mothers trying to work and be a good mom and find that perfect work/life balance. My journey in my career has been really fun, even after all of these years. I get to be around many wonderful people. It is a happy career too and it brings joy to myself, my team and to our clients. I would love the world to know my passion for helping people, especially women, feel their best inside and out. I want my brands to reflect inclusion, love and respect. My team and I truly care and are passionate about helping people change their lives for the better. Of course, I would never say that growing in your career or being a business owner is easy. There are definitely challenges and challenging times, but if you love what you do, you continue to overcome, do better and that is my motto!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Ohhh I love this question. First, I am a transplant to Southern California. I have lived here for over 22 years. I LOVE it here! Taking people around Los Angeles and the South Bay still gets me excited because there is so much to do and see. When a good friend comes to visit, I do a Los Angeles tour day, we go to Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Griffith Observatory etc. I love the amazing vegan restaurants in West Hollywood. My favorite and full disclosure is I am part owner to the US’s first Vegan Italian wine bar called “Pura Vita”. We have been open since September of 2018, and I take EVERYONE there! I also of course love staying local, going to the beach, stand up paddle boarding, riding bikes and more. Oh and I am excited because we are opening up Pura Vita Redondo Beach next month. I also always take guests up to Palos Verdes to see Pointe Vicente or maybe even go to Terranea and eat something. I love the views from up there. I feel so fortunate to live in such a beautiful place!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many people who have supported me and believed in me, especially my family. I truly could not have had my own business if it was not for the support and encouragement of my husband, Jay Spangler. I also have an incredible team I am lucky to work with at my studio. I have a special instructor who has worked with me in Core Mom and helped me market and teach the classes, I recently promoted her to “Director of Core Mom”, Alyssa Crawford. Throughout the closure due to COVID my instructors rallied and helped keep the business alive, Allison Heillman, Kelsi Knudson, Manuela Schrani and Michelle Gierst are amazing instructors and I am so fortunate to have them at Beach Life Fitness Boutique.
Keith Hedgecock Jeff Berting