We had the good fortune of connecting with Evina & Wil Del Pizzo and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Evina & Wil, how do you think about risk?
Everything in life has some sort of risk. It really comes down to how severe the consequences could be from that risk. Los Angeles is certainly a competitive market for all types of businesses. There are not only competitors, but also city and state regulations that must be adhered to, which can be a challenge in itself. When starting a business, one has to be all in. There should be no plan B. That doesn’t mean that one should ignore reality (numbers are numbers) but one has to be willing to lose it all.

Risk is just a reality. There are ways to try and minimize risk, but when it comes to starting and maintaining a business, it is almost impossible to account for all factors. When making a decision, try to get any and all information possible. This can be from mentors, to market research, or even a “what if” category. This helps establish a make shift pro and cons list that helps bring things into a greater view and perspective. Once again, everything is a risk, it just depends on how the perceived consequences might be.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Built Strong Strength Club opened their doors in 2019. We believe that everyone can benefit from strength and conditioning but it can be a challenge for people who have never been to a gym. Corporate and big box gyms can be intimidating to people who are new to fitness training. We love working with those types of people. We teach movements from the ground up and create a positive, but most importantly, friendly atmosphere. We do not care who you are or where you come from. If you want to lift and learn, we want you.

When we opened, we had a lot of ideas of what we wanted to do and be. Those have changed over the last three years. Basically, we went with and idea on what we wanted and the removed and replaced things that were not working. This could be from rearranging the class schedule, to hours, to advertising techniques. Nothing was set in stone the first year. We trimmed the fat where needed.

COVID really brought life to a halt. We celebrated our year anniversary and then had to close down. To say it was a challenge would be an underestimate. We loaned out equipment, pivoted to online workouts, and moved everything outside when the city allowed us too. What it really did was give us time to reflect on the business and make some changes. During the closure, we changed our name to what it is currently, because we thought that it embodied who we really were. We now had time to take a honest look at the business and what we were doing and how we were presenting ourselves and make changes. We got a business coach, James Patrick, who helped us take an honest look into our business and set policies and procedures that we follow and helps gives us guidance for not only ourselves, but also our future employees.

This allowed us to hit the ground running for when we were eventually allowed to reopen our doors. New name, new feel and an overall better experience. It allowed us to hire employees to run the business while we work on the business.

We have had to overcome tremendous hurdles in the first couple years of being open. We lost a child and had to close our doors. These were challenges to say the least and it goes without saying, not part of the plan. It brought us closer together but more importantly, let us look at our lives and talk about what we wanted, and make a plan on how were are going to get there. How we practice our business is how we practice our home life, through considerations and thoughtfulness, leaning in to hard conversations, and trust.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Although we used to love going all over LA to hang and dine, we have found everything we wanted in Chatsworth (thanks to Covid). There are some great places to eat in Chatsworth that also support the local community. We love All links of foods, so here goes. Amazing Siam for Thai Food, Indian Woodlands for Vegan Indian, Vestation Vegan Fusion (Evina’s Favorite), My Hero Sub’s, and Uncle Earnie’s Pizza (Wil’s Favorite). Honorable mention Les Sisters… if you haven’t had their buttermilk pie you are SURELY missing out.

As for places to hang, Wil and Evina like to go out side and enjoy the hills in their back yard for a nice hike. Right past Chatsworth Park South is the beginning of some nice and easy hiking trails that have an overview of the city. It’s quite, peaceful, and on a clear day, you can see everything.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
In the beginning of their journey, Andrew Choi who was a gym owner in Granada Hills, was a huge support during the conception of Evina and Wil branching out as trainers on their own. During their process of creating logistics and the space to do so, The Del Pizzo family reached out to another husband and wife team from Suda Fit, Elizabeth and Sammy Santos. Santos family invited the Del Pizzo’s to their operations in Downey and gave them a tour of the operations and logistics of how their business was ran.

In the beginning of the operations, Wil and Evina turned to Dr. Norris Dorsey for support and guidance about any thing that had to do with potential city and state regulations. This was of great help to us and gave us insight on how to move forward.

Finally, at the concerned mercy of COVID, James Patrick was brought on to help with providing insight on how to pivot online during a challenging time and still was able to make a living when our business was no longer considered essential and we had to shut down.

But we also, can’t give enough credit to our family, friends, team, clients, and members for having faith with us as we went up and down the journey of having our facility.

Website: https://www.builtstrongstrength.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/builtstrongstrength/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BuiltStrongStrength/

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/built-strong-strength-club-chatsworth-3

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnLROF8QL2atu7EqhlmmRpw

Other: Evina IG: @evinadelpizzo Wil IG: @wildelpizzo

Image Credits
Headshots of Wil and Evina Del Pizzo: Estephania Sanchez – https://estephaniasanchez.com/ Photo of Arlet Meal Prep Company and Staff in front of logo: Michael Healey – https://michaelhealeyphotography.zenfolio.com/ Photo of Location: Michael Healey – https://michaelhealeyphotography.zenfolio.com/ Class Shots: Estephania Sanchez – https://estephaniasanchez.com/

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