We had the good fortune of connecting with Gabby Muzzarelli and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gabby, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
To me, the success of Formation, a digital fitness platform, is based on the success of my clients. If their lives have been improved by Formation, even if in just a small way, I consider that a success.
Maybe a client wants to build strength or recover from a past injury. Maybe they want to gain confidence, find community or just let off steam after a particularly challenging day at work. If someone feels better after they walk out of a Formation class than they did before they got there, I have been successful.
These factors have nothing to do with profits, but are most important to me when defining my success and the real success of my business. I think some business owners can focus too much on the bottom line: the money. But by doing so, they completely miss out on what to me is the most fulfilling part of the job: making a real tangible difference in people’s lives. For example, I had a client with MS report back to me that her doctors have noticed a huge improvement in her strength since taking class consistently and are encouraging her to “keep doing what she’s doing” because it’s working. I’ve had new moms thank me for preparing them for the stresses of new motherhood and postpartum recovery. I’ve had clients open up about how regular exercise had improved their mental health. Of course, the bottom line is important – you can’t sustain your business or yourself without a profitable business model. But the things that fuel my passion and these are the things that define my success aren’t the dollar signs, it’s the people.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
This question is probably my favorite topic to talk about with people that ask me about entrepreneurship because I think my story proves that anyone can be an entrepreneur which is incredibly exciting. I did not go to business school or ever have any formal education in marketing, website and graphic design or accounting. I never really even considered the possibility of owning my own business. As I mentioned before, Formation was built almost overnight and once I made the decision to go for it I’ve been learning on the fly ever since.
I think a lot of people don’t give themselves enough credit and often think that because they didn’t study business or another field relating to business, they have no business in entrepreneurship. I think that if you have a passion for something the rest will follow. It will absolutely be challenging but if you’re doing it for the right reasons it is incredibly rewarding and exciting.
My goal has always been to serve my community and that desire has pushed me to develop the skills I need to be a business owner. I’m still learning something new everyday. I always tell people, ‘if I can do it, you can do it!’ That spirit of never giving up or underestimating yourself is one of the major cornerstones of my brand. I want my clients to feel like no matter where they are in their fitness journeys that they are proud of themselves for showing up and putting in the work. It’s not easy – in life, in business or even in a workout class – but the reward of knowing that you can do anything you set your mind to is the most empowering feeling in the world.
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.
You can’t visit New York and not have a bagel, so I’d definitely recommend starting the morning at Shelsky’s Brooklyn Bagels with a Bacon, Egg and Cheese on an Everything bagel. Next I’d grab a coffee to-go from Room 205 and head to Prospect Park for a morning stroll. We’d follow a meandering, tree lined trail towards the pond near The Boathouse and then circle back past the brownstones – making sure to stop at Colson Patisserie for some homemade French pastries. In the afternoon, I’d check out the tons of breweries in Brooklyn. One of my favorites is Strong Rope in Red Hook – it’s an amazing space right on the waterfront with awesome views and food trucks serving up delicious bites. Next, I’d stop at Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pie for a sweet treat – the chocolate dipped, frozen key lime pie is the move here – and then take a walk along the water and catch some incredible views of the Statue of Liberty. For dinner, I’d go to Lucali’s for arguably the best pizza in all of New York – be prepared to wait but it’s worth it! I’d also encourage my friend to browse the shops in SoHo and have dinner in the West Village (or a few because there are so many great restaurants to choose from). Finally, I’d say you can’t miss seeing a show – Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway – take your pick! You can’t go wrong!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I absolutely would not be where I am today without the support of my family and friends. Formation was started in the midst of the pandemic as a way to bring people together through movement. It went from just an idea to create a way for people to workout from their homes during a crisis to a full fledged digital fitness platform in a matter of days (and a few sleepless nights). Once the platform was live it was full speed ahead – my parents, my husband, Matt, and my best friend, Elizabeth, were particularly invaluable during this time. They were there to bounce ideas off of, troubleshoot technical issues, run digital marketing and support me when I needed it the most. I also owe a deep debt of gratitude to my clients. They have stuck with me and enthusiastically supported Formation since its inception. Their hard work and dedication is the reason why I get to do what I do – they are the heart and soul of Formation.