We had the good fortune of connecting with Kirsten Potenza and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kirsten, how do you think about risk?
I think by nature being an entrepreneur is about going all in.
I started POUND when I was 24, in an industry that was-at the time-predominantly male and centered around body image and weight loss. We were trying to break the mold and whether that was eliminating body-centric language from how we spoke or building an instructor training model instead of owned studios, it all felt risky. But those experiences and I guess who I was, really helped shaped the ethos of our brand.
We call ourselves Fitness Rebels and believe in challenging the status quo when it doesn’t feel true to you. So, in a way, our brand is all about taking risks. We’re constantly reminding our community that sometimes the most rebellious thing you can do, is be yourself.
In business I have found that to be especially true. Understanding who you are (your core values) and aligning yourself over and over again, consistently, is really hard, but how we’ve been able to grow successfully and authentically for over 10 years.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
By definition, we are a ‘fitness’ company; we provide a kick-ass, incredibly FUN and cathartic workout experience. But I think what really sets us apart-and what we’ve continued to put focus into-are the other, equally important benefits of what we do: mental health, community/human connection & self-love.
There are a million and one ways to move your body (which is awesome!) but we also wanted to create an environment where people could feel safe to express themselves, BE themselves and find genuine support from each other.
We consistently reinforce these values and ingrain them in our instructor trainings. And we center much of what we do around our global community. It’s like, come for the badass music & workout, stay for the family.
Most of the transformation stories we receive aren’t your typical weight loss journeys. In fact we make an effort NOT to talk about weigh loss or body image because it’s what has directly contributed to the industry feeling inaccessible to a lot of people. Most of the stories we hear from our community are about finding the strength to overcome something, push through, let go, come out. It’s a deeper level of acceptance, support and motivation. This is by far what I’m most proud of and what I would want someone to take away from the POUND experience.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Places to Go: Places to Eat: Bestia, Son of a Gun, Home State Tacos, Guisados, Kismet, Gjusta, Grand Central Market
Places to Visit: The Last Bookstore, Griffith Park
Day Trip: Downtown
– Stop at Grand Central Market for Egg Slut
– Angels Flight
– The Last Bookstore
– Guisados for Lunch
– The Broad
– Early Drinks / Dinner at Otium or Bestia
Day Trip: Silverlake
– Morning at the Farmers Market
– Breakfast at Tartine
– Hike at Griffith Park
– Silverlake Flea Market
– Dinner at Pine + Crane
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would love to shoutout my VP of Marketing, Alexis Love. She has been with POUND for over 7 years and has always been a guiding light when it comes to the business. She is kind, creative, lacks judgment, and just always does the right thing. She’s the kind of person anyone would be lucky to work with. And to top it all off, she’s a great friend too!
Instagram: @kirstenpotenza, @poundfit