We had the good fortune of connecting with Lucy Islikaplan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lucy, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I got my MBA back in 2013 knowing that someday I’d like to have my own business but was in no hurry since I was working for a high end luxury brand in Beverly Hills and loved what I did! It wasn’t until I got into a car accident, while pregnant with my firstborn in 2017, that I realized that having a retail job, with a newborn and while recovering from my injuries, was no longer as luxurious as it once had been. I have always been into fitness and I wanted to start a business that was geared towards moms and their kids and when the pandemic hit, goals of starting a kid’s indoor playground were out the door; that was until the local FIT4MOM franchise, that I was a member and an Instructor for, went up for sale. The second the owner reached out and asked if I would be interested in buying the franchise form her, I know that I had to! I have been into fitness since I was little, had experience as a personal trainer, a group fitness instructor and was now an experienced mother of two! I know that I had to keep this business and its community going despite the pandemic and all the setbacks! I am positive that I can eventually grow this business back up and have a thriving community for local moms.
What should our readers know about your business?
I am the proud owner of FIT4MOM West San Fernando Valley franchise. What sets FIT4MOM apart from others in the fitness industry is that FIT4MOM is the nation’s leading company for pre and postnatal health, wellness, and fitness programs for every stage of motherhood. My franchise offers pre and postnatal classes and it is a great way for pregnant moms to meet and workout with other pregnant moms in the neighborhood and continue their journey of motherhood through our postnatal Stroller based classes and transition into our mom only HIIT workout classes.
I was fortunate enough to purchase a franchise that had been around for almost 3 years however, purchasing any business in the midst of a pandemic is a huge risk and I went in fully aware of that. I had a challenging first few months and I know that there are still more challenges ahead but I am certain that I can keep this community growing and establish myself as a successful business owner by providing the best customer service or in my case, support for moms in all stage of motherhood.
I have so much love and passion for FIT4MOM, what it represents and what it has done for moms everywhere, myself included! It has been easy to overlook a lot of the setbacks, mainly financially, when I have a mom or two a week letting me know how much FIT4MOM has helped them. FIT4MOM is more than a fitness program, to me, the fitness aspect is just a bonus! It helped me deal with postpartum depression, get stronger (physically and mentally) and helped me be the best mom I can be to my kids, all because of this amazing community of moms who “get you”, understand your struggles and are there to talk and give their support .
Did I mansion every workout ends with a play date? While we set up actual craft or story time play date once a week, most moms stay after the workouts and we let the kids play together, giving the kids opportunity to interact with other kids their age while the moms chat and unwind.
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?
If a friend was vising for a week, we’d have to make plans to go to a local winery, more specifically a day at Malibu Wine Safari! We can grab some coffee and a bite from a local coffee shop, perhaps Alfred’s and head out to Malibu. A stop at in-n-out for lunch one day, California Chicken Café another, morning trip to the beach with early dinner and Happy Hour at Joy’s Woodland Hills, inside The Village, their drinks are delicious!
Now that things are opening up, we love visiting The Village, especially since we host workout classes there twice a week, we visit the LA Zoo on the regular, Discovery Cube in LA, Zuma Beach. LA is also filled with seasonal exhibits and a trip to a museum or two would also have to be a must!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Big shoutout and a think you to Patrice DeYoung! She was the one who started the FIT4MOM West San Fernando Valley franchise after being an instructor for another local franchise for many years. She is a teacher, a mom of two sweet boys and had brought together a community with some of the strongest and most supportive group of moms who I proudly call my friends now! I would also like to give a shoutout to all the FIT4MOM mamas! They are what keep FIT4MOM going, despite the hardships we faced as a world in 2020 and continue to face still.
all credits go to FIT4MOM West San Fernando Valley