We had the good fortune of connecting with Portia Boston and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Portia, how does your business help the community?
I started a DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) education business, where I help people engage, learn and develop a relationship with antiracism. My mission is to ultimately make a the world a little less prejudice and a little more empathetic through antiracist education.
What should our readers know about your business?
I currently run and operate two businesses: the first, an online personal training business, and the second, a DEI (diversity, equity + inclusion) consultancy and education business.
My personal training business was founded two years ago and started with in-person sessions. Business started slow, I got my certification but it took me a few months to find my first clients. I would mention my services to anyone who would listen, emailing family members and friends. I would ask local businesses in my neighborhood if I could leave my business cards. I also applied to some larger personal training gyms. But things really started picking up when I began posting mini-workouts on my instagram page. I found two clients that way and they ended up referring many more, and the rest was history.
When COVID hit, I had to convince all of my in-person clients to train over Zoom. I told them what props to get and assured them I’d walk them through the rest of it. Many were reluctant at first, but I eventually I was able to convert about 80% of my roster and I’ve been training online with them for the last 10 months.
My DEI business was founded in August of 2020. I had always been interested in issues of race, culture and inclusivity, particularly when it came to the fitness + wellness industry. And knew it was something I wanted to explore more deeply at some point down the line. I had a passion for advocacy and activism and a passion for a teaching, I knew at some point I had to use my passions and my gifts help the world but I didn’t know how or when. Then 2020 happened. The cumulative killings of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd were a very clear sign form the universe that I needed to step up and step up bravely. I started leading diversity and inclusion trainings for fitness businesses, and then eventually for individuals. Some I did for free. Once again, social media has proven to be a big driver in my business visibility and therefore my sales. I provide free content and mini-trainings multiple times a week to help guide people toward my paid products. It hasn’t been easy. Imposter syndrome is something I confront constantly, But I continue to talk myself through what is possible, and what is actually likely. The worst case scenario/my greatest fears are typically possible, but not likely.
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.
Let’s say this excursion is happening post-pandemic NYC (where I’m based):
– Morning: a workout class– I love Verayoga, 305 Fitness, Fhitting Room, New York Pilates
– Then Brunch: depends on where we are in the city, but I like Sunday in Brooklyn in BK, And Penelope in Manhattan
– A walk: I love wandering around the West Village, with a stop in Washington Square Park- to listen to jazz or piano or whatever is going there (you really never know!)
– Then an early dinner: at ABC Kitchen
– Evening show: An off-broadway show at The Public or Barrow Street Theater
– A night cap: at Art Bar
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many people (and so many books) I could recognize here, but I will choose my boss and my mentor Corinne Wainer- the owner of SHAKTIBARRE. She gave me an opportunity to teach fitness in 2018 when I had almost no experience. Obviously, she took a huge risk. But she gave a me an opportunity that would ultimately change my life and propel me to many other opportunities that have contributed to my success today.
Jackie Abbot and Chrissy Connors