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#MyFranchiseStory: The tales behind F45 Training’s determined female entrepreneurs

#MyFranchiseStory: The tales behind F45 Training’s determined female entrepreneurs

The fitness franchise’s studios encourage an environment where everyone feels welcome

Yemi Penn, F45 Brixton
Gaining a degree in mechanical engineering from Brunel University, Yemi, who was 24 years old at the time, was no stranger to hard work and it did not come easy for the budding entrepreneur.

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Just months into an engineering graduate scheme, Yemi fell pregnant.  After telling her parents, she was asked to leave her family home, forced to spend nights on the streets of London, sheltering in run-down hostels, while continuing to work to complete her graduate scheme.

Four weeks before she gave birth to her daughter, Yemi finally found somewhere to live. However, she was not content with merely surviving, she wanted to thrive. Having met a man in the US Air Force, Yemi moved to Japan and became a US military wife, where her entrepreneurial spirit truly kicked in. She taught herself to cut hair and started selling hair products to other wives, making a profit where she could.

Yemi had always been a fitness fanatic and had worked hard to develop a strong, positive relationship with her body during her years at university.

While in Australia, she came across F45 Training and decided to give it a try. She loved that the franchise offered so much more than conventional gyms, as it combined high-intensity interval training workouts and a supportive team infrastructure with workouts that were accessible to people of all fitness abilities.

Hooked on F45 from the start, Yemi couldn’t fathom leaving F45 behind when she moved back to London, so she brought it with her!

Setting up her own franchise in Brixton, Yemi is living a modern-day story of a woman fighting the male-dominated world of gym owners and aspires to make her F45 studio accessible to everyone from all walks of life.

Hanri and Rene, F45 Holloway
Having been friends since university and living together in South Africa, Hanri and Rene had always been on the same wavelength, both striving for a similar goal – to live somewhere they felt safe and free.

In 2009, Rene moved to the UK and Hanri followed shortly after, where they quickly realised that it boasted exciting opportunities – this was something they could only dream of back in South Africa.

Despite careers in accounting, Hanri and Rene were constantly looking for something else to help them feel fulfilled, which is how they found F45 Holloway.

Their original idea was to have it as a side investment, but after attending the F45 induction in Los Angeles they realised this was not possible.

Subsequently, Hanri, who was at the time incredibly unhappy in her job, gave up her career to give everything she could to F45 Holloway. F45 was the perfect fit for the fitness enthusiasts who had long been training together for various races and half marathons.

They first tried the concept at one of the nearby London studios, and from then on they were hooked. Combining their passion for fitness with a sensible investment, opening their own studio was a no brainer.

They both had their separate roles which made it a perfect partnership – Rene was the financial gatekeeper, whilst Hanri was in charge of the day-to-day running of the studio.

Despite little experience in the fitness industry, Hanri and Rene were committed to making their studio a place where everyone feels welcome – and with their positive, friendly attitudes, success has quickly followed.

Image: Yemi Penn, F45 Brixton (L) and Hanri and Rene, F45 Holloway (R)

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