As most of you know, when I started Hot Mama, I had no intention of becoming a franchisor, of bringing a business to locations across the world and sharing my brain, my ideas and my passion with anyone. That sounds selfish, but the truth is that I never saw my own potential until I started doing what I was made to do in this world. Dramatic? Yes. But hey, I’m the OHM (Original Hot Mama), I’m allowed (where IS my crown?).
I started running Hot Mama classes because I had just left a job I didn’t love and started a different company (Compass Fitness) focused on corporate wellness. I thought because I had a Ph.D. that I should do something that sounded somewhat smart (silly labels). I didn’t live and breathe Compass Fitness and in fact, I wasn’t trained in corporate wellness so I couldn’t sell my product.I wasn’t confident. So, the company wasn’t succeeding. I decided to run a couple fitness classes because group exercise…well now…that energy just lights me up!
Hot Mama was created out of my desire to bring two hours of joy per week to my own life. I wanted to run Mama-friendly fitness classes because it made my heart happy, filled me with joy AND I could take my kiddos with me (then 14 months and 3 years old). It took a few months for people to start coming but even if I only had 1-2 people in class a week, I was doing what I loved. Eventually, it caught and BAM…Hot Mama became my world.
There was a moment during those first few months that changed everything. The Mamas showed up to class (by this time I had about 10 coming) and almost every one of them was crying. Their kids were screaming. It was a nightmare. It was in that moment I thought “I’m going to change these Mamas’ day. I’m going to show them the power of exercise”. So…I kicked their asses that day. At the end of class they were laughing and high-fiving. Their kids were happily playing and squealing. And, I looked around and thought “I’m supposed to do THIS. THIS is what I’m meant to bring to this world”.
I went home, connected with a boy I grew up with (now Destroy the Box creative), told him I needed a logo, a website and all the marketing material. When I do something…I go. Full force. I worked SO hard that first year and grew Hot Mama to over 12 classes/week. I also found a Registered Dietitian to help me design our 12-week nutrition program (Body Smarts).
Fast forward one year and you find me and my bestie at a Baby Fair where a Mary Kay consultant walked past us and said: “Are you guys a franchise?”. My world shifted once more. Why couldn’t we be? Shouldn’t this Hot Mama community of super cool, amazing, wonderful, non-judgemental, supportive Mamas be all over the world (maybe let’s just start with Canada). Surely other Mamas out there are looking for a place to go to not only get fit but to find the support and love new (and seasoned) Mamas need? So, I started researching. And….Hot Mama Health & Fitness Franchising Ltd. was created.
Now with 22 franchise locations across Canada (in two years, might I add!), we are a force to be reckoned with. I made A LOT of mistakes when I first started and I have learned a great deal over the past two years of franchising. But the most important thing I’ve learned is that when you have women behind you to lift you up, pull you forward and work beside you on your mission to empower healthy role models and build community through family fitness…no amount of self-doubt can hold you back.
My strength comes not only from the Hot Mama community (which now reaches between 10,000 – 15,000) but from our Franchise Owners. These are the women who believe in me. Believe in Hot Mama and all we’re doing enough to join me on my crazy ride. These women took the leap with me into business and are changing lives every day. Our Main Mamas (franchise owners) are remarkable. They are smart, driven, silly, quirky, a little nerdy and absolutely LIT UP by Hot Mama and the communities they are building.
That’s why we created the BOLD 25. We (and I say “we” now because I have a business partner yeah…life changes) wanted to honour the first 25 franchise owners who saw our potential, knew we were a start-up and took the risk in joining our family. These Mamas saw what we’re doing and thought “Cool. I’m in”. They work tirelessly to spread the word of family fitness and create communities filled with love and support and silliness and wine and burpees.
What does being in the BOLD 25 mean? To me, it means everything. I will honour and respect these women until the day I die (which hopefully isn’t too soon). These are the women who I work for day and night. I will rain gratitude down on them. And, when I can, I will take them places and shower them with the goodness and fun and treats they deserve.
We’re doing it, Mamas. We’re changing lives. With each location we open, I know we’re helping Mamas find their fire again. We’re providing a place for the support and love that motherhood needs. Oh…and they’ll find burpees. Oh yes, they will!
So, BOLD 25. Thank you. You women are glorious. And Hot Mama…well…you’ve changed my life. But, more importantly, you changed 100’s and 100’s of Mamas’ lives, children’s lives, and family’s lives. GO HOT MAMA!
If you’re interested in franchising with us, I encourage you to apply! Click HERE for more information!