Have you ever heard of the term “boomer-preneur”? This word labels those in the Baby Boomer generation who have become self-employed after the age of 50.
Maybe you know a boomer-prenuer, maybe you are one, or maybe you’ve been considering starting your own business but still haven’t committed to the idea. Whatever the case, I want to share a good friend’s story with you.
Meet Chris Brush, a Rochester, NY native; a creative; a giver; and a boomer-prenuer.
Who She Is
As my best friend’s mother, I’ve known Chris all my life. Her creativity and desire to give back to the community and enrich people’s lives was an ever-present force growing up. She led our community service initiatives in elementary school, planned talent show performances, and always had a new craft idea up her sleeve. So when I learned she was opening her own business in 2010, I wasn’t surprised.
“I’ve always been entrepreneurial, so one day, I was trying to find this location for a person I worked for,” Chris said.
Chris, who studied architectural drafting in college, always had a love for renovating buildings. When she stumbled on a particular cobblestone building in the quaint village of Mendon, NY, visions of a potential business venture swarmed her head.
“I came across this building, and when I walked in, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. If I owned this building, I would do this with it. I would make this out of it,’” she exclaimed. “I said that to one of my friends I was working with and kept pondering it for a while, and she finally said to me, ‘You know, you talk about this all the time, but you’re never doing anything about it!’ I go, ‘OK. Watch me.’”
What She Created
Fitness, health, and movement are deeply rooted in Chris, so starting her own fitness studio made sense. She also noticed that this industry wasn’t present in the area. There was no community center nearby and no other gyms. She saw a need she could fill.
“I felt like I could add value to the community,” Chris said. “I can feed my passion for renovating buildings and fitness and also bring something to this community that’s missing.”
She originally named the building the Mendon Academy of Arts and Movement, envisioning the space to be part art and part creative movement. StudioMOVE!, the now name of the fitness studio, was only supposed to offer TRX and pilates classes. However, eight years later, the studio now offers a wide variety of classes including cycling, yoga, zumba, body pump, and more.
“I know some people avoided going to the gym because they felt self-conscientious,” she said. “I wanted [StudioMOVE!] to be an approachable, supportive environment where people could actually see results.”
Chris was never a fan of the mainstream, volumed-based model most fitness studios operate on. She wanted her business to be more personalized, friendly, and welcoming.
What She Learned
The best part? Chris never felt like her age was an obstacle. It was never too late in her life to open the studio. In fact, her age only helped her business thrive because she can relate to her middle-aged adult client base.
Chris has also created a hub for intergenerational connection in the small community.
“It’s almost like a mini community center,” Chris said.
While mostly adults take her fitness classes, she hosts several camps and events for children as well. The studio has become a place where people of all ages gather to live healthier, more enriched lives.
The most important lesson to learn from Chris? She didn’t start this venture under the impression that this would be her main source of income.
“It was more of like an investment of my passion and an investment of my time.”
If you are passionate about something, do something about it because that happiness and pleasure is priceless.
Chris’s advises aspiring entrepreneurs of all ages, “If you have an idea, don’t ever think it’s stupid. If you feel strongly about something, you’re going to figure out a way to make it work.”
Hurdles can be jumped over, obstacles can be broken down. Chris wakes up every morning and does what she loves. Let her journey be an inspiration to you. It may sound cliche, but turn your dreams into reality. That’s what Chris did eight years ago, and her life has been better because of it.
Do you have more questions on how to become a boomer-preneur? Ask A Pup and together we can boost your business journey.
Become an Author with Through Wolf’s Eyes
Surely you have a story. About you – your friends – your life – your experiences – that can motivate and inspire others. Share with us for a chance to be published on Through Wolf’s Eyes and follow us on Facebook!
“THANKFUL – Free eBook!
Join the Through Wolf’s Eyes newsletter and download your free eBook now.
Whether you are an avid TWE reader or first time downloader, a member of the iGeneration or on the brink of retirement, my hope is that through this eBook you can discover what matters most to you in life and and time to appreciate it all.