It has amazed me that over my past five years living in the Okanagan Valley, I have met the most interesting and genuinely talented entrepreneurs in totally unanticipated moments.
This past week was no exception.
I had decided to stop at Starbucks for a quick coffee fix a few weeks ago in Guisachan Mall in Kelowna.
I bumped into two gentlemen who I knew, and we were soon joined by Andre Blanleil, owner of Andre’s Electronics when he’s not sitting on Kelowna city council.
In a flash of lightspeed, a young woman appeared in fitness gear before us, presenting a picture of haste with a coffee in her hand in readiness to fly out the door.
My new coffee talkers and I felt obliged to initiate hasty conversation with the young woman, asking if she had she just completed a run or if she was at work.
As quickly as our questions flew in her direction came her reply: She had her own fitness venture and contracted her credentials and skills to a variety of clients in the Central Okanagan area.
Never one to pass up a chance to chat with entrepreneurs, I quickly asked for a business card.
In a heartbeat appeared two business cards stealthfully placed in my hand for later reference.
And, after that introduction, just like that the young woman flew out the door with her coffee held high so she wouldn’t spill it.
That person in a hurry was Bobbi Kittle, self-employed fitness entrepreneur and owner of Pursuit Fitness in Kelowna.
This is her venture story that I learned when we met later on.
Born in Dawson Creek with one brother, Kittle’s father was a self-employed entrepreneur himself who dabbled in several ventures while she was growing up.
After completing high school in 1993, Kittle fell in love early in her young life and married at the tender age of 18.
Much to her dismay after her two children were born, Kittle found herself saddled with considerable weight gain, which left her feeling quite incomplete and demoralized about herself.
Having not grown up in a healthy lifestyle family environment, Kittle found herself badly needing knowledge and guidance to get her weight back under control.
She began her crusade reading books on fitness and nutrition and making dramatic adjustment to her diet.
She began walking every night, then jogging. She lost 50 lbs. in just five months. Yes folks, I said 50 lbs…and, her self-confidence, energy and sense of well-being went through the roof.
I love this story because it exemplifies what can be done and for the right reasons.
With her newfound strength and identity, Kittle decided to take some fitness programs in order to help others achieve the same level of success she had attained.
By now, with her children in elementary school, Kittle saw a counsellor to assist her in her new self-vision for about a year.
She told me it was during that experience in rebuilding her belief in herself that she embraced the thought of becoming a self-employed fitness entrepreneur, or “mompreneur” to coin the new phrase entering our business vocabulary.
Hence in 2002, Pursuit Fitness, a mobile fitness venture, became a reality and Kittle has never looked back.
Today, as a single mother, she finds herself devoted to her children and her clients.
Focusing on all levels of seniors’ fitness programs, including in-water fitness, Kittle closed out our enjoyable interview with the revelation that she is exploring new avenues to serve clients in the Okanagan, including her quarterly fitness Boot Camps.
She advised me that she is also tackling an enhanced marketing strategy for Pursuit Fitness as spring approaches
I reminded her that a new promotion for fitness instructors is Smartphone Apps for the fitness industry, and that we have a talented young man in West Kelowna who has developed Apple apps for electronic media as well who she might be able to partner with.
So here is an opportunity for you to collect some of your friends and invite Kittle to design a front lawn or beach front fitness program “just for you.”
Please check out Bobbi Kittle’s website at PursuitFitness.ca and you will see how fit you can become.