Kristi Bieber (left) and Terri Dreger, co-owners of Kelowna’s 30 Minute Hit kickboxing gym. -Image: Bryan Ward Photography Ltd.

Women in Business: Empowerment and confidence through fitness

Kickboxing gym provides women in Kelowna with physical and mental benefits

Terri Dreger and Kristi Bieber don’t just share a business, they share a passion.

Co-owners of the 30 Minute Hit kickboxing gym in Kelowna, both are driven by their desire to see women improve their fitness and gain empowerment through high-intensity exercise.

“It’s helped transform so many women’s lives, they gain confidence, they’re empowered by it, and the strength they find from it is really quite amazing to see,” said Dreger. “It’s very satisfying to see women find out they’re capable of much more than they ever thought possible.”

With franchises all across Canada, 30 Minute Hit offers a women’s-only environment where clients go through a circuit of 13 different high-paced exercises for two-minute intervals.

Dreger, a former competitive snowboarder, originally opened a 30 Minute Hit outlet in her native Edmonton in 2007. Last year, she partnered with Bieber to share ownership of the Kelowna location.

Formerly a stay-at-home mom of three, Bieber moved to the Okanagan from White Rock and opened the 30 Minute Hit franchise in Vernon in 2015.

All the pieces were in place for Bieber to make her debut as a business owner.

“We had three kids who were growing up, my husband is an entrepreneur who works from home and I’ve always loved the Okanagan, so the time just felt right to go out and start my own thing,” Bieber said. “Self defense and fitness have been a passion of mine, it goes to the real heart of women. It seemed like a really good match for me.”

And Bieber has learned much about herself and the business world in the three years since opening in Vernon, then adding the Kelowna gym last year.

“There’s a lot of competition out there, and I found that it helps if you’re open to helping others, and you’re also open to being helped,” she said. “Use other owners as a resource and listen to the experience of others. It’s really helped me grow as an owner.”

There was a time when Dreger couldn’t have fathomed owning and operating her own business. Today there’s nothing she’d much rather be doing with her life.

“If someone had told me way back that I’d one day be running my own business, I would have laughed,” said Dreger. “I wasn’t business-minded at all. But I soon found if you’re passionate enough about something, you’re able to learn the business side and become successful and competent at it.

“Seeing women find themselves through fitness and carrying that over into their lives and careers,” she added, “that’s what gets me out of bed in the morning.”

If all goes as planned, Dreger and Bieber hope to one day expand their presence in the Okanagan with a 30 Minute Hit location in West Kelowna.

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