E'a Williams is many things: an artist, a dancer, a service provider.
One thing she would never have thought of adding to that list is “entrepreneur”. “I don't have a business bone in my body,” she says with a laugh.
Yet the Chicago resident is making a go at running her own business thanks to an overwhelming desire to help people; a surprise investor; and a little help from LivePlan business planning software.
BE Fit! Tri Wellness isn't your average gym, just like its owner isn't your average businesswoman. First of all, it doesn't look like a gym. With hardwood floors and floor-to-ceiling mirrors, it feels more like a dance studio. People who sign up for classes such as Groove Theory Zumba, Afro Beat Dance, Power Yoga, and Chair Dance Boot Camp get a serious workout, but they have fun while they're doing it. “I'm offering to treat you the way I want to be treated,” E'a says. “I hate the gym. I hate machines. There are so many ways to incorporate dance and fitness into your routine and trick yourself into getting fit.” Even her boot camps, she says, provide the same level of mind, body and soul healing that you would get from a yoga class.
The studio also offers wellness and nutrition workshops, massage therapy, and acupuncture. That is E'a's special touch – helping her clients look at health and wellness holistically.
“You have to supply people with all the information they need or healing is not going to happen. If you don't eat well, a workout isn't going to help you lose weight. If I give you a massage but don't tell you how to stretch or do something else in between sessions to help you feel better, you're not going to feel good and you're going to think massage doesn't work.”