TOMMIE KNIGHT, 32, of Elkins Park, a personal fitness trainer, owns Knight's Gym, a new 5,000-square-foot facility in East Falls with a juice bar and locker rooms. Knight has trained former Cincinnati Bengals player Devon Still and businesswoman Kijafa Frink (wife of former Eagles quarterback Michael Vick).
Q: How'd you get into this?
A: I was skinny in my mid-20s and decided to hit the gym and change that. I met personal fitness trainers and learned about the business. I started training friends and it grew from there. In 2010, I promoted myself on Facebook, and within a year I had my certification and about 60 clients. My first permanent location was in the basement of in Jenkintown, and a few months later I moved to my first studio space, about 1,100 square feet, in Kensington. We had outgrown that, and I found this space in October.
Q: Financing for new gym?
A: We started with about $75,000. About 80 percent was a bank loan, and the rest was personal funds.
Q: What's the biz do?
A: We offer monthly memberships for people to use the gym and work out on state-of-the-art equipment. As for personal training, we offer private, group and boxing fitness sessions.
Q: The cost?
A: A gym membership is $24.99 per month. Group fitness is $65 for three sessions. Private fitness is $25 for 30 minutes and $50 per hour. After 12 sessions of group or private fitness, we offer a 10 percent discount. Meal plans come with that, and a nutrition coach works with me. I started boxing fitness classes for folks who want to have some fun getting in shape. Those cost $25 per person for a group of four for an hour, and a private session is $40 per hour.
Q: The value prop?
A: We are a membership gym, but you don't have to be a member to take fitness classes. What differentiates us is we don't just train people but really transform them. I have a lot of female clients who tell me they want to strengthen their legs and firm up their buttocks but don't want their stomach to get bigger.
Q: Your customers?
A: We have about 70 clients, mostly African-American women between 25 and 40 years old, and a lot are corrections officers, cops or nurses. They're weight-loss clients who want a better tone or who want to transform and bulk up. I also want to develop a more diverse clientele here.
Q: How big a biz?
A: I have three trainers, including myself, and am looking to hire two more. I have two administrative assistants and a person overseeing the juice bar. Three are full-time, not including myself. Our first year we did about $85,000 in gross revenue; this year it will be about $190,000.
On Twitter: @MHinkelman
NOTE: This story has been updated.