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Kirsten Potenza – Co-Founder of PoundFit
By: Iman Oubou & Jeremy Hassell - Entrepreneurs En Vogue Podcast
From a very young age, Kirsten Potenza, the co-founder and CEO of POUND® was trying to find a job or make a job out of whatever she could. "From stealing sweet peas from the farm behind the house and selling them to my neighbors to having a shop in the backyard where I sold potpourri that I made." After college, where Potenza was a Division I athlete at UCLA, she found herself changing careers often, which concerned her mother. Looking back, Potenza understands her mother’s concerns, but she suggests that others embrace these "opportunities to dip our toes in the water and test out different things and learn more about ourselves through exploring different careers."
It was around the time that she turned down the opportunity to run a company that she met Cristina Peerenboom. “The one thing we had in common was that we were obsessed with music. We were both drummers - not in the sense of wanting to be in bands - there was something about drumming that appealed to the both of us. It probably had a lot to do with the fact that when we did it, we left our cell phones behind and escaped."
Potenza and Peerenboom (who also comes from an athletic background) had group fitness ingrained in their lifestyles since childhood. "This idea of being fit - and fitness - never really was something we had to think too hard about when we were younger." But as working adults living in Los Angeles, "the gym experience didn't feel super positive to us. It felt like there was a lot of ego."
Cue the light bulb. They should just make their own group fitness class for any gym.
"We had this background of a ton of different mentalities in knowing what it took to be fit, healthy, and strong but we weren't having as much fun doing that, right? So whether you're on a treadmill or in a class, it didn't feel enjoyable to us. So we kind of felt that spark when we were drumming or listening to music or experiencing music. I think for most people, music is an escape."
"One of the greatest things about POUND® is that I was able to take all of my interests and put them into one thing, which I don't think happens. I'm passionate about fitness and wellness, I'm passionate about fashion, I'm passionate about food, and I get to put all of those things together and package them up in this little awesome, amazing company called POUND® - because we get to experience all of those things on a daily basis - and help people in all those categories so it's been awesome to have an opportunity like that."
LISTEN to learn more about what Potenza thinks are the most valuable aspects of growing a business and living a life, and how Potenza and Peerenboom were able to grow POUND® without a marketing budget.