You guys, I am so excited to introduce you to someone today! But first, I wanted to share a little bit about why I started this blog. It has a few purposes. First, of course, I hope to inform you about all things safer beauty (and beyond). That’s why we talk so much about safer switches and hopefully give you lots of info so you can make informed decisions for yourself and your families.
The other thing I hope to do, though, is inspire you. We’re all just doing our best at whatever we do–from our jobs to being moms to being friends or moms and so on. I LOVE hearing other people’s stories about how they get it done and do it WELL. It inspires me to do the same! So I hope to bring you guys some stories of amazing women who can inspire us.
SO, without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to someone who definitely inspires me. Margaret Virdin is the owner of Provision Studio, a Pilates studio in downtown Homewood, Alabama. She opened it when was just 26 years old (!!!). Originally from Montgomery, she got her Business Management degree from Mississippi State University and after graduation, she worked for a Congresswoman for four years in Washington, D.C. Then she returned to Alabama to be closer to her family and opened her own business in April 2017.
We asked Margaret all about what it’s like to jump into entrepreneurship at such a young age and what wisdom she’d share with others who would like to do the same (no matter their age). Margaret, take it away!
What made you want to open Provision?
I grew up playing pretty much every sport, and as I got older, I primarily played volleyball and basketball. I was very active, but I never learned or had to work out because of sports practice every afternoon. When I went to college, I started taking Mat Pilates classes with a dear friend, Lacy Arant. I fell in love with the exercise and continued taking from Lacy as she grew her studio and added Pilates Reformers. When I moved to D.C., I pretty much stopped consistently exercising; there were no Pilates studios nearby and I couldn’t find anything else I enjoyed enough to stay consistent with. I started to gain weight and mentally was not happy with the stage of life I was in. I always knew I wanted to open up my own business and at the beginning, I just didn’t know what that would be in. The last few years leading up to me opening, I just kept coming back to Pilates being the business I opened. I wanted to create a studio that was welcoming to every body type, age, and physical limitations and with a community that kept you coming back for more!
What were some of the practical steps you took to make this a reality? What would you say to encourage someone else who has a dream like this?
Research! While I was in DC, I got to try all types of fitness studios, which gave me great ideas of how I would want my studio to look like and run. I also researched Birmingham and what studios were offering here and more importantly, what wasn’t being offered yet. You get a great idea what is lacking in the community and start brainstorming ideas of how to meet that need.
Start looking for a space. It took me about five months to find a physical location for my studio. It was very helpful, though, to see what spaces were available and the more I looked at, the better idea I got for what I wanted my space to be. It helped me narrow a few ideas out and really focus in on what I was going to offer and how much space I needed to have for that.
Find a group of people to ask for advice. If you don’t have a mentor or someone whose advice you trust, find someone. You are going to need help because with business comes major decision-making. It helps to have someone or a group of people you can bounce ideas off of.
I encourage people to just get started on just one thing to move forward in their dream of opening their own businesses. It doesn’t have to be a lot; just focus on one thing you know is going to help move you forward in your dream. Usually, that will help create a snowball effect and get everything else moving as well.
What were some of the challenges you faced throughout this process? How did you overcome them?
Finding a location was a huge challenge. I mentioned earlier it took me about five months to find the location I am in now. I almost landed in two other spots before the location I am in now, but things fell through at the last minute. Those moments were very disheartening and frustrating, but now, looking back, everything worked out how it needed to and I am in the perfect location for the business.
What gave you the courage to jump into something like this?
I get this question a lot.
I don’t really think it takes courage to do something like this.
I believe it takes hard work, creativity, and determination.
I have just never been scared of the idea of entrepreneurship–it is something that excites me and drives me to make it work. I was more nervous/scared of things like are people actually going to show up and continue to show up.
What does a day in your life look like?
Oh goodness! Every day is a little different. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I teach a little less and run a lot of errands and get my administrative (accounting, emails, etc.) side of the business under control. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, my schedule is full with classes and private clients. I do teach pretty much every day but Sundays, so I am working on finding a balance on getting everything else worked on when I am not teaching.
What are some of your future goals and plans?
I absolutely love what season I am in right now; however, do I think this is it for me? Absolutely not! I have such a drive for entrepreneurship and I know I want to grow. I have several opportunities ahead of me right now, and it is definitely something I am seeking advice on and trying to figure our how I would like to grow and to do it the right way.
Thank you so much, Margaret! What great words of wisdom.
Guess what!? My local friends, Margaret ALWAYS offers the first class free so you can check out any of her classes
to see if it’s a good fit for you!
If it is, she has a SPECIAL OFFER for15 percent off your first package! All you have to do is mention my name "Brooke GIbson" when purchasing a class package in the studio. Enjoy!