Fitness instructor going it alone after collapse of franchise (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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South Woodford fitness instructor Karen Smith going solo after collapse of franchise
The collapse of a national business franchise has presented an opportunity for a fitness instructor.
Karen Smith, of Crescent Road in South Woodford, was a fanchisee with Rosemary Conley Food & Fitness for 20 years.
But the company announced it was going into administration in February and released managers from their agreements last week.
Mrs Smith is taking opportunity to completely rebrand her business, changing the name to Fitgirlslim, and says she is excited at the prospect of going it alone.
She offers exercise classes, including resistance band training, circuits, boxercise, fitsteps and aerobics at venues such as Woodford County High School and Roding Primary School in Woodford Green.
The 51-year-old also provides advice on diet and healthy lifestyle to the 250 members who attend the sessions every week.
She said: “I have to do everything for myself now, all the marketing and advertising, and it is very hard work - meaning I have to work long hours.
“But I don’t know why I didn’t go solo earlier really, it was a confidence thing and it was easy to fall into a rut.
"But I am saving about £1,000 a month, which is making a real difference.”
Before working as a fitness instructor, Mrs Smith worked as an administrator for Readers Digest for ten years.
Mrs Smith was taught to dance ballroom by Ian Waite and Natalie Lowe from BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing last August, and she now offers a ballroom class each week.
She said: “The key is to find exercise that is fun and varied not boring, that’s why I offer so many styles.
"I had some brilliant years with the Rosemary Conley brand, but I am so excited to be starting this new business.”
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