For Anjua Maximo, health and wellness are her passion—and her career. The certified life coach also maintains an enthusiasm for enriching the lives of others—a key factor that drove the 2015 opening of her own boutique fitness studio GrooveRyde. Inspired by studios in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City, GrooveRyde is a group fitness facility consisting of three studios for cycling, circuit training, kickboxing and more.
Anjua is also a graduate of JumpStart’s Core City: Cleveland Impact program, an intensive business assistance program designed to support the development and growth of businesses located within Cleveland’s core neighborhoods.
Excited to share her entrepreneurial experience, Anjua recently sat down with us to discuss how GrooveRyde came to be, the challenges she faces while juggling motherhood with entrepreneurship and where you can expect to see GrooveRyde next.
What inspired you to create GrooveRyde? Where did the idea come from?
I’ve always wanted to have my own studio. It’s been on my goal sheet for almost 10 years now, dating back to my time spent in Los Angeles where I first became interested in fitness. As a former athlete, my husband’s dream was to get back to helping people with their fitness—this is something he was really passionate about. He took a class in New York at SoulCycle and fell in love with beat riding and cycling.
Fueled by both of our passions and experiences, we came up with the GrooveRyde concept and then Pure Mvmnt, which is an environment devoted to women exclusively. And that’s how it came to be, we created the business by bringing both of our ideas together.
What problem does GrooveRyde solve?
GrooveRyde creates a unique experience for anyone who loves to work out or is interested in working out but isn’t interested in doing so in a big, impersonal box. Many individuals want to be immersed in a community that actually acknowledges them when they walk into the gym and they want to feel a part of something more than the 30 or 45-minute workout that they complete.
I think GrooveRyde provides that for people. There’s an immediate acceptance by the staff and instructors who work there, and I think that’s what guests fall in love with. I hear from them that there’s something indescribable there, an essence or an energy in the studio.
How did you connect with the Core City: Cleveland program, and what do you think so far? Any surprises?
I found the Core City program through my husband who first learned of JumpStart while participating in the Goldman Sachs 10ksb program. Knowing JumpStart was looking for female entrepreneurs for a particular program, he passed the information on to me. And while that program wasn’t the right fit, JumpStart did keep me in mind and asked that I come back and apply for the Impact program.
I have been so surprised at how chill everyone is! Since I am more of an artist, I assumed that anything to do with business meant that everyone was going to be in suits and really serious, but it’s not like that at all. I knew instantly that I was going to have a great time with the other entrepreneurs in the program, but I think I was even more surprised by how much fun I’m actually having with the people who are leading it.
What are your future plans for your business?
We are planning to open our second location Downtown, which is what this amazing program is helping me with currently. That will be happening this summer. And then we have another satellite studio that we will be opening in 2018.
Are there any unique challenges you feel you’ve had to face as a female entrepreneur?
The challenges I have faced as a female entrepreneur haven’t been with the business itself. They have come with being a mom. Just finding the balance, which changes day-today, and recognizing that the balance was going to change was an adjustment I had to make.
When you are an entrepreneur, there’s going to be days when you might be at work for 14 hours, but as long as I know where my kids are, I know I’m doing a good job. The biggest challenge has been getting our two young boys to understand why mom and dad are so busy, why we’re not around all the time or why we can’t do certain things with them. But I think they’re coming around and they may want to take over the business one day.
We ask all the entrepreneurs we speak with to give us examples of failure or setbacks they experienced. Anything come to mind for you?
I love the word failure, and the reason I love it is because from the failures that we’ve experienced, which have been numerous, we’ve been able to learn. And as long as you’ve got the right attitude about it, that big ‘F’ word can be a hidden surprise.
Early on, we tried to launch our own version of yoga—specific for athletes. We had a whole yoga team–6 or 7 people deep, and it just didn’t pan out. At a certain point, we had to recognize that for whatever reason, it was not catching fire. And even though it was something so near and dear to our hearts, we had to recognize that it was time to let it go and that was okay.
Watch Anjua’s elevator pitch for GrooveRyde below. To learn more about the Core City: Cleveland program, click here.
And be sure to catch Anjua at this year’s Startup Scaleup, where she will be discussing how to find money to grow your business!