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Life and Work with Cindi Garabedian

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cindi Garabedian.

Cindi, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Just about 6 years ago, I decided to leave my corporate job as a Creative Director and open a fitness studio. My best friend had owned her Barre studio in San Diego for 7 years at that point and had just got her Franchising approval from the State of California. I took the leap, bought her first franchise and completely changed my life.

Over the past 6 years I have grown my team to 18 amazing women. I also just opened my second location, which I would never have been able to do without the team I have. Over the years, one of the most frequent questions I get is “How do you run a team of so many women so successfully and without any drama?”

To answer that question, (which to me fills my heart and is very “warm and squishy”) I always refer back to my business plan (which for sure is the opposite of “warm and squishy”). Without really knowing that this part of my business would blossom into something else, I wrote in my business plan 6 years ago that I am creating a place for women to work that they can find community, feel seen and nurtured and never have it feel like a J.O.B.

Along with creating a place like that for our clients, my number one priority is my team. To me, if my team is happy and healthy, then our clients will thrive in our business. Of course, there have been bumps and bruises along the way, but one of my talents is to address and deal with any conflict without letting it turn into drama.

Over the years, I have been a mentor and adviser to many of the owners in our growing Studio Barre franchise. I have also coached women entrepreneurs in other businesses – not in any formal way, but just by being available to answer questions and give suggestions as to how to deal with an all-female team.

Speaking to and leading fellow female business owners gives me such joy! It’s something I never expected would grow out of owning a fitness studio! So, now I am channelling that into a business I call Fierce Abundance. Currently it is a blog that talks about business and life. I am telling my story and sharing my struggles in order to help someone who may also be struggling.

And I am working on an online course to help female business owners go from just being a boss to being a bad ass leader to their team!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has not been a smooth road! But what endeavour that has any meaning ever goes smoothly, right?

My advice to women who are just starting out is to always give yourself grace. Look at the end goal and know that it is not going to happen overnight. One of my favorite quotes is this: “Hard wood grows slowly” If you want a long and sustainable business, you will need to let it grow slowly. And for many of us entrepreneurs, we don’t know from slowly! If you are like me, you have an idea and you want to put it out there immediately and you expect the world to be on fire over it! Well, success does not happen that way. And you need to allow it time.

Allow yourself the time for mistakes. And be honest with your team about it! That is one of my initial messages when I hire someone – I let them know that I absolutely will make mistakes and that they will too. But as long as everyone holds themselves accountable and creates solutions, that’s all we need to do to continue moving in the right direction.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Studio Barre – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
As far as Studio Barre goes, what sets us apart by far is our culture. Of course, the workout is the BEST in the industry and it will change and strengthen your body. But more than that, we make our clients feel seen, nurtured and loved. We are all inclusive and want to see all walks of life better themselves by becoming a part of our community.

And because I put that importance on how I treat my team, it has truly become a place for my employees that they’ve never experienced before as a workplace. I am most proud of the fact that my team tells me often that this job has changed their lives and they joke that I’ve “ruined all future bosses” for them! They tell me I’ve set the “barre” high and I am really proud of that.

Often it feels as if the media, by and large, is only focused on the obstacles faced by women, but we feel it’s important to also look for the opportunities. In your view, are there opportunities that you see that women are particularly well positioned for?
I believe if a woman feels like she has a voice in whatever industry she works in, there is always opportunity for growth. I don’t believe there are any positions that are unavailable to women, I only believe that if she feels unappreciated or unheard, she will not feel the power to speak up and shine.

I joke sometimes that whether a woman is working as a barre instructor (my industry) or cleaning pools, as long as her boss supports her growth with positivity and love, and as long as she feels she is making a difference and being recognized for it, she can change the world! Even if changing the world means providing for her family or giving back to her community… small, personal victories count towards changing the world!

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.fierceabundance.com
  • Email: cindi@fierceabundance.com
  • Instagram: @fierceabundance
  • Facebook: @fierceabundance

              Image Credit:
Aris Garabedian, Jay Carpio

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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