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Meet Jacqueline Joniec of Body Builders Gym in Silver Lake

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jacqueline Joniec.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Jacqueline. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was a Michigan transplant living in Las Vegas and not loving it. An opportunity presented itself to buy Body Builders Gym with my nephew and I jumped in with no reservations. That was in 1999. Fast forward to 2o17 and I have bought out my nephew and am the owner 100%. My daughters have now moved here and have become a part of my “team”. BBG, as we refer to it, is like the “Cheers” of fitness facilities. Each shift knows their members and greats them by name. If we haven’t seen someone for a while, we call. Not a sales call, but an honest-to-goodness “How are you?” call. Buying BBG is absolutely one of my greatest achievements. I have met interesting people and made life-long friends. My mantra has always been “What’s the worst that can happen?” I like a challenge and love people. The gym has become a central part of my life and seeing how it is so important to so many others makes me proud. It really is a family and community unto itself.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
In the beginning, it was rough. We bought a pre-existing business that was in need of updates and good management. My first priority was to establish a good relationship with vendors and suppliers. For a few months, my partner and I would make sure that all bills were paid as well as staff. We would sit on our checks until we knew it was okay to cash them. Members were wary of change and didn’t know us. The previous owners did not let the membership know it was changing hands, so we weren’t exactly greeted with open arms. We wanted to run the business as a place that we would want to frequent. The gym was a tired old girl, but over the years we made a conscious decision to update and upgrade as we could afford to do so. We have updated and upgraded equipment and the interior, however, the gym still has the old school vibe. Our members know that they have access to the owner. There is no corporate chain of command with no answers. We are able to work with people individually with payments, memberships, etc. We are also active in the community with silent auctions, donations and special rates for qualified individuals.

Body Builders Gym – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Our goal at BBG is to make it a friendly and welcoming environment for individuals to achieve or maintain a healthy lifestyle. In some cases, this may mean that an individual who lives alone comes to the gym mainly for socialization. Or we have members who are training hardcore for competition. And they all work together. They laugh, work out, tell stories and eat lunch next door at The Fix. There aren’t too many days that go by that you won’t see a group of people gathered at the front desk laughing and almost having too much fun! I am most proud of the fact that our members are pretty devoted and loyal. From our diverse group of members, a group was formed called “Strong Words”. It consists of many talented people who were brought together by a member, Larry Dean Harris. Throughout the year there are amazing performances of writers, painters and artists. And it all came to be because of BBG. All of the above is what sets us apart. We’re a community — not a corporation.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
The ability to listen. And to understand that no two individuals are alike. I always tell people, I may not be able to do what you want, but I’ll listen. And I always seek compromise. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have to be mean Mom once in a while. But most decisions are based on what is best for the entire membership — not just me.

Pricing:

  • We have couples rates — $360 a person for a year when 2 people join.

Contact Info:

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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