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Meet Shawnie Dockery of Fit with Finesse

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shawnie Dockery.

Shawnie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I first took full control of my health and wellness journey in college. It was the first time I had access to a full gym and could make healthy decisions on my own. Dreading the Freshman 15, I was determined to take advantage of the resources.

I was doing two-a-days before I knew what two-a-days were, and eating salads every day that first semester. Looking back, it was a little crazy, but I felt great! After graduating from college, I spent years trying out different workouts. I cannot count how many things I tried from training for a half-marathon to performing at a burlesque pole-dancing show. Working out makes me feel like the most powerful being in the universe, and that I can take on anything life has to throw at me.

About two years ago, I decided to enter my first fitness bikini competition. Little did I know, this new adventure would be the beginning of my serious pursuit and passion for fitness. It really opened my eyes to a new world of health and wellness. I already loved working out and eating healthy, but getting on stage required me to be next-level fit. I started sharing little parts of my journey on social media to help me build confidence. As my body transformed for the stage, I started getting a lot of questions about my workouts, meal plans, and general questions about health.

Meeting My Best Friend and Now Business Partner

For a long time, I felt like people did not understand my passion for health and wellness. As crazy as it sounds, I was doing things alone for years until I met CaCera. For eight years, every fitness event, workout class, and hike in LA, created a space for in-depth conversations, random dancing in the street, and loud laughs. One day I looked up, and she was my best friend, my partner in crime, and the other brown girl in the room!

CaCera was one of my biggest cheerleaders when I was competing, and over the years we shared a lot about our journey to being happier, healthier, whole selves. When she bought me tickets to Propel Fitness Festival for my birthday, I knew we would be besties for life! So, when she moved to Memphis for a job, I felt like I was going to lose more than a friend, but also my sweet sister.

I mean who else was going to have hour-long conversations about a fitness instructor teaching style or the best ingredients for a green smoothie. However, out of our amazing friendship and our passion for fitness, we founded Fit with Finesse, to share the things we’ve learned over the years and be a small source of inspiration for women of color.

Whether it’s talking about the diversity in the fitness industry, highlighting a fun new workout, finding new healthy ways make your favorite dish or a fitness tip someone adopts here or there, we hope Fit with Finesse to be a fun resource for women to explore all things fitness, healthy eating, and wellness, with a little bit of culture!

Has it been a smooth road?
Building anything from the ground up is a challenge. Navigating business ownership can be tough, from trademarks to LLCs, to having enough financial resources to sustain, the learning curve is high. But we are also lucky enough to tap friends and contacts along the way who support our vision. We love what we do, and we love the community we are building, and we want to keep growing it.

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
Fitness is for everyone, but we noticed a lack of representation and resources for women of color. Fit with Finesse seeks to change that narrative by creating a space and wellness community for women of color who unapologetically live their best lives with a carefree attitude, weights in their hands, and a tune in their heart.

Our pillars:

Issa Workout: A space to make exercise more accessible, no matter your fitness level or location. Whether it’s creating workouts inspired by our favorite classes in LA or making gym equipment less “scary,” we want our readers to feel like they can navigate the gym like a pro. Being women of color, we also dive into more in-depth articles like the lack of representation in the fitness industry, being the only person of color in a fitness class, or exploring a prevalent stereotype that African Americans can’t swim. We love these articles because they encourage others to look at the industry through another lens, and hopefully inspired people to make positive changes.

I’m probably most proud of this section. One of the main goals is to showcase women of color as a source of inspiration and voice in the industry. We highlight trainers, business owners, and fitness enthusiast that we admire and provide the ma space to share their story.

The Studio: Neither of us comes from a fitness background; this purely started out of as a love for classes. So we bring passion and excitement and a fresh perspective. But that’s what sets up apart. We’ve both become fitness instructors, but we also love to visit the hottest studios or try the latest fitness trends like YogAqua in Marina Del Rey, ca. We provide reviews and hopefully inspire other women of color to give these classes a try. We’ve also partnered with studios in the past to host workouts and bring in a little diversity.

The Lab: We chronicle our experiments in the kitchen, give recipe ideas, find health hacks with nutritious facts, and the keep up with the latest food trends. Healthy eating isn’t just about food. It’s about a balanced and fun lifestyle!

Haute Hits: Music is one of the highlights in my life and a powerful fitness tool, and we know the right playlist motivates you to hit that last sit-up, run that last mile and push your limits! Every month, Haute Hits will feature thoughtfully curated playlists inspired by Fit with Finesse signature styles. So whether you are looking for a playlist for your next 5k, strength-training routine, or yoga practice, you will walk out of the gym feeling like a beauty and a beast!

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Los Angeles is the home of the kale smoothies and vegan cupcakes! So, it felt natural to start a health and wellness business here. Although sometimes this industry is overcrowded with the latest fitness everything, I still believe there is a space my type of business in more underserved areas and lots of opportunities to build community with other fitness professionals.

I think it could be tough to start a business here because it’s a bit expensive, but I also think there are so many smaller areas, within the city, that provides a great place to give it a try and the quality of life is hard to beat.

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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