Part-time hobby grew into a full-time business

By Andrew Miller
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Turning Point Fitness owner Lisa Hunsaker doesn’t just know how to keep a body in shape, she’s been keeping her local health and wellness business in shape since 2005, as well.

“I’m very lucky to do what I love and to love what I do, and that can make you successful, regardless of how much money you’re making,” Hunsaker said. “We started out offering five classes a week. Now we offer four to five classes a day as well as doing personal training for our clients.”

In 2005, Hunsaker, a new stay-at-home mom, decided to take her hobby of teaching exercise and aerobics to the next level, she said.

At first, she rented studio time from the dance school next door to her present location at 5890 Chandler Court in Westerville.

“I was teaching Pilates four days a week at the rented space in the dance studio, and during that time, I started looking at doing it a little more seriously,” Hunsaker said. “In the Pilates world, there’s mat work and equipment work, so I started buying the equipment and needed a place to store it. As I grew from teaching mat-based Pilates to getting certified in equipment-based Pilates, my class grew with me.”

It was at that point in 2008 that Hunsaker had the opportunity to rent an open space next door to the dance studio, she said.

“I was at the right time and right place. I rented the space next door and my clients followed me, and that was when I officially opened in my own space,” she said. “Then last fall, in 2011, I expanded again, combining my space with a vacant space next door.”

According to Hunsaker, the keys to her success have been growing slowly while building a following, using the lessons she learned from previous work experience and building a culture around what she is doing that is welcoming to clients.

“This all kind of started as a hobby for a stay-at-home mom,” she said. “My professional career was in hospitality management and project management. The ability now to create a culture I believe in as opposed to acclimating to someone else’s corporate culture is important.

“I truly love this business, what I’m doing and the clients I work with.”

Hunsaker said she grew up in a family of entrepreneurs and that helped her to understand that renting her own space before having clientele wasn’t the best option for her. It also helped her understand the time commitment involved with running her own business.

“My parents provide me with a very honest perspective about small business,” she said. “I grew up helping at the store and it teaches you good work ethic and responsibility. Some people have a second home; mine is my studio.”
Most importantly, Hunsaker said, is that her clients are having fun.
She said that comes from the personal attention her instructors provide and the culture of inclusion promoted in her classes.
“There’s a level of attention clients get form our instructors (that is) uncommon at larger facilities. Our average class size is eight to 12 students and my clients are friends, people who get to know each other. They look for each other,” Hunsaker said. “You can get fitness classes anywhere, but you can only get this level of instruction, attention and this culture here.
“We want people to be successful and my instructors teach that, too.”

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