(Left: Pre-opening publicity pics, December 2006, Right: It’s official! Jan, 2007)
It’s so hard to think it’s been more than 12 years since we developed the concept of our one-on-one private studio. The picture on the left was before our signature red shirts! Mourad’s biceps look even better now!
I remember when the sign went up. We were able to obtain a grant from the now defunct Alameda County Redevelopment Agency. In essence we received a forgivable “loan” that decreased each year and after five years we owed nothing as long as we remained in good business standing.
Body by Pam was born out of frustration working as a trainer in the main stream gym setting. I had been at an all-women’s gym for a little less than a year and noticed some things that were consistently an issue: no towels, water or privacy, gym members stealing your set up equipment for the client and constant interruptions by folks asking for free “advice”. One day as I was training my client, Kim, I told her about my frustrations. “You know,” I said, “if I could open my own place I would do this differently. I would make it more private by training one on one in a studio setting, include towels, water and snacks and provide a comfortable, inviting atmosphere where people could come and feel relaxed by not parading around in front of others during their workout.” Kim replied: “Why don’t you open your own place? I would come!” “Really?” I replied. “Absolutely!” she said and Kim was my first Body by Pam client (and friend) and is still with me today. How good is that!! :)
Now I have the idea. What do I call it? I came up with all kind of names and sent out an email to family and friends asking their opinion. Overwhelming, the response came back that the name should include “Pam”. I was a bit hesitant (felt it was a bit narcissistic) but I went with the majority opinion and Body by Pam was born.
We hired my friend and real estate agent, Hera, to help us find our place. We saw many locations but nothing seemed right until we came to 21168 Redwood Rd. From the moment we walked in, we knew this was the place to be: good parking, great visibility off a major street and three rooms that could be individualized for private training. We were off and running!
One of the things I am most proud of is the community we have built within Body by Pam. Over the years the people who joined have become friends, encouraged each other and been the backbone of our business. As a group we have participated in many races that have funded various charities and local schools and sports groups. Through our Body by Pam scholarships, we help local Castro Valley High School kids ease the burden of the high cost of college. Via our brilliant media marketing director, Emily, we’ve grown our Body by Pam website to include not only basic studio information but a variety of health related informational topics to help our members get stronger. When I go, I’d like to think someone will say: “Boy! She really did care!” (Because I sure do!)
I have so many people to thank, First of all, Kim Vernor Hansen who, without her encouragement, I would never have had the strength and the confidence to even consider the idea. My wonderful husband, Mourad, who not only encouraged me, but ended up joining me. He added a whole other dimension to Body by Pam and I truly believe we would not be who we are today without his wisdom and hard work. To the opening team of Ivania, Kim and Tina who sat around my kitchen table and helped develop the initial concept. My kids for their constant support – for folding loads and loads of towels and helping us out with renovations and cleaning the studio. To Jasmine - for writing and editing my blogs and posts and to Emily who has taken our business to the next step. Without her, I don’t know what I would do! Google what?
Last but not least the wonderful people who have trusted us at Body by Pam over the years. What a journey it has been! For all of you, I am eternally grateful.