Lisa Druxman turned her passion into profits when she created Stroller Strides, a fitness-based class for new moms. After eight years, Stroller Strides is now in over 1000 locations and in 47 states and in Canada. The mom of two children, eight year-old Jacob, and four year-old Rachel, Lisa spoke to Celebrity Parents about fitness and keeping family first.
How did you come up with the idea for Stroller Strides?
I had been a fitness professional for almost a decade. When my son was 3 months-old, I didn’t want to leave him and go back to work full-time. Since I had the fitness background, I wanted to combine fitness and my new role in motherhood. I created a workout that I could do with my son; I found those times together became the best part of my day.
It was then that I had what I call an “a-ha!” moment. Every mom wants to get back in shape after she has a baby. So I started a small class in my neighborhood. In the beginning, it was for the purpose of connecting with other moms. I never thought it was going to be a business. After that, I had a chance to be on a local news program, and word got out really fast after that! I asked my husband to take a big leap of faith with me, and I put my nose to the grindstone and focused on turning it into a successful business. By the end of the first year, we had 12 locations and 1000 moms participating.
That’s an incredible success story for just your first year in business!
Personally, I was happy with that. I was making the money I wanted to make, and I was getting to bring my son to work with me every day. It wasn’t until I started getting requests from women all over the country who wanted to join classes that I realized I could franchise my business. After all, I had already built the business model.
Stroller Strides is a great program for moms, both physically and emotionally. It gives women the strength for motherhood, and it is one-stop shopping, since you can have your child with you.
What are the different classes that you offer?
Stroller Strides is a total body workout. You push your baby in the stroller, so it is a walking-based exercise. It’s extremely popular because everyone can walk! Every few minutes we stop and exercise. We use the stroller, or we can use the outside environment, too. Many Stroller Strides locations are now also offering prenatal Fit4Baby classes, which help give expectant moms the strength they need for motherhood. All of our classes are taught by instructors certified in pre and post-natal fitness. Most of them are also moms, so they know what you’re going through!
What would you say to new moms who may not have been fit before their pregnancy and are even less fit now?
That’s a very exciting challenge for me! A lot of moms are not coming for fitness; they are coming to connect with other moms. It just happens that there is a fitness component that comes with it. The moms actually like it, and they like being a healthy role model for their kids. If you’re exercising at a gym, then someone else has to watch your children while you exercise. So children never get to understand what fitness is, and why it’s important to you. Some of the moms who thought they never liked exercise have found it very enjoyable. They get stronger, healthier and become very fit. Many women get their bodies back and are in even better physical shape than before!
With a thriving business and family, how do you find your personal balance?
It’s not easy. Even though my business grew quickly, it could probably have grown much faster had I not been so determined to keep my family my first and foremost priority. I wanted time with my kids. This time goes by so fast, and their young years are so precious. I know that I’m not saying anything new, but I really feel that you have the rest of your life to work crazy hours. You don’t have the rest of your life to spend precious moments with your kids.
I definitely try to be in the moment with them. I say no to certain things for the business because it might conflict with my time with my kids. I do schedule time not only for my children, but for myself, my marriage and my business. Everything that you want to be great in life requires work, and that includes your marriage, your kids, even yourself. By giving each one of these the time they deserve, it makes everything better. That makes me happy.