Meet Joslyn Varona, President – Gym Kidz Inc.
Tell us about your business …
We provide gymnastics instruction for children through adults. Our program offers a wide range of classes where every child can shine. There are three keys to learning that we implement into every class: learning, safety, and fun. Our curriculum is based on these three principles, and we challenge each child to be the best they can be.
Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?
I love teaching, and I love kids. When I first opened my doors, my mission was to create a home away from home for all of my gymnast participating in our programs. My parents lent me the money to open my first gym at 25 years old. I am so thankful they believed in me and allowed me to follow my dreams of opening my location. However, with great power comes great responsibility. I feel it is my duty as an owner to be the best I can be for both my employees and my customers.
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
My greatest influence in business is my customers. I feel it is my responsibility always to keep evolving and creating the best programming available for all of my kidz. They are my driving force and push me always to do my best.
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
My greatest professional accomplishment is having three locations. I started as a small mobile program in 1997, and now we have both mobiles and three locations. Running three locations has its fair share of challenges however I enjoy the day to day operations and love what I do. By having three facilities, I have the resources to help others, and I love that we can do this as a company. We have been working with Special Olympics as a training site over the past couple years, and during the school year we work with His House and provide field trips for the kids housed there. It has been so nice to be able to pay it forward.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
There have been lots of bumps in the road and life is sometimes unpredictable. My best advice would be you cannot make everyone happy all the time. If you do your best and can go to bed knowing you did that, that needs to be enough. Life is too short, enjoy the ride.
What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
We work with our local schools. Working with the schools creates a win-win for everyone involved. We are able to participate in the many events over the year which give us exposure as a gymnastics facility and also introduce kids to the wonderful sport of gymnastics.
What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
I have learned that the more organized you are the better off you will be. I rely heavily on creating a protocol and sticking to it. Rules are usually created for a reason, so it’s important to learn from your past and implement good policies and procedures.
Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business?
I use lots of apps to run our programming. From clocking in to list taking my company runs on good apps. I use wunderlist, tiny scanner and when I work the most….
Do you have any new projects coming up (or have you just completed a big project ~ reached a milestone, etc.)?
If so, please tell us about it. I am always looking for new opportunities. I’m a typical Type A personality, and I need those challenges to keep me going. We will be celebrating our 15 year anniversary of Gym Kidz this year. I felt so humbled, excited and blessed to be able to celebrate this moment with my team.
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
Since I have two boys, there is not a lot of time for relaxation. My weekends are usually spent at the baseball field watching my kids play. It’s nice to be on the other side of the fence for once.
What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?
My plan this year is to expand our mobile programming. I want to expand our programs to the local schools. Some children do not have the means to come to our facility. By expanding our programming to the local schools, we can teach more children the wonderful sport of Gymnastics. We are working toward a project that will give us funding to reach out to kids who do not have the means to participate in gymnastics. I am excited about this new project, and I’m looking forward to seeing how many kids we can help.
You want to write a book on…
Funny things kids say and do. I love working with kids because they are so honest and real. They do not hold back and have very funny things to say if you just listen. We can learn a lot from them.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Gymnastics is a wonderful sport, and I am so blessed to be able to have taught thousands of kids over my 20 plus years of teaching. When you find something you love to do, amazing things will happen.
What’s the best way for the readers of WE Magazine for Women to connect with you?