I am a Mother First, and a Business Owner Second


Hometown: Farmington Hills, MI

Current City: Birmingham, MI

Alma-mater: University of Michigan, BBA

Very first job: First self employment = Save Our Women (an apparel company that raised money for breast cancer awareness/treatment). First actual paycheck = Marketing Analyst at American Express in NYC

How many kids and age :1 kid - Crosby - 4 months

Your website: www.fuse45.com

Favorite app, website or blog? love https://www.wellandgood.com/

Go-to adult beverage:  red wine most of the time. also love a good craft beer.

Go-to power-anthem? I'm a sucker for catchy country songs... Sam Hunt's Body Like A Backroad gets me singing and happy every time


Please tell us about yourself, your business partner (who is also your mother), and the newest addition to your family.

 My name is Samantha Friedman. I am 30 years old. Until recently, my profession would have been the next thing I said about myself, but my baby boy now jumps the list. Crosby was born on February 22nd and he’s the absolute best part of my world. So now I am a mother first and a business owner second, which does not take anything away from my love for my business. It’s just different. My business is Fuse45. Fuse45 is a sustainable high intensity interval training workout that my mom and I invented a few years ago. We have studio locations in west bloomfield and royal oak. My Mom is a creative genius in the fitness world and I support her on the business side of things. We are like a yin and yang when it comes to Fuse45, always trying to balance and flow with the other to bring our clients the best workout experience in the world.

How did you start Fuse 45, and what obstacles did you face as a team of women, and now mothers?

 Fuse45 started by us researching every workout class out there — literally, we traveled across the world taking classes in boutique studios, high end gyms, outdoors, private homes, you name it. We struggled to find anything that was both high intensity and low impact. Low impact was a key factor for us since we both have bad knees. Since we couldn’t find what we needed, we knew others must be looking for it too and so we created it.


Our biggest struggles early on were, and still are, getting the word out about our concept and educating people on the benefits of Fuse45 if they’ve never tried it before. Hiring the right team was also a huge struggle early on. We are two independent, up for anything, fierce women who are used to doing everything ourselves and we forget that it’s important to ask for help, especially in areas where we are not experts. It’s something we are still working on!


What is it like working with your mother as a business partner? What qualities in her, even in your childhood spoke to you, and emboldened you to start a business?

 Working with my mom is literally a dream come true. We’ve been best friends, sharing everything in common, for as long as I can remember. I’ll never forget when I was in college and we decided that one day we’d own a Fitness studio together. We both knew it was just a matter of time. It’s been nothing short of an incredible experience. We have so much respect for each other and learn from each other everyday. When I was young, I knew my mom was like superwoman — good at everything she cared about, determined, passionate and hard working. These are qualities I’ve seen shine in so many aspects of her life and especially in our business together.


As a mom, you are constantly on the go. Where and when do you do your best work?

I can work any place, any time. As long as there’s good lighting (helps my mood), I’m well fed, and I can take breaks involving movement, I’m good to go. To paint a picture of my non stop personality, I’m currently breast feeding while answering these interview questions. I get some really good work done while nursing :)

What is one thing you want other mothers to keep in mind as they navigate business, family and fitness?

It’s important to make time for your relationships outside of business. For me, this can be hard because my business is such a huge part of my social and family life too. I have to remember to focus on my other interests and to set boundaries between work and everything else.

You are a new mom, with a crazy schedule. What self-care routine have helped you stayed focused and motivated?

 Going to bed early, making sure I have healthy food at home to eat, and working out regularly has helped me stay just as focused and motivated as I was before Crosby. I am very lucky that I have a baby who lets me take care of myself too.

All Photography by Diana Liang for Mother Honestly

Blessing Oyeleye