Fitness Mompreneur On How To Build A Powerful Brand

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Name: Kelli Rapaski 

Degree/Institution: Michigan State University- Bachelors Degree in Dietetics

Workplace/Business: The Lean Body Studio 

Favorite app/website/blog: Too many to mention! From food blogs to fashion blogs, I love it all! Rachel Hollis and Jenna Kutcher are definitely the two I follow most for motivation and business advice!

Go-to outfit: All things athleisure during the week and a great pair of jeans and heels for the weekends! 

Go-to power anthem: “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire” and “We wont be distracted by comparison if we are cultivated with purpose” 

Go-to Local Restaurant: Commonwealth 

Go-to Coffee shop: I’m an at-home coffee lover! I rarely buy coffee out! 

Your Website/Blog/Social Media handle: @lbs_metrodetroit + @lbbabyprep

Introductions: Name, Career, Business and # of kids

Kelli Rapaski, I am the owner of The Lean Body Studio and I have 1 amazing daughter named Londyn.

Tell me about yourself, your background and how you started Lean Body Studio.

There is no short answer for this one! The Lean Body Studio is absolutely a culmination of everything I was passionate about in different points of my career. I have done nutritional counseling in Las Vegas, ran a wellness program for a large corporation in New York, was the assistant manager of a small studio in Royal Oak, did remote health coaching for wellness company in Chicago and landed back in beautiful Michigan to put all that I had learned together and fly on my OWN! First and foremost, I wanted to follow my passion of helping other women feel GOOD and find confidence in their own skin. I knew I wanted to marry together the training aspect with the nutrition piece for the best chance of success. I started going in-home to clients to build clientele. After realizing the TIME I was losing in driving, I convinced my loving hubby to turn our basement into a studio. From there, I was off and running! Most of my clients came from word-of-mouth and later, social media was my biggest ally. I would train women in our home and also do remote training for women all over the United States. I didn’t want to limit myself to just MI if I already knew how a successful remote program should be run! Fast forward 2 years, another basement buildout in a larger space, I was ready and confident to go into our first brick and mortar space. 

I follow your IG account and I notice you do get to the studio really early. What does a typical work day/week looks like for you?

If there is one thing is consistent with my schedule, its that it’s never consistent! Ha! Most of my mornings start around 4:30 or 5AM. I head to the studio to either workout or teach, then I come home and have coffee in the peace and quiet before my husband and daughter wake up! I cherish that morning coffee alone! I then shower and head back to the studio to teach or do 1:1 training. Most of my days end around 2pm unless I am teaching the night classes! My husband owns his own business as well so no two days or weeks are ever the same but we wouldn’t have it any other way!

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You mentioned starting your business from your basement and that actually inspired me. Can you share a bit about that for mamas who are looking to start something modestly from their home? 

Like I mentioned above, I started building clientele in my home. I wanted to prove proof- of-concept to my husband before getting in over my head and just popping open a studio. I wanted to build the COMMUNITY first! Once the LBS community started growing and expanding, I knew I could make it in a brick and mortar space and be able to take on the additional overhead. If there is one thing I learned, it’s to be over prepared and always expect to spend more than you think! You just have to START! It’s scary at first but if you grow as organically as you can, don’t get ahead of yourself, and create VALUE for all of your clients, it WILL grow!!

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How has your experience building a company from the ground up impact your role as a wife and mother?

I expanded the business while I was pregnant and began the building process right when Londyn was born. To say that was hard would be a huge understatement. Juggling contractor meetings and having to go back and forth to make decisions while toting around a newborn and trying to master breastfeeding…not easy and very overwhelming! BUT, I did it! It was a season of life I knew would be short-lived. Luckily my husband has always been my #1 and biggest support system so he did everything he could to help me through the transition and assure me I was making the right moves. I never realized how strong I was or could be until I had Londyn. Being a mother changes you and truly helps you realize your full potential. 

Now, let’s talk fitness. What advice do you have for moms hoping to bounce back after pregnancy?

I get asked this a lot! I don’t love the term “bouncing back” after pregnancy. I wholeheartedly believe we should shift our focus as mamas and think about it as bouncing FORWARD! We need to appreciate what our body has done and above all, we don’t need to settle.You absolutely can find your happiest body postpartum, but you have to put the work in and that starts with a healthy pregnancy. With the OKAY from your doctor, staying active and fueling your body properly during pregnancy is essential to helping post-baby. I cringe when women say they are “eating for two” because half of that equation is only a few tiny ounces or pounds so you definitely don’t need to eat for two grown adults! Most likely, how you approach your pregnancy is how your postpartum journey will go. Make it easier on yourself and take care of your body! Healthy mama, healthy baby, happy home!

Your baby girl just turned 2, how have you found balance or alignment as a working mother?

Balance is always something I am striving for and working towards but I’m not sure any mom ever really achieves a perfect balance! I’ve learned quickly to roll with the punches! I plan out most of my weeks every Sunday but it rarely ever goes exactly as planned… and that’s okay! I schedule ALL of my workouts like I would any other meeting. It’s SO important to set aside “ME times” as a mom! Family time is scheduled the same way.

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Have you found childcare to be manageable – what are the current wins and or challenges?

We have a good balance right now when it comes to childcare. Londyn is with my MIL one day, daycare two days, a nanny one day and me one day! She gets a good mix of one-on-one time, family time and socializing time! I know it wouldn’t work for everyone but it works for us! We are also lucky to have both families close! 

What advice do you have for a mother who is trying to nurture her ambitions in motherhood. How have you stayed true to your goals while being the best mama to your little one?

Motherhood is unlike anything! In the beginning you feel like you’re in DEEP, in over your head and like this little human will always need ALL of you. It can be a lot! Luckily Londyn was a super easy baby and great sleeper from the get-go but it still took me awhile to find my groove. I can’t remember exactly when but I made a conscious decision to shift my mindset when it came to motherhood. Instead of using her as my EXCUSE of why I couldn’t follow my dreams, I used her as my REASON of why I absolutely could! Because of her, I want to succeed. Because of her, I want to go after what I am passionate about and still be a great mom and wife. Because of her, I am the happiest, most fulfilled version of myself.

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What do you do for self-care and how do you spend your free time as a boss mama?

I am all about self-care! I have no problem admitting that I have standing facial, hair and botox appointments. They help me feel like ME! It took me a long time to realize that taking care of myself and doing things just for me, isn’t selfish! If I feel good, I am a better mom, a better wife and overall a better person! Moms wear SO many hats and play so many roles on a daily basis, it’s absolutely essential to take time for yourself. We deserve it! 

What’s next for Lean Body Studio?

That’s a great question! Our second location opened up in Kalamazoo a couple of months ago so we are laser focused on growing both locations. In the future I can see another location popping up in Metro Detroit—you’ll just have to follow along to find out where! 

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All Photography by Apple of Our Eye