If you’re familiar with the blog, you know that I started a Black-owned business directory in 2020 to amplify Black voices and entrepreneurship in our community. It’s been so amazing to watch this list grow with so many incredible businesses. To celebrate Black History Month, I want to go a step further and get to know a few of the business owners listed in the directory. Check back weekly to learn about someone new!
If you’re looking for fitness inspiration to get moving or a meal plan to help make healthier food choices, Bria Wannamaker (@bbodiesygk) is here for you! I learned about Bria when she was tagged in the Black-owned Business directory. Her page is loaded with positivty and encouragement. Learn about how she changed her business model in response to COVID-19 and what else she’s been up to in lockdown below.
Tell me a bit about yourself…
Hey there! My name Bria Wannamaker and I run an online personal training business, Bodies by B. I’ve always loved fitness (I completed in trampoline and cheerleading for a number of years, competed at the world championships for cheerleading, and coached cheerleading for years) and I’m passionate about helping women who don’t enjoy exercise or who find it boring, or challenging to incorporate regular physical activity into their daily routines.
Something interesting about me is that I’m also a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying). I have a Bachelors degree in Behavioural Psychology and a Masters degree in Psychology and I practice as a licensed Therapist. Bodies by B was supposed to be a side job but it has turned into so much more and I just love it. Both of my jobs are extremely fulfilling, both jobs allow me to feel accomplished and that I’ve really helped people both in the moment and for short and long-term benefits.
When and why did you start Bodies by B?
I’m still learning and growing as a new entrepreneur as I established Bodies by B in April of 2019. I started by serving everyone, and then realized that I really want to serve and help women – busy women who are struggling to find balance between work, school, family, social life, hobbies, being active, and relaxation.
I started Bodies by B because I see how stuck people can get and how busy and chaotic our lives can be. I want to help women include regular fitness and activity in their lives in a way this is balances –AKA not extreme dieting or strictly regimented workout routines. I want to make fitness fun and challenging at the same time, I want to help women carve out time for self-care.
Kingston is my hometown, born and raised here! I always thought that I’d live in Toronto or somewhere else but plans change – I just keep falling in love with our sweet, beautiful city. Being an active person, I appreciate having the Springer Market Square skating rink, the lovely waterfront path through Lake Ontario Park, the K & P Trail… the list goes on and on. There are so many ways to keep active in Kingston.
What has it been like growing your business here?
I was personal training in-person until COVID-19. I still trained in person over the summer months, staying outside, following precautions and physical distancing, but I have recently pivoted to a fully online business model and I’m LOVING it! I host group programs and individual training sessions via Zoom, I’ve also recently hired a yoga instructor who teaches online yoga classes to my clients.
Advice to aspiring business owners?
Commit. Just commit to it and play BIG. Do the thing that’s on your heart and don’t do it just for money. You need to do the thing that you would do for free, that you’ll wake up early for and go to bed late for. It isn’t always a picnic and you don’t gain 100k followers overnight – social media can make running a business look easy. Keep pushing through and unveiling all of your amazing skills and abilities to help serve others. Listen to podcasts and books to help inspire you and to rein in that creative energy!
Anything you’d like to add?
We (my partner and I) have recently started making and selling salad dressing. I guess we needed something fun to do together during lockdown. I’m so excited about this endeavour – our salad dressings are organic, gluten-free, dairy-free, plant-based, and low-sugar. We have just launched “The Original” – stay tuned for more flavours of our Salads Made Simple design.