We had the good fortune of connecting with Maria Banks and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Maria, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Prior to starting my business, I worked for over 10 years in the healthcare field in a traditional setting. I am passionate about helping others address their health and wellness needs; unfortunately in a traditional healthcare setting (e.g. hospitals, skilled nursing facility) we are often limited by systems in place such as healthcare insurance. I have always wanted to start my own business focused on health and wellness, but always found an excuse to not pursue my dreams, mostly operating from fear. After becoming pregnant, my passion was reignited and I found a need to help pregnant and postnatal women address their maternal health needs. I took the steps necessary to start my business to truly help women address their health and wellness needs without the limitations of a traditional healthcare setting.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
The Health Mamas: Functional Fitness for Motherhood, is a business I started to help pregnant and postnatal women address their maternal health and wellness needs. I provide personal training, health coaching and nutritional support to help women prepare for labor and safely recover after giving birth.

During my pregnancy, I wanted to stay healthy for myself and my baby. I wanted to continue my fitness routine, however I had difficulty finding someone to help me safely engage in fitness. I have always wanted to train and provide health and wellness services to others. So I decided to become the resource that I wish I had during pregnancy in order to help other women.

I am proud of the testimonials that I hear from my clients. I am passionate about helping others and it is truly rewarding to hear that I have made a difference in my clients lives. Many of my clients have not participated in exercise, but are passionate about taking care of their health in order to be there for their children. Many of the women have reported increased strength and improved overall health which has helped them to be better mothers.

I am proud about the connections that I have made with many other organizations that are passionate about addressing maternal health. I have met some great people locally and nationally who I work with to help women. Right now, I am still in the growing phase and tailoring my business to best meet the needs of women. I am learning many lessons. The most important is to network and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! It takes some serious vulnerability to fully put yourself out there, especially when working on something you are passionate about. However, to get where you want to be, you have to step past fear and go towards your goals.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend was coming to visit I would take them to some of my favorite places in the city.

Some of my favorite restaurants are Losanti, Mazunte, Incline Public House (mostly for the great view of the city!), Oak Tavern (my favorite wings!), Pepp & Delores, and Agave & Rye (some of the best tacos!).

For drinks I would visit a couple of my favorite rooftops in the city which are Lytle Park, 21 C Museum Hotel, and AC Upper Deck.

We would take a walk around downtown to look at the many murals that are painted on the side of many buildings. We would also visit the Cincinnati Art Museum, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, and Union Terminal.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My partner James has always been supportive of my dreams. When I expressed to him my desire to start my business, he was the first to help me brainstorm ideas for a business name and lay the foundation for my business. He is my number one supporter!

I would also like to shout out my friend Joi and her program which is called the Mamapreneur program. This program helped me build the foundation of my business. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without her!

Website: www.thehealthmamas.com

Instagram: @thehealthmamas

Facebook: The Health Mamas

Image Credits
Photographer: Varey’s Pics

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.