We had the good fortune of connecting with Monique Mealey and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Monique, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I became a personal trainer immediately upon graduating college with my Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology. Like most trainers, I got my first, second, and third jobs in the corporate gym world. After spending five years working in and observing corporate gyms, I found myself resenting certain aspects of the fitness industry. First, I was getting burned out because the only way to make a living was by working unrealistic hours with minimal breaks. These gyms would sell high dollar packages to members, but would then turn around and barely pay their trainers. Working 5AM-8PM was unfortunately too familiar to me. Second, it was so disappointing to observe time and time again that the gyms would not have the best interest of their clients in mind. Members were seen primarily as dollar signs and were sold high hopes of reaching weight loss goals in packages of 30-minute sessions. I felt so limited with what I was able to do with clients and felt more like a salesman than a personal trainer. Lastly, the lack of credentials and loose qualifications created huge inconsistencies of hiring quality trainers. This was probably the hardest element to constantly observe, as most of these corporate gyms seemed to hire anyone with an overnight personal training certification and little to no experience. Out of everything, this was the most disheartening considering we are supposed have our client’s health and well-being in our hands.
All of these reasons are what prompted me to start my own personal training business. I was so tired of the seemingly negligent behaviors of gyms towards their clients and trainers, so I wanted to create a gym that prioritized the success of everyone. Hiring quality, certified trainers with fair pay that will allow them to be able to make a career out of their passion. Creating an environment where clients feel comfortable to train and that they are not just another number. Making the health of our clients our number one priority so they not only get the results they want, but they feel good while on this journey as well. My husband, Ty Mealey, and I started Tytin Fitness in 2015 to accomplish all of this. Since then, we have expanded our business model and created Tytin Wellness, our sister wellness center which has allowed us to create a lifestyle and environment conducive to the fundamental elements of health via convenience. Having the wellness center and gym under one roof makes us a holistic, one stop shop for those looking to make true changes from the inside, out. We now offer personal training, bloodwork, hormone therapy, massage therapy, physical therapy, naturopathic medicine, aesthetics, Chinese medicine, and even house a barber. Our training and medical staff all work closely together to create the most comprehensive plan based on the needs and goals of our clients to get the most efficient, optimal, and long-term results possible.
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?
Tytin Wellness is a holistic health facility that bridges the gap between health and fitness. We house fitness and personal training along with naturopathic, therapeutic, and aesthetic services all under one roof. This sets us apart from any other gym or wellness center because we can take a truly holistic and comprehensive approach with our clients by making sure we are reaching their goals from the inside, out. An individual can have the most perfect plan inside the gym and their nutrition could be on point, but if their hormones or processes inside their bodies are not functioning efficiently and optimally, we will never see the results we want. With Tytin Wellness and Tytin Fitness, we now can safely monitor and execute science-based, tailored results both inside and out of the gym.
One of the most challenging aspects of building this brand has been finding like-minded individuals who understand the vision and direction of Tytin Wellness and Tytin Fitness. Our business model has changed drastically since we started in 2015, as most do when businesses see extreme growth. When there are so many moving parts and you have such a multi-faceted approach, it is so important to trust the people you bring on board. We have been so blessed to find all of the amazing individuals who work for us, but this has been a challenge as we have been very particular about who we bring on board. Finding quality health care and fitness professionals is of the utmost importance to us, so we would rather take our time hiring those who match our vision and brand rather than rushing just to fill a position.
The biggest lesson I have learned while helping to create Tytin Fitness and Tytin Wellness is not to be afraid to ask for help. When my husband and I first opened the doors to our gym, we only had four employees, which included ourselves. It was so easy for both of us to be in charge of every component there is when it comes to running a business from marketing, to payroll, to accounting, to hiring, to business development, and more. As we started to grow and the business became more multi-faceted, we tried as long as we could to continue doing everything ourselves. All while still actively working and training our amazing clientele that we did not want to give up. Even though our schedules were becoming spread more and more thin, we still wanted to handle everything ourselves and were reluctant to ask for outside help. Finally, it got to a point where we realized we needed to delegate tasks in order to not only make our schedules easier, but to help the business run more efficiently.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
One of the most rewarding aspects of creating Tytin Fitness has been our involvement in the LGBTQIA+ community. When we first opened Tytin Fitness in 2015, we knew we wanted to make a difference by creating an environment that clients felt safe and comfortable in while embarking on their fitness journeys. Little did we know how much of an impact this community would have on us as well.
Since starting Tytin Fitness, we have quickly grown to become an ally in the LGBTQIA+ community. Through this, we have met some of the most remarkable, genuine, and loving individuals that we are lucky enough to not only call our clients, but now our family. One of the core concepts that has been embedded into our brand is the value of community. We have become a safe space for anyone to come and create a healthier lifestyle no matter their sexual orientation, race, gender, religion, or political stance. Our motto “Your Vibe is Our Tribe” is a dedication to the community we love so much by encompassing the welcoming and ‘come as you are’ acceptance they show on a daily basis. We truly would not be where we are today without the love, support, and friendship of our LGBTQIA+ family.
Fitness Photos- Josiah Begley Photos w/ Clients- Tytin Fitness Photo in the desert- Charlotte Francis Photography