Lift and Burn is a functional fitness studio in Hilo, Hawaii helping people in the community look and feel their healthiest. We sat down with co-owners (and husband and wife duo) Sharif Moye and Zenobea Love to learn more about why they started their own business and their experience with CoverWallet.
How did you guys get started? What made you want to open your own business?
Sharif: I had been working as the lead trainer at another gym for more than three years, but I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I had tried a few other business ventures in the past, but I found they were not fulfilling for me in the long term. I have a real passion for functional fitness, and I saw how powerfully it’s impacted others and myself. We opened on February 1st this year and so far have been very pleased with the results.
Why did you want to work together?
Zenobea: Sharif and I decided that after being married for 20 years, and having three children, we were ready to create a business that would allow us to spend our work days together. We also wanted something that would positively impact our family. When our children visit the studio after school they are surrounded by people that are making healthy choices and improving their quality of life. We couldn’t ask for better than that!
Has fitness always been a passion for you?
Sharif: I've been a competitive athlete my whole life. I started with martial arts when I was just 3 or 4 years old, and I even came close to joining the Junior Olympic team. I’ve also played soccer, basketball, and I went to college on a rowing scholarship. Growing up I never thought about being a trainer, but now that I’m 40 and a parent, I want to be able to run and play with them for as long a possible. When I saw the benefits of fitness in my own life, and in others, it inspired me to open my own business.
What makes functional fitness different from other workout approaches?
Sharif: Functional fitness is basically an approach that is built on the movement patterns humans have evolved with; it’s all very core-based movements, like squats, deadlifts, and hinges. Rather than relying on machines, our gym focuses on using the body’s own weight. I believe that what you do in the gym should make you better outside the gym.
We’re located on the Big Island in Hawaii and there were very few gym options available to the community here. There are just a couple of your typical, big gyms, but they offer no guidance on how to use the equipment or the movements involved, let alone how to be safe while working out. There are a few other weight-lifting gyms but they have a very high injury rate. As a trainer, a high injury rate is something I find unacceptable. Our gym, by comparison, has a less than 1% injury rate. So we provide a unique environment for people to receive tons of instruction and exercise in a safe way.
What’s the biggest transformation you’ve seen a client make because of your gym?
Sharif: We have a member who did a six-week weight loss challenge where she trained and also received custom meal plans. By the end of the six weeks, not only had she stopped smoking, but she lost 18 pounds and 12% body fat.
This why I do what I do. I have such a calling to directly help people. I want to be able to know and see the people I’m helping. Losing weight means a person has the ability to move through this world they want to, and that’s true freedom.
As a small business owner, what’s the best piece of advice you would give to someone who wants to open their own business?
Sharif: Develop a very strong marketing strategy. It doesn't matter how much you love your idea, how good you think it is or how much you spend on your website. If you can’t properly market what you do, you won't succeed.
How did you first discover CoverWallet?
Zenobea: It was an internet search on Safari. Trying to get insurance was one of the top three most challenging parts of opening our business. I found you guys and our experience with CoverWallet has FAR exceeded all others! Incredible customer service. Unbelievable turnaround time to get a quote and coverage. Quite honestly, our experience with CoverWallet has blown us away!
If you’re in Hawaii and looking to improve your health and wellbeing be sure to check out Lift and Burn, you can find them on Facebook as well.