For many, health and fitness isn’t just a passion, it’s a calling. That’s why they find ways to turn their passion into a career.
However, there are numerous ways that you can create a profitable business in the fitness industry outside of the obvious personal trainer or exercise instructor options.
One of South Africa’s top health and fitness entrepreneurs is Camella Sanders, founder of Fit Farm Girl. This e-commerce platform is changing the way fitness enthusiasts and professionals buy their equipment and workout gear.
The ByFitFarmGirl website offers a wide variety of workout equipment and accessories to help shoppers reach their goals. The focus is predominantly on quality items that are functional, versatile and pretty, but won’t break the bank.
How did your career in the health and fitness industry come about?
By chance I started working as a receptionist at a gym straight out of school. I moved onto a new gym and then got promoted to a manager in 6 months. I lost a lot of weight and committed to a new lifestyle, competed in a bikini show and started reading Fitness magazine. I then moved onto coaching people on the side and studied Sport and Exercise nutrition online.
How has your career and business evolved over the years?
I’ve worked as a receptionist at a gym, an instructor and a manager. I also coached clients online in my spare time while employed in another industry. In 2014 I co-owned and ran a bush camp with my (now) husband and continued online coaching for years, while also competing in bikini shows. I took a leap of faith in 2018 and opened an online store that sells fitness equipment under the Fit Farm Girl brand. I have since stopped online coaching due to my e-commerce offering, which keeps me very busy.
What industry-related or business qualifications do you hold?
I have a Sport and Exercise Nutrition certificate, which I attained via an online course. I have no formal business qualifications and I honestly believe that experience is far more valuable than a qualification.
How did you identify or conceive of your business concept or opportunity?
I found a product which was available in other parts of the world like the USA, UK and Australia, but not in South Africa. I began to research similar products that were available here and seemed popular, which is when I had my ‘ah-ha’ moment.