I started Da Vinci BodyBoard because…

As a chocolatier approaching middle age I found that my regular workouts and running regime were no longer working for me. I tried increasing my workout times, but that did nothing to help reduce weight and only ended up causing more discomfort in my joints. I decided there had to be a better way! After doing some research, I learned that the long workouts were actually causing my body to hold onto fat and that I needed a shorter workout to cover all the bases—cardio, strength training, and core engagement. Resistance bands became my new best friends! I found I could work more of my body within each exercise and do low impact cardio. Plus, the anchor points force you to work through your core in every single move. I lost 8 pounds in 2 weeks and felt better than ever. The BodyBoard is now in 10 countries and our licensed studio model is really taking off—mainly because it really works!

My advice for women entrepreneurs entering a male-dominated industry is…

Don’t even let that thought enter your brain. Every single industry is male-dominated but less and less so every day. I think women actually have an advantage because we approach things differently. We bring a fresh perspective which is usually a good complement to the industry norms. The most important thing is to not let yourself be swayed by the standard methods. Stick with your instincts.

The most important thing is to not let yourself be swayed by the standard methods. Stick with your instincts.

Top 3 tips for managing licensees…

  1. Make sure you are ready to support their needs. You are the expert and they will need a lot of guidance. Remember: their success is crucial to your success.
  2. Be prepared to allow their input and slight deviations from your concept. One of the reasons people choose a license over a franchise is to allow for some individuality. As long as it’s not hurting the brand, it can make each location a little unique and special.
  3. Pick the right people! You need very organized, confident, self-starters for this type of business.

I stay motivated thanks to…

Passion. I have started several businesses that all required a mountain of work, but I was extremely passionate about the concepts. The entire reason for starting each of my businesses was because I really wanted or needed them for myself. I’ve had some dark moments filled with worries and sleepless nights, but I would make myself focus on the positive—like the grateful and glowing responses from clients or the positive changes I could see in the community. I also never, ever believe that there isn’t some way to solve a problem! This can drive my co-workers crazy but you’d be amazed at what you’ll come up with if you think this way.

One of the best things about being a Tory Burch Foundation Fellow…

For me it has been about the connections—with the other Fellows, with the Tory Burch Foundation team, and with influential members of the business community. It has been a game changer! The Fellows Program has also given me a new level of credibility when talking with investors and potential licensees.

My health tip for women entrepreneurs is…

Make sure you eat healthy (real) food, get sleep, and do the BodyBoard at least 3 times a week!

I #EmbraceAmbition by…

Following my dreams. I act on them instead of letting them remain just dreams. I know it’s sometimes frightening—my close friends are terrified for me every time I propose a new idea—but I never let that stop me. My father was killed when I was very young. While at first I was crippled by the fear that life was just too uncertain, as time went on it empowered me. He died at 36 but he lived his life like it was the most precious gift. I don’t want to waste a single minute here and I think ambition is one of our most powerful tools towards living your life to the fullest.

THE DA VINCI BODYBOARD SYSTEM IN ACTION