Fitness expert flexes her business muscles
A fitness instructor is flexing her business muscles, after making the leap into self-employment, setting up a new sports therapy venture.
Gemma Drinkald has led fitness and weight-loss classes for Skinnypigs for four years, but has launched GD Sports Massage with support from staff at the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC). The 32-year-old and mother of one, who lives in Fulwell was inspired to launch her own business after seeing first-hand the number of people suffering from bad posture, muscle injuries and aches and pains – and the lack of support on offer to them. Operating from a unit at the BIC, the business launchedthis month and Gemma has received 15 bookings in its first week, thanks to the reputation Gemma had built up during as a fitness instructor.
She said: “I taught Skinnypigs classes for four years. During that time, I had so many people asking for help with injuries, posture and general aches and pains, I thought there must be a gap in the market for a service that can support them, so I decided to study for my sports massage qualifications and set up GD to do just that. “Everyone has been extremely supportive, especially my existing clients and my family and friends. They’ve all been a huge help.”
Prior to teaching Skinnypigs classes, Gemma worked at a bank for eight years but wanted a more flexible work-life balance. Gemma now hopes the launch of GD Sports Massage and the flexibility of having an office at the BIC will help her carry on providing fitness and therapy support to people while retaining a healthy work-life balance. She said: “The unit I’ve managed to secure at the BIC is great. It has plenty of space for a studio which is really suited to the support we offer.
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“The staff have been fantastic too. I couldn’t ask any more from them. Donna Surtees, centre manager at the BIC, said: “We are delighted to be able to welcome Gemma to the BIC and we are confident she’ll prove a huge hit.
“To have had so many bookings in her first week is testament to the reputation she has built up over recent years.”