A DETERMINED entrepreneur is fighting the flab and the recession by launching a string of fitness clubs across the country.
Mum-of-one Katie Bulmer-Cooke, from Ashbrooke, Sunderland, held her first courses just 18 months ago.
But while many bigger gyms and health clubs feel the pinch, the 26-year-old has gone from strength to strength, with her Little Black Dress Clubs now operating in 19 cities nationwide.
In the coming months, she plans to open five more, as well as release a DVD and take to the road for a weight-loss roadshow with Kevin McLernon, the winner of ITV 1’s The Biggest Loser competition.
“I can’t believe how quickly the business has grown. The success of it has truly been overwhelming,” said Katie. “It feels amazing to be able to help so many women look and feel great all over the UK through my program.”
Katie runs a host of fitness websites and holds sessions across the North East.
However, the Little Black Dress Clubs has been franchised to other locations, from Lanarkshire, in Scotland, to Portsmouth, on the south coast.
“The weight and inch-loss results the programme achieved in Sunderland were outstanding, so it made perfect sense to branch out and help other women across the UK regain their health, confidence and, most importantly, get in great shape,” she said.
“The Little Black Dress Club is a six-week course, comprised of mindset, nutrition and exercise and is designed with really busy women in mind.”
Earlier this year, Katie was picked from scores of hopefuls from across the country to win the coveted UK Personal Trainer of the Year honour at a ceremony at the Winter Gardens, in Blackpool.
“Real women don’t have time to hit the gym five days a week, they simply have too many other commitments such as work, family and children,” she said. “The Little Black Dress Club is designed to fit into a hectic schedule and the nutrition element is exciting.”