The Main Point…
Health – financial health, mental health, and physical health – are critical components of a community’s ecosystem. The last two years have put a strain on those components, especially for those entrepreneurs involved in providing such services. Thread Capital, dedicated supporting the financial health of those in North Carolina who have a viable idea for a business they want to start or grow, has worked with thousands of small business owners who were forced to face new obstacles stemming from the pandemic.
Here, in the second edition of “The Main Point,” our occasional publication about all things microfinance, we introduce you to Jessica Rice Hawkins of AIMHigh Personal Training, LLC, a resilient woman committed to making a difference in Vance County by inspiring her clients to stay active and live a healthy lifestyle.
AIMHigh Personal Training, LLC
AIMHigh is a personal training studio in Henderson, North Carolina that focuses on a unique mission. Jessica Rice Hawkins’s, its owner and operator with 15 years of experience as a Certified Personal Trainer, says, “Here at AIMHighPT we have accepted the task of providing a safe space to heal and grow physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, and,” she acknowledges, “such opportunities are important now more than ever.”
Equity in their business practices and in their community is an important value for those at AIMHigh and their vision is to inspire, motivate and educate clients to become the best version of themselves. More than 80% of her clients are minority women and children from different backgrounds, ages and fitness levels. “We remain intentional and purposeful for every opportunity to help underserved communities,” Ms. Hawkins shares. “Our vision stands firm. We provide quality training at an affordable rate. This is the solid foundation that allows us to be equitable while adding value and exposure of health and wellness directly to the community.”
Like many businesses during the pandemic, Ms. Hawkins found herself having to pivot and constantly adjust, especially since so many businesses that had relied on in-person visits had shut their own doors. “When the pandemic hit, gyms closed down and stayed closed for six months,” she reminds us, “so, we had to get creative. Thread Capital helped provide the resources so we could continue the business, upgrade equipment and systems to accommodate the community’s needs during and post pandemic.”
Such accommodations included altering and adding equipment for indoor and outdoor use as old gym practices and routines had to be adjusted to fit the current climate. “We now have small group sessions, outdoor classes, private one-on-one sessions as well as health and wellness classes to ensure the community is given the support and knowledge they need to stay strong and healthy in this unprecedented time,” Ms. Hawkins explains. And, to get the word out about the new offerings, she also used some of the funds to increase her marketing and branding capabilities and automated some of the supporting systems.
She acknowledges there is still work to do. “It has taken over a year to get to where we are now, and there is still a long road ahead,” Ms. Hawkins says. “I am truly grateful for the lifeline known as Thread Capital and the opportunity they gave AIMHigh Personal Training, LLC. It encouraged us to Keep Pressing and allowed us to maintain our position in the community to serve those who need it the most. Any success story is only as strong as the support system around it,” she concludes. “We live one day at a time, and will continue to serve by building strong people that create stronger families, ultimately creating and building stronger and healthier communities.”
To learn more about Ms. Hawkins, AIMHigh Personal Training, LLC and all they have to offer, please visit AIMHighPT.com. There you can also sign up for this year’s Keep Pressing 5k run with virtual and in-person options. Better yet, if you live in the area, stop by, sign up, and begin a healthier lifestyle yourself!