REACT – RECOVERY – RESILIENCE
SBDC IOWA CLIENTS SHARE THEIR COVID-19 JOURNEY
Evans Burn Boot Camp
Darci Evans, Owner
How did you come up with the idea for your business?
My husband and l live in Madison, WI, where I am a mom, trainer, and a full-time ER nurse. When I was 38 my friend and I decided to try a new gym (Burn Boot Camp) that had opened up in town. I immediately fell in love. It wasn’t intimidating, it was a big community with people like me. Burn Boot Camp is a franchise out of NC that offers coed group fitness with a ‘floating’ floor, personal training with certified trainers in a group setting, and complimentary child care.
We saw an opportunity where we could start from the ground up in Iowa, where my husband’s family is from. Originally, a friend and I were supposed to sign together, but due to a family emergency, she was no longer able to. My husband saw how the gym impacted me and my friends and decided to take the journey with me. We have opened two locations, Clive and Ankeny.
In 2019, we got runner up for Cityview’s Best Local Group Fitness and Best Local Place to Workout. For 2020, we got first for Best Local Personal Trainer, Local Fitness, and Local Place to Workout.
How has the SBDC helped you?
Jan Bruene, Mid Iowa SBDC Business Counselor, has been great. She has been my go-to for how-to from funding to just the basics of business. Every time I have a question they’ll answer or direct me to different resources, like Christina Moffatt from The Greater Des Moines Partnership. Jan walked me through the LivePlan for funding, our lender had few questions and thought it was very good. Throughout the pandemic, Jan has reached out and kept up with us. She has been very great and full of moral support, like my personal cheerleader.
How have you been impacted by COVID-19? Have you pivoted operations? How have you helped others during this time?
Right before our first and second anniversary, we closed our gyms to in-person camps, the day before the Governor mandate. We immediately went virtual and began coordinating with HQ on how to continue to provide content and value to our members. We kept our 3 head trainers, and 2 support staff on full-time. They did multiple camps via Zoom, Facebook Live, and a variety of additional nutrition and training content. Our trainers reached out to members via phone, email, FaceTime and FB messenger to offer support and encouragement. We adapted our workouts to equipment members would have at home.
Our Iowa locations were one of the first to open back up in the midwest. I’m confident no gym does it better. We’ve gone touchless, have processes for maintaining social distancing during workouts, wear masks, and have a rigorous cleaning process. We have been able to coordinate with other locations and find best practices in how to open up safely and come together even more during this time.