Women Who Do What They Love - Jenny Tiffen

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Who is this woman? Jenny Tiffen

What is her passion called? Canberra FitMums

Where can you take a squiz at her stuff? www.fitmums.biz

What is her story? I am Canberra born and bred and - very boringly - I have married a Canberran (Gerard Tiffen) too… but we love it here in the bush capital. We have had three children, though sadly our first little boy Cooper was stillborn. We are now super busy raising his sister Bridie (2.5 years) and brother Chase (17 months).

How long has she been following her passion? The first ‘FitMums’ class was actually named ‘Mummy BootCamp’. It started when my mummy friend (Estee) and I wanted to turn up the heat on our many walks around Lake Burley Griffin. We hired a personal trainer and did a small marketing campaign. We had 43 mums RSVP to our first session. That was in November of 2006 and I continued to grow it from there.

What does she actually do? Mornings of fun and fitness! We run exercise classes for mums where the children are welcome along. We provide a nanny to entertain the babes so the mum can make the most of her workout. We always grab a coffee afterwards and seem to solve the world with our topics of conversation! Everyone gets free entry into Lollipops Playland after all Brand Depot classes, which is a perfect reward for good toddlers at FitMums.

Why does she do it all? I wanted to get back into shape after two really close pregnancies and combining parenting, socialising and fitness makes total sense to me! My children love coming to FitMums so it makes it so easy. Now I am also combining work into the mix! It is a very fun job, though.

Has the creation of her business been easy or tough? The ideas for the business are easy. Getting them into action is the harder part! I am a little impatient with my vision. As I have a young, growing family, I try and stay grounded in prioritising things. I am lucky that my husband runs a successful business so that I can go months without drawing a wage if need be, and can put much of the profit back into the business.

I completely underestimated the amount of work and constant hurdles that pop up – but these are often half the fun – as long as you enjoy the climb!

What pesky obstacles have cropped up along the way? Wet weather is something that always gets us! Even when we have paid for an indoor venue, mums often choose to stay in on yucky days. I think many businesses are affected by the weather. We are always working on new promotions to keep the buzz at FitMums and keep the momentum going.

What have been the greatest joys in running her business? It is so nice being my own boss. I feel proud of what we achieve at FitMums and that alone is very rewarding. I love getting positive feedback from mothers who are enjoying our program and are seeing results in their clothes, spirit and attitudes. I don’t think you can put a price on that kind of return and it is really lovely to be a part of. I also love dealing with other small business. Once you are in business, you become part of this new club where all of a sudden you know how to support other business, and in return they support you! B2B work is very rewarding.

What are some of her business faves? I love that I can take my children to my work, exercise while I am there and hang out with my friends. FitMums is part of every weekday. I have a background in IT so playing with our website is also something I completely enjoy doing. Plus, I love that, as the boss, I can make as many things as I like PINK!

What is her inspiration? Other mums! I guess that also means me – but I know as a mum what I want for myself, my husband and my children, and I want other Canberra mums to also benefit from what we are trying to achieve at FitMums. I didn’t want to have my kids in care for me to be able to exercise, nor did I want to rely on family members to look after them two or three times per week for me to get my body back. Thirdly, I didn’t want my working husband to pay for my fitness. I love that my children and other FitMums children also have a great time out at our sessions.

Jenny with Marty of FitMums

If she could do anything in the whole wide world, what would she do? I would be a professional dancer! I am so uncoordinated so I know it is virtually impossible for me, but I adore watching people dance. Gerard and the kids are constantly laughing at my moves, but that is ok – I think!?
Where she escape to if she could? It is eight degrees today… so somewhere warm! We have a family holiday to Fiji coming up so that is in the forefront of my mind. I used to work for QANTAS and am very lucky to have been to many fabulous countries. Singapore, USA and Asia are on the top of my fave list.

What would she buy there? Fijians are very good at making lovely jewellery and Bridie just loves all the bags and grass outfits. I will be also spending much time and money in the Resort Spa, no doubt!

What is next for Jenny? We are launching into pregnancy exercise classes as well as a new skin care range in the coming months. Both these new arms of the business are very exciting for us. One day we will have our own commercial space with all our activities under one roof.

What is her ideal day? Sleeping in until 8am, exercising with Gerard and/or friends, brunch out with the family, playing with the kids, enjoying a DVD with Gerard while the children have their nap, taking kids to the park, lazy but yummy dinner, in bed by 8:30!

What are her greatest achievements? My babies. All three of them.

Jenny with husband Gerard and children Bridie and Chase

What five words sum her up? Cheerful, Energised, Imaginative, Ambitious, Sherbet.

What advice would she have for someone wanting to follow their passion? Go for it! You never have to work another day of your life if you love what you do. Remember to stay three-dimensional, as passions can sometimes close doors to other great things in your life.

Don’t miss updates on FitMums’ latest classes and news at the website...

Are you doing what you love? Please contact me here if you would like to tell your Do What You Love story. I’d love to hear from you – no matter where you are in the world.

1 comment:

stepforddreams said...

Oh wow good on her! I also did a similar thing here in Sydney called Mums Squad they have nannies etc and I went twice a week but I didn't lose any weight so I quit! I have a lot of respect for the fit mummies like Jennny. I'd rather eat cake than exercise. Anyone that enjoys exercise gets points from me.

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