Small Business Spotlight

Small Business Spotlight: Prestige Gymnastics Academy

27781798_10210221322241140_1136975236_n

 

“It’s Kaleigh Duffy, PGA owner here! I was born and raised here in Botetourt County by Thomas and Carma Duffy! I have two sisters, Emilee and Jorydn, a boyfriend Josh, and an Australian Shepard dog, Cuddles! I grew up in a Christian home, with a big family, and traditional southern values; I couldn’t be prouder of my upbringing. I currently live with my life long best friend in an apartment only a few minutes from the gym! I enjoy coaching your kids, training and motivating my staff, and reading business inspirational books! I believe that the training never ends, therefore I am always attending clinics, taking classes, and courses to improve myself and my coaches. I prioritize meal prepping and lifting weights, along with creating training plans for myself and others! I love to decorate, hike, camp, fish and hunt! Being outside is my happy place! I love traveling, exploring new restaurants, and touring breweries and vineyards! I love coffee, am obsessed with Pinterest and office supplies, and love supporting local businesses. I enjoy all things fitness and fashion! My nails are almost ALWAYS done and fall is my favorite season! I started Prestige Gymnastics in 2012 in a 2,500 square foot building with 8 team kids and 8 coaches. We now reside in our current 10,000 square foot gym, with over 50 team and pre-team kids and over 30 employees! There’s a story in between then and now, so if you’re interested…keep reading!

When I was two years old, my parents made the wise decision of enrolling me into gymnastics at Botetourt Gymnastics Academy. Little did they know, but what started as a fun activity for kids would soon turn in to my passion and lifelong career. I enjoyed gymnastics as a kid, later leading to an interest in competitive gymnastics, which grew to competitive all-star cheerleading. Being a gymnast took up most of my time, and the gym was my home away from home, but my parents always encouraged me to be well-rounded and partake in many different hobbies. In addition to my practices and weekend meets, I played softball, was active in 4-H clubs, lamb shows, and public speaking contests, practiced art, and partook in many weekly church activities.

When I turned 14, I was offered a job to work at Botetourt Gymnastics coaching kids after school! This was a dream come true! I loved kids, leadership and lesson planning came natural to me, and I couldn’t have been more obsessed with my teenage occupation. I attended Lord Botetourt High School, while I continued to coach gymnastics. I spent my math classes doing lesson plans and lunch hours researching new conditioning methods. (I failed math.) I put my heart and soul into coaching and was determined to be the best and beat the best. I have always been a dreamer. I am always thinking ahead, planning something new, and getting excited about my next big idea. (Many of which will never make it past my notebooks.) If you give me something good, I immediately try to make it better. If you show me my competition, I immediately want to do the opposite. I’ve been like this for as long as I can remember, and honestly, I’d be bored without my dreamer spirit. I was the employee that frequently said, “If I was the owner, I would ….” Looking back, that’s hilarious, and God sure does have a sense of humor!

When I was 16, my job decided to move locations to a much smaller venue. I was bummed to leave the building that I grew up in, but I was excited for new beginnings. At this point in my teenage career, I was taking on much responsibility, working almost every day after school and loving every second of it. At 17, I was a senior in high school with college plans and hopes of leaving my hometown to live it up in college. My plan was to attend James Madison University and study psychology/sociology and criminal justice. When I graduated I was going to immediately land an awesome job, be married to the man of my dreams, buy a house and start a family. A few years later, when I was settled and excelling in the art of adulthood, I was going to open my own gymnastics gym and be the best in the Roanoke Valley! (Again, God has a sense of humor.)

“If I’ve learned anything in my life it’s that you can think and dream and make lists and plans all you want to, but in the end it’s GOD’S plan that you should be following and HIS will that guides you, not your own.”

Shortly before my high school graduation, in an effort to save money, I decided that I would study at Virginia Western Community College for two years, before transferring to JMU to fulfill my plan. As you may or may not know, gymnastics gyms typically close down from Christmas to New Years. In December of 2011, only about 4 days before Christmas, my boss called me and informed me that she was not planning to re-open after the New Year.

I was crushed. My job was gone. My kids were gone. My childhood was gone. My income was gone. My co-workers and close friends were gone. My whole life was over. I had no idea why this was happening or what I was going to do next. I had no plan, and that was the scariest thing of all. My boss soon reached out to me and offered the sale of her equipment and clientele list. She offered for me to purchase her equipment from her and open my own business in her current location. I was 18, lived at home, with only a part time job, no money, no business experience, no credit history, and definitely no idea what I was doing, but after hours of tears and prayers, I said, “yes!”

I made it through Christmas and my parents, both previous business owners, agreed to help me and guide me until I could stand on my own two feet. If it were not for them, I would not be where I am today. In the short days between Christmas and New Years, we visited lawyers, banks, printers, T-shirt companies, signage businesses and so many other places I can’t even remember, as those days are now a blur. My parents co-signed a loan for me, helped me sign a lease, and greatly aided in the startups of a new company. In the few short days between Christmas and New Years my super-hero parents transformed Botetourt Gymnastics Academy, into Prestige Gymnastics Academy and we opened our doors on January 2, 2012 at 4:00 pm, with a new name, the same look, same kids, same equipment, and a very clueless, but hopeful business owner.

Since this day, my life has been a whirlwind. I did not finish college, and I more than likely will not. I didn’t transfer to JMU, and I’m not a sociologist or criminal justice major. I’m not a professional business owner, nor will I probably ever be, but I am still a dreamer. The saying, “thank God for unanswered prayers” could not be more true. God said “no” to the thing I thought I wanted most, and because of it I live a full and happy life that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

I’m 24 years old now and still actively running this company. I love Prestige with my entire heart and every day I think of a new idea or creative way to better our business. I say “our” when referring to Prestige, because I don’t see PGA as MINE. We share this company. We do. Prestige would be nothing if I were the only the component. The coaches, the kids, the parents, and the wonderful community of Botetourt County share Prestige Gymnastics. My mission is that OUR company can not only effectively teach gymnastics and provide a fun activity for our youth, but that we can touch your lives, create a safe haven, a family, and most of all that any one that steps foot into these four walls can see the light of Jesus shining through myself and my staff.

As a 24 year old business owner, I have made my fair share of mistakes.

“I have seen the highs and the lows of owning a company and I know there is so much more to learn.”

I have customers who love my youth and those who are skeptical based on my age. Holding this position from 18 years old, has taught me that age is but a number and your real worth comes from your actions. My job is stressful at times, but I can honestly say that I couldn’t be happier with my life. I love my staff and my coaches. I have two wonderful sisters who I had the privilege of coaching and now both work for me. I have two beautiful parents who are not only happily married, but are high school sweethearts who are still in love. I have a supportive boyfriend who encourages me to act on my dreams and fuels my creative mindset. I have grandparents who push me to maintain my values and ethics.

I’m often asked if I regret not going to college or pursing a “real job.” I take a look at my life and know that this job isn’t for everyone, but it IS for me. I am able to travel and create my own daily plan.

“I get to live a creative life everyday instead of looking forward to the weekend and dreading Mondays.”

My only boss is Jesus Christ and who could do better than that? Do I get to clock out at 5 pm and leave work at work? Absolutely not, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I work 24/7. From the time I open my eyes in the morning, to the time I fall asleep, I can assure you that YOU are on my mind. YOUR kids. YOUR coaches. YOUR family. YOUR Prestige Gymnastics Academy. I eat, breathe, and bleed PGA! I hope you guys can come to love Prestige as much as I do! I am a very open-minded person who strives for your feedback. If you ever have any comments, questions, complaints, constructive criticism, or new ideas for me, please don’t hesitate to send them my way!

So what’s next for Prestige? Of course, I am still dreaming! I have hopes of building the custom gym of my dreams and taking PGA to the next level! I thank you all for reading my story and I encourage you to stop me and say hello in the gym if we have yet to meet!”

27721169_10210221324201189_841269579_n

Kaleigh and PGA can be found over at https://www.facebook.com/prestigegymbotetourt/. Send some Momentum Community love her way!

 

-Momentum-

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s