All fitness centers are not created equal—Girlfriend’s Fit Club is the place where women can get fit and share in a community that supports them physically and emotionally.
When Shawn Mielke opened Girlfriend’s Fit Club, she wanted to provide more than just a place to work out. Her vision was to create a center where women of all ages, shapes and sizes could get healthy and fit. Plus, she wanted amenities and programs targeted to serve women’s needs. It wouldn’t be easy to make this vision a reality. However, while growing up in Grand Blanc, Shawn’s mom and dad always said, “You can do anything you put your mind to.”
The fact that Girlfriend’s Fit Club celebrates its 10th anniversary this year proves that her parents were right. Shawn and her husband, David, have cultivated a loyal band of members and built a successful business. Today, Girlfriend’s Fit Club operates at a 10,000-square-foot facility in Holland, with equipment designed specifically for women, on-site childcare, and a yoga studio complemented by a fireplace.
One of the key reasons for their success? The community at Girlfriend’s Fit Club.
A community of caring
“As women, we put our needs last,” Shawn said. Her club provides a space where women can take care of themselves and find a supportive community.
“We teach women to treat their bodies as a whole; to take time for themselves; and not worry about a number on the scale. Moms can leave the kids for up to two hours at time [in our childcare].” The ability to workout, shower and have time to one’s self is exactly the kind of support many women need to get and stay healthy.
At Girlfriend’s Fit Club, support for healthy bodies goes beyond cross-training, yoga classes, personal training and an indoor track. As a Certified Holistic Health Coach, Shawn says, “It’s not about being skinny. It’s about being healthy. If you do the right things, the numbers will show. We teach people how to lose weight and keep it off by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.”
Another way Girlfriend’s Fit Club supports members is with specialty classes for those returning to exercise after illness, injury or surgery. Those with knee problems get training that helps them recover from surgery or avoid surgery all together.
“We also partner with a local physician in town who helps women through their breast cancer pre- and post-journey,” Shawn said. “Going through breast cancer (or any cancer) is already a stressful and exhausting experience; here at Girlfriend’s Fit Club we strive to make a non-intimidating environment for women to get strong and healthy through their recovery.”
The caring goes both ways
“When we were moving to our new location five years ago, we had to close for 30 days while construction was completed and the township signed off,” Shawn said. “Our members stayed with us and I want to say, ‘Thank you!’ So many of them came in to help us with painting, including Michele Chaney [our Vice President of Lakeshore Markets at Consumers].”
The Girlfriend’s Fit Club community also rallied around Shawn and David when he had a brain tumor. And when their son, Mason, was born two years ago, they celebrated with the couple.
“I love being a member of Girlfriend’s Fit Club!” says Chaney. “Girlfriend’s is not your typical gym. I have made friendships with so many of the women who regularly work out there. We lovingly support and share accountability on our wellness journey, but our connections go beyond just physical wellness.
“We have laughed and cried with each other as we share medical scares, the loss of family members, challenges with our children and even fun stories about our pets. It is truly the best fitness place to belong!”
To keep their finances fit, Shawn does all her business banking through Consumers. Her relationship with the Holland office has been “nothing but great!” she said.
“Michele was a huge help in transitioning from our old bank. I wish I had changed sooner.”
If you’d like to try out the club for yourself, now is a great time. Shawn is running anniversary specials all summer. You can find them on their Facebook page.
Girlfriend’s Fit Club also works with many local companies, including Consumers, to give discounts to their employees through their wellness corporate packages. If your company is interested in a partnership, please contact Shawn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations on 10 years of success, Girlfriend’s Fit Club! We are proud to be your credit union!
Building relationships to help you succeed is what our business development managers do best. Call 800-991-2221 for answers about business banking. We’re here to help you grow your business!
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