03 Aug Minna of Sandbox Fitness
The Inception of Sandbox Fitness
Many people have a dream to own their own business, but few have the drive and ability to get it launched successfully. Minna Hershkowitz saw an opening in the fitness world and jumped, making her this week’s Stepforward Female Entrepreneur. Minna was always an avid fit person, becoming a certified personal trainer with the National Federation of Professional Trainers over 10 years ago, and love and sunshine moved her to the west coast where she continued her training until an injury moved her from the gym to the beach…and the sand. It was here that she realized she could get the resistance she needed for a workout without putting pressure on her joints and after researching what it would take to get a sand-related fitness program started she dived in head first to open her own studio: Sandbox Fitness.
How’d She Get It Started?
After being turned down for multiple loans, Minna and her husband David kept pushing, asking, adjusting their pitches and leaning in until someone said yes and they launched Sandbox Fitness with as little money as possible. With 10 years experience as a personal trainer and her newly discovered love for fitness in the sand, Minna moved the beach to the boulevard in her efficient and eclectic 600 square foot Sherman Oaks studio.
Where Does The Sand Come From?
The sand is specially ordered, custom made with the gradient and color of Minna’s choice, with an antimicrobial cover that protects the particles from absorbing or containing bacteria. It’s non- toxic, non-hazard and silica-free; you can sweat on the sand and bacteria will not grow on it! It’s a healthy option considering all the barefeet that will be pounding through the grainy terrain of the studio. Soft and tan, the sand triggers images of serene tropical beaches without the elements that can prevent you from enjoying your workout: wind, sun and beach litter. Minna praises the versatility of the sand, noting that you can practice many, many different fitness techniques without needing to change the studio’s equipment much. Her specialities are TRX ®, Surfset ®, strength and conditioning, Bootcamp, Zumba, dance, and kickboxing, and the studio is offering pilates and yoga in the sand as well! And don’t worry, kids are welcome! There are classes for all ages.
Since she’s established herself as a breakthrough creator of a new genre with Sandbox Fitness, Minna is looking toward the future and what she sees for Sandbox Fitness. “More,” she says. “More locations, more classes, more instructors,” and with that, more notoriety as one of the top fitness contenders in the world. Emboldened by her success, one of Minna’s employees already asked to franchise the business and with Minna’s help she licensed and opened up a second location in West Hollywood. Will Minna go corporate and have strict training standards for each location? “No way,” she says. “I’ll hire qualified trainers and then let them decide the curriculum with enough consistency to stay on brand. There’s just so much you can do with sand fitness that I don’t want to box anyone in.” Sounds like she’d be a great franchiser boss, eh?
Who Inspired Her?
Minna’s inspiration was her very own father, who has owned his own business since she was a small child. She admired the lifestyle—putting in the hard work in the early stages so you can have more freedom and independence later on. Family vacations are easy to plan when you’re the boss, and Minna and her family have always worked for her dad making it a true family business. Besides her dad, Minna really admires the owner of Orangetheory Fitness; she wants to find out how they opened up 350 locations in 5 years so she can emulate their tactics. She’s dreaming big, and with two locations under her belt in under 2 years she’s definitely on the right track.
Do you live in Los Angeles? Then you should definitely come take some of her classes at the Sandbox Fitness in Sherman Oaks or West Hollywood. Not local? That’s ok, you can follow along with her Vine videos, YouTube tutorials, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Look out for this company as they multiply and continue making waves in the fitness community!