A Richmond fitness franchise that caters to moms has a new owner.
Natalie Russell last month purchased the franchise rights to operate the Fit4Mom brand in Richmond and Midlothian. Her territory includes 19 ZIP codes in the Richmond metro area.
Russell said the franchise was purchased from a friend for an undisclosed amount.
As its name implies, the company offers fitness classes that cater to mothers looking to exercise prior to, during and after their pregnancies.
“There’s not really anything out there for new moms with young kids where they can go and work out,” Russell said.
Unlike many fitness brands, Fit4Mom does not have its own branded gym locations in the area. It instead offers memberships for organized classes held at various sites around town, including Stroller Strides classes that cost $59 a month (in addition to a $75 sign-up fee) and an eight-week Body Back program for $299. High-intensity workouts and interval training include exercises like burpees and jumping jacks.
The brand holds its classes at the Richmond Volleyball Club near Bryan Park on cold days and at Hungary Creek Middle School and Maymont on warmer days.
Moms can have their children at their sides during workouts, but with one important rule to follow: “We have a strict ‘have-to-stay-in-the-stroller’ rule,” Russell said.
Fit4Mom corporate is based in California and was launched in 2001. There are more than 250 franchises around the country, Russell said. She is the third person to own the brand’s Richmond territory.
Russell said she’ll look to grow Fit4Mom’s Richmond monthly membership base, which currently stands at 20.
Russell’s background includes time in England as a professional ballet dancer before moving to Richmond with her husband Phil Russell, a real estate agent with Virginia Select Realty. She has since been freelancing as a dance teacher.
“I knew I wanted something of my own, something I could dig my teeth into and get passionate about,” she said of the decision to buy into the franchise. “After a lot of thinking and number crunching, my husband and I decided it made sense.”