Introducing the POWER COUPLE behind F45 Fruit Cove, Mia & Craig Jeckel.
From Brunswick, Georgia, Mia was a collegiate soccer player and cross-country runner at the University of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg, South Carolina. She has an undergraduate degree in Corporate Fitness, a Masters Degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion, a Juris Doctor degree, and is a licensed attorney in the state of Florida. To top it all off, she has also been a certified personal trainer for fifteen years! Craig, who is also a certified personal trainer, stems from Strongsville, Ohio. He has a degree in chemical engineering from the University of South Carolina and is currently a Chemical Engineer Manager at a flavors and fragrances manufacturing facility.
Starting as members when F45 opened across the street from their house, they fell in love with the workouts and knew F45 was something special. Craig had always wanted to be an entrepreneur and at the time, Mia was an attorney with the state working long hours for little pay. With Mia’s background and Craig’s entrepreneurial spirit, F45 seemed like the perfect fit.
They opened the doors of F45 Training Fruit Cove in July 2020 amid the global pandemic, but they were determined to create greatness despite the outside forces they faced. F45 Fruit Cove was very much a family business from the very beginning, and they strongly believe that is what drove their success.
They launched their pre-sale marketing campaign on March 16, 2020 – the day the country shut down. Instead of viewing that as a negative, Mia saw that as an opportunity to make connections, knowing that everyone was home and available to answer their phone. Mia single-handedly managed the entire pre-sale process herself, making every call, answering every text, and closing every pre-sale. This set the tone for the studio’s character.
Mia and Craig’s hands-on approach did not stop after pre-sales. For the first several months, Mia or Craig (or both!) were in the studio for every single workout session. They continue to lead by example and have chosen to emphasize people over profit. When the studio hit its third anniversary in July, they still had 4 of the original 6 trainers on staff (6 of 8 if you count Mia & Craig!), a testament to how much they value their phenomenal staff.
Three years later and with a membership base of over 300 members, they still know each member’s name and their unique story. They prioritize fostering connections among members by immediately folding first-timers into the mix. More often than not, their existing members unintentionally do the heavy lifting in the sales process! Members are encouraging the trialers to book in for their next class, offer to partner with them again, and share all the benefits they’ve experienced as a member. Their members sell the product better than they could ever hope to, which creates a snowball effect and has made their community second to none.
They believe the F45 programming is so popular because members can workout alongside people who have dramatically different athletic abilities or physical limitations, but everyone leaves having gotten a great workout! They emphasized, “For new members, everyone works together, so you never feel like you are getting left behind. It doesn’t matter if you do 5 burpees or 25 burpees in 40 seconds, it just matters that you are pushing yourself. For the more advanced athletes, you can’t become too fit for F45. The fitter you are, the harder you push and the more you achieve. F45 never gets easier, members just get fitter and push harder. We never do the same workout twice at F45, so you don’t get bored. And F45 continues to find new ways to be innovative which has allowed us to maintain a substantial number of founding members, three and a half years later.”
What has been the biggest surprise since starting their ownership journey? Towels. All. The. Towels.
Mia’s favorite workout is 3-Peat. She is competitive by nature and loves to have a target and push herself to her limit. This is also a fun team-building workout for the trainers to do together. Craig’s favorite workout is Hollywood because it’s a fast-paced mixture of cardio, resistance, agility, and core! And DJ Tony always brings the beats!
What makes Mia & Craig excited to wake up each morning? Three and a half years later, and at least one of them is still at every 5 AM session! Whether they are coaching or working out alongside the members, their members are their inspiration. They have had members go through serious health issues who have told them that coming through our doors each day is what gave them hope. Another incredible member came in for a class on the morning she was going to have a double mastectomy because she knew that would be the only positive in her day that day.
Their members show up for themselves. And when that’s not enough, they show up for their teammates. Knowing that there is a lot of sadness, hurt, and heartbreak in the world, and knowing that F45 can be the best part of someone’s day – that is what makes Mia & Craig excited to wake up each day.
If you are around F45 Fruit Cove, make sure to pay them a visit and experience their incredible community firsthand!