One of Mayerling's clients works on flexibility.
Mayerling Castillo started her business with $1,000 three years ago. Today, she has 30 clients and plans to hire two employees by year’s end. A physical trainer who used her time working for 24 Hour Fitness and Bally Total Fitness as business research, Mayerling is a Chilean native kicking the notion that Latina businesses flounder after start-up. We caught up with her shortly after the birth of her first child to talk about her business model and what it’s like to own a business in Oakland.
Q: Why did you launch MyForma?
I yearned for outdoor training: trails, beaches, parks. After a few years, I noticed that I wanted to do something a little different, something with a flexible schedule. I wanted a business that delivered an alternative to the corporate experience.
Q: Did you work out through your pregnancy?
I lead an entire Boot Camp program through my pregnancy.
[Boot Camps] were developed as all age, all fitness level workouts. In that way it’s easy to adapt for every group, focusing on direct connections for meeting goals.
Q: What does a typical day look like?
I work how I like, waking up early to see the sunrise, taking breaks between individual training sessions to go mountain biking, and spending time with my son.
Q: What about the down economy?
In 2009 the numbers dipped a little but overall clients have continued to seek training, either to manage stress post a job loss or because they have stable jobs. It helps that I provide different services ranging from luxury training to Boot Camps.
Q: How do you stay motivated, energize your business?
I’m surrounded by indirect competition. So, networking and marketing have been the best tools for staying on track. I’m a member of the East Bay Women’s Network where I exchange with other women going through similar business stages. Our meetings are full of great energy, enthusiasm, and ideas that I bring home to support my business. I also have a work-trade marketing relationship with a designer and I’m developing local partnerships with other local businesses such as Dr. Jason Morganstein for mutual referrals.
Mayerling Castillo is a graduate of the Renaissance Center’s Business Development program. She serves as Secretary for the East Bay Women’s Network. Join her next 1 month bootcamp at Lake Merritt, Lake Chabot, or San Leandro for $150 or contact her about one of her other fitness solutions.
Lack funds but want to stay fit? Check-out Planet Green. To learn more about running green, check out green gyms and group activities.
See other Oakland Local coverage of inspiring local businesses here.