Women who Inspire
Fitness isn’t something I ever thought I would build a career with. I was always whole-heartedly devoted to becoming an artist. In fact, I have my bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts/ Sculpture.
I moved to New Bedford when I was in my early 20’s. I had an art studio, I was playing soccer, bartending, and I worked for a construction & restoration company. I was having the time of my life… until suddenly I had so much joint inflammation causing chronic pain that I had to, just about, give everything up.
The house we were working on at the time belonged to a woman who was a personal trainer. Since I didn’t have health insurance, I took a little money out of my savings and hired her to help me - and she did. She literally nursed me back to health and totally rocked my world. I never looked back after that.
When I first became a personal trainer, I HUSTLED… I was coaching clients in my house, their houses, big box gyms, chiropractic offices, physical therapy offices, country clubs, and I even taught water aerobics! Anything that could help me become an expert in my field. Then I landed a job as a studio manager and lead coach for a studio in Rhode Island, where I spent 5+ years.
During that time I got married and later had my daughter, and as she started to grow, I was feeling more and more like I was missing out on so much. My life was in the Southcoast, but I was spending most of my time in RI.
My husband had picked up on my funk and came home one day and said “I think you should open a studio in New Bedford. I think New Bedford is ready for you.” Before he could even finish what he was saying I was already making plans.
There was so much to do! One thing I knew for sure was that I didn’t want to do this alone. I knew first hand how helpful it is to have a full-timer who was devoted to helping build the business. But I had no clue who that might be. Who did I know that I could trust this much and who was bananas enough to dive in with me? After many sleepless nights, it hit me like a ton of bricks - it had to be Angela!!
I was nervous to ask her to be my full time manager. She had been a stay at home for 6 years and was contemplating going back to school for nursing… but I knew she would be great for this and I knew I trusted her. Thankfully, when I asked her to be my manager, she responded by requesting that she be my business partner.
We’ve been building Boutique Fitness together since 2011 - from just the two of us and one tiny studio to now 20+ of us and locations in NB, Mattapoisett, Westport, and Taunton this fall. Angela and I are total work wives, partners in crime, and BFF’s. Our team and our clients are our everything and we are beyond grateful for all this business has offered us.
Cheers to small business and cheers the future :)
Lara Harrington, ISSA, ACSM, CFSC
Co-Owner and Coach
Boutique Fitness, Inc.