Emily and Britt share the path to opening their own business, getting involved in the wellness world, being a part of the Charlotte community, and more.
What inspired you two to start Fityoulous?
(Britt) Once I convinced Emily to move to Charlotte, neither of us could find a corporate career that we were passionate about. Sure, the 9-5 was great but we knew we had so much more potential. We both have a huge passion for wellness; Emily is a personal trainer and I love fashion and wellness. After living in other cities – LA and Boston – we knew that Charlotte could support an awesome active fashion boutique… and the rest is history.
Where are you from originally?
We are both from a small town in northern New York called Massena (basically Canada). There we grew up together and were inseparable; we played ice hockey, soccer, and lacrosse growing up. We went to separate colleges and took on careers after graduating, and then CLT’s charm brought us both here.
After deciding to start Fityoulous what were your next steps to turning it into a business?
We started asking questions and chatting with other business owners. Was opening a business really worth the risk we were going to have to take? Hell yes it was, but it’s not for everyone and certainly not for the faint of heart. Acknowledging the risk but keeping our eye on the potential reward was what really pushed us to get started. While both still working full-time jobs, we would spend any free time we had creating a business plan that would cultivate culture, community, and a lifestyle for Charlotte. The passion continues as we grow our Fityoulous squad, and we both wake up with the fire to work harder and smarter.
What lessons have you learned on your journey with Fityoulous?
Every day is a lesson, and I think this would be a staple answer for any business owner. Especially in the beginning, it’s a complete learning process. We like to look at it as one big experiment. One of the biggest things we’ve learned is that you always have to be willing to go back to the drawing board. When something doesn’t work how you anticipated, acknowledge it and make the necessary changes. Just don’t give up and maintain your initial level of passion to keep driving you forward. We have both learned more in the last seven months than at any corporate job ever could have offered.
Tell us about the Midtown location – how did that come to fruition? Why Midtown?
When we first opened our doors in South End, there weren’t very many retail locations available so we ended up in a spot that, at the time, we thought would be perfect. After being there for a short period of time, we realized we just weren’t visible enough to our audience and knew there was a huge community of people in Charlotte who wanted our product, but just didn’t know we existed! After chatting with some other business owners we heard about our new location that was coming available, immediately we knew that this was a dream opportunity to move to this location. We share the same shoppers as West Elm, Trader Joe’s, and Criv and knew that by moving to the Metropolitan, it would put us right in front of our target market!
How has your work inspired your life?
(Britt) Every day we are inspired. I keep up with all of the fashion trends while expanding and creating new ideas for the store. Emily received her personal training certification and trains clients when she is not at the store. Overall, this is just the beginning for our wellness journeys. The store continues to offer us new fitness and wellness opportunities through the relationships and connections we’ve established with our community.
How is Fityoulous different from other athletic boutiques?
We have brought in some of the top-notch brands in the fitness industry. Boutique shopping gives our customers the experience to grab new workout gear or leisurewear that is offered in limited quantities, making our product very exclusive. We also stand behind our products and brands that we carry making sure that they are up to our standards.
How important is community and diversity to your work?
Being a part of the community is very important to us! We host monthly pop-ups at studios and wellness businesses around Charlotte. We also work with different charities to involve the community as well. Each month we partner with local studios and host several workout classes in-store! We also really focus on keeping in-store classes budget friendly by offering free classes for the most part! This is important to us because it allows our customers and community to try out a new workout class without having to break the bank to do so.
How would you describe your own style?
(Emily) If you were to walk into either of our closets, Fityoulous is basically a massive closet for the both of us. We both love pieces that can be worn in multiple settings. We are busy people, so I wanted to bring in leggings that we can wear to the gym and then go have a cocktail in. A lot of the pieces are versatile and can be worn day and night. Britt has also done a great job bringing in luxury layering jackets and cute leisure wear that you could mix and match with anything. As a trainer, I put a lot of emphasis on incorporating performance wear pieces that were also fashionable.
What are your hopes going forward for Fityoulous?
Overall, our goal is to expand and open up other locations in large cities that cater to an active community. We would also like to design our own product one day and expand our lifestyle to all.