Last night, Jade Jenny spoke to us in the third installment of the BYOBiz Speaking from Experience lecture series about his experience starting Champlain Valley Crossfit.
Jade discovered a new style of fitness in the summer of 2009, and from there could never go back to the conventional gym workout. Since then, he graduated from Champlain College with a B.S. in Business and opened his own 10,000-square-foot studio in Chittenden County- the second Crossfit studio in the state of Vermont.
The most impressive part of Jade’s story is how his business has grown. Jade opened the studio with $35,000 he raised with help from friends and family. To this day, he hasn’t spent a dime on advertising. He originally raised awareness about Crossfit workouts by creating a website, recruiting friends and offering free classes to anyone interested. In the period of a few months, Jade had eighty to ninety people in attendance at his free classes. Now at his Crossfit studio, Jade has around 200 members, with as many as 125 people attending classes over the course of one day.
What keeps people coming back to CVCF is the sense of community. Crossfit is a different style of fitness where everybody does the same workout, but the intensity is specific to each individual’s ability. Workouts are based on athletic performance as opposed to just “getting big,” and nobody needs to feel intimidated by that ripped guy who’s there daily, strutting around and flexing. Everybody cheers for one another, and is proud of each other’s achievements. This type of fitness bridges the gap between paying ten dollars a month to go to Planet Fitness on your own reluctant motivation, and paying big bucks for a personal trainer.
Overall, Jade’s was a remarkable story about a unique business venture. The Champlain alumnus looks forward to spending his days teaching classes and running his Crossfit studio for years to come.