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Alliance SBDC News

Maiden Resistance

Courtney Jonsson discovered a distinct passion for personal training, however, she didn’t love the gym where she began her career. She began to imagine a gym where women could learn how to use weight training equipment with precision in perfect privacy. Jonsson loves coaching and working with coaches of her own, but where does a fitness coach find a business coach?

Kayla Buchanan, an entrepreneurial baker in Streator, directed Jonsson to the Illinois Small Business Development Center at the Starved Rock Country Alliance. By early December 2020, Jonsson began her weekly business workouts with Amy Lambert, Executive Director of the Illinois SBDC at the Starved Rock Country Alliance. A business plan for Maiden Resistance, a fitness studio for women, gathered strength in those sessions.

Clients of Lambert begin to show business results in a matter of months. She places clients on weekly exercises taken straight from the pages of the GrowthWheel. By January 2021, the board of the Streator Incubator had granted Jonsson space for her private fitness studio. By the middle of March, Jonsson began leading personalized fitness instruction to a close knit group of clients, proving the viability of her market concept. Attendance at the studio continues to grow. Clients proudly wear Maiden Resistance swag around town, increasing the buzz.

Jonsson has created a community at Maiden Resistance. Her clients enjoy working out in privacy, and often talk business together after the class. The community often celebrates with brunches, dress-up challenges and trips to events, including the Streator Food Truck Festival. Jonsson and Lambert are already drafting plans for the next level. Jonsson is passionate about continuing her education. She is currently pursuing a certification to offer prenatal and postpartum fitness and nutrition instruction. Maiden Resistance is currently operating in the Streator Incubator, but Jonsson envisions a fitness studio in a brick and mortar, built for her client’s needs from the ground up. It is Jonsson's hope to build a referral network so her clients have be well in every sense of the word. Maiden Resistance currently has a partnership with Safe Journeys, Balanced Spirit Wellness Center, and The Financial Gym.

Jonsson claims she doesn’t mind if she works herself out of a job. “I want my clients to be able to visit any commercial gym, anywhere, and know how to use the equipment correctly.” When her clients arrive at Maiden Resistance, it’s a world away from the world. “I want my studio to be a breath of fresh air. It’s literally all about my clients for the next hour.”


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