March is Women’s History Month and we are celebrating women in the UFC GYM community and their achievements. Fay Marakas is an entrepreneur and businesswoman who owns UFC GYM Clearwater, Florida.
We chatted with Fay to learn more about her journey as a woman business owner, her experience in the fitness industry as a gym owner, and more about the fitness community in Clearwater Florida.
UFC GYM: What led you to becoming a gym owner? Why did you decide to become a gym owner?
FM: I joined the gym 10 years ago. I have multiple sclerosis, and I knew that exercise and a positive environment would help me manage my illness. When I became a member, the classes helped me mentally and physically, and the community was so welcoming. When the gym went for sale a few years after I joined, I wanted to make sure it stayed open so that it could have the same impact on others that it had on me. I wanted to provide a supportive, community environment to the members. Witnessing firsthand how our members have grown and come together during their highs and lows has made this journey worthwhile. With my daughter Katherine, I knew we could work together and make a difference.
UFC GYM: What advice do you have for someone starting a business?
FM: Don’t give up! Building a successful business in any area requires hard work and believing in yourself and the work that you are doing. There are challenges every day, but these challenges make the successes our members and our gym have experienced more meaningful.
UFC GYM: What is the toughest obstacle you face being a female business/gym owner?
FM: The toughest obstacle is feeling as though I never have enough time during the day to do everything I need to do to run a successful business. I am fortunate to have a great team of coaches at the gym and my daughter that will work as many hours as needed and is always there for the members. I am also fortunate to have a husband and family that are supportive of my work and always ready to step in and help when needed!! Make sure to surround yourself with positive influences who believe in you and your goals!!
UFC GYM: What do you enjoy most about being a gym owner and owning a UFC GYM?
FM: What I love most about owning a UFC GYM is being part of a community. Our members are our family. We are there for each other through the good times and the more difficult moments in our lives.
UFC GYM: Tell us about your gym community, supporting community health, and fitness goals.
FM: Our gym in Clearwater, Florida supports the health and wellness of members of all ages. We recognize the role exercise and the gym community play in our younger members’ mental health and wellness. Because of this, we provide an environment where they learn not just about fitness and self defense, but they also learn the importance of hard work, team work, and respect for themselves and for others. For adult members, we offer a variety of health and wellness classes and activities. We also have a weekly classes for individuals with physical and mental disabilities.
UFC GYM Clearwater, Florida is located at 28784 US Hwy 19 North, Clearwater, FL 33761
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Interested in learning more about franchising opportunities with UFC GYM and owning your own fitness facility? Visit ufcgymfranchise.com