“I learned that black women are opening their own businesses in droves, and we’re killing it! “ Chavonne Hodges
You might have seen her in a target ad or flooding your insta feed with her lit fitness videos to keep you toned all throughout #HotGirlSummer.
For the past 3 years, Chavonne Hodges Founder of Grillz and Granola has been reinventing fitness through creativity and trap music. Her workouts are poppin and fun all at the same damn time!
“Keep your standards high and your squats low” – Chavonne Hodges”
TMM: How did you go from heartbreak to business owner ?
Chavonne Hodges: Toward the end of 2015, I was going through a divorce from my college sweetheart. This life change caused me to spiral into a depression and aggravated my anxiety. In other words, I hit an emotional rock bottom. But rather than sulking in my sadness, I decided to keep myself busy by going to the gym on the weekdays and partying on the weekends. After a few weeks of that, I decided to spend more time in the gym because it made me feel better. From there, my interest in fitness really took off, so I became a group fitness instructor.
TMM: How long did it take you to execute your business plan and start your business?
Chavonne Hodges: It took nine months to legally set up my business, create a business plan, get certified, etc. Since my professional background is in HR, I created a project plan and worked on it every single night after work. I also asked me cousin to hold me accountable. I can start things easily, but sometimes I need people to remind me to finish.
TMM: How did that collab with Target come about? Any other collabs on the horizon?
Chavonne Hodges: A few years ago, I started making fitness stock images with my friends, because I could not find any images that were diverse enough to use on my company website. I started posting some of the images we made on my Instagram account. Somehow, Target found these images, and the next thing I knew, I was being flown out to LA to be a campaign with Massy Arias. I ended up doing two campaigns with Target. So far, I don’t have any collaborations coming up, but I am keeping my mind open.
TMM: Do you have any business partners?
Chavonne Hodges: Yes, I now have one new business partner, and she’s really dope. We have the same mission, experiences and work ethic, but we problem solve and create differently which is why it works.
TMM: What would you tell someone who wants to start a business in the health and wellness space?
Chavonne Hodges: I would tell them to take their time. Take your time to figure out who you want to impact, how you want to make a difference and why you really want to do this work, because it is not easy. And once you figure those things out, write them down so you will always have a baseline to guide your decisions. There are a lot of people in the wellness space who are mean-spirited deep down inside, but there are also plenty of people who want to make a difference. Nonetheless, it’s still a business full of plot twists, emotional ups and downs and people who try to take advantage of you. Knowing your why will help you bounce back from when it gets tough.
TMM: How do you juggle a full-time career from 9-5 and business from 5-9 ?
Chavonne Hodges: I am very intentional with my time. Each and every moment of my day is committed to a task. During the day, I only commit my attention to tasks that are aligned with my day job, unless I am on my lunch break. Once work ends, I give myself one hour to do nothing, then only commit my attention to tasks that align with my business. If something does not align with my goals, it sounds like noise to me, so I ignore it.
TMM: What’s on the horizon for Grillz and Granola?
Chavonne Hodges: Right now, we are taking some time off to relaunch and reach more people. I won’t get into specifics, but by January 2020, TrapAerobics and our other new offerings will reach more women. In the meantime, we will host a few pop-up classes in the city.
TMM: While we are on the topic any plans for a fitness app or fitness video?
Chavonne Hodges: Yes, there are definitely plans for that!