- Faith & Family
Fitness clubs are becoming big business in Miami, despite a slumping economy. And because of the many Black women who nationally account for close to 40 percent of all obesity cases, one local entrepreneur has found her niche in this fast-growing enterprise. Tashari Walker, 24, may not have figured on owning her own fitness center, which opened two months ago, but after battling and overcoming weight problems, she found that many of her friends wanted advice on how to get more fit. Her business, Nicky Rae Fitness, 15972 NW 27th Ave., targets women who lose weight, improve their health and want to feel better about themselves.
“After having my daughter I became extremely overweight,” Walker said. “I weighed about 245 pounds. I was always on the quest to lose weight. So when I finally did, I did it big and I kind of built this following of people who would ask, ‘how did you do that or can you help me lose weight.?’ From there I started teaching classes and rented out different facilities. When my clientele became too large I realized it was time to get a space where I would be able to accommodate more people.”
Walker, professionally known as Nicky Rae, opened her business in Miami Gardens Daytona Beach by the end of the year. Her clients range from about 19 years-old to the late 40′s. With a combination of traditional aerobics and pole aerobics, Walker serves up a new side of fitness.
“I knew that in order to get people to work out they would have to be doing something that they enjoy,” she said. “I knew that pole fitness would take the work out of the work out since it is something that women can view as fun and not actually exercise.”
Walker works with three previous clients who have become instructors.
“My instructors were clients at first,” she said. “You know sometimes you have those clients that stand out above the rest, the leaders of the pack. I knew that I needed a team and they were a perfect match for Nicky Rae Fitness. Pole fitness is something that is on the rise. Just within the last year there have been about 10 pole fitness studios that have popped up in Miami alone. Women want to feel sexy so this is what’s in right now.”
By Randy Grice