Lisa Druxman, chief founding mom at Fit4mom, left, trains Desiree Vorhees and others at an early morning fitness class in San Marcos.

Lisa Druxman, chief founding mom at Fit4mom, left, trains Desiree Vorhees and others at an early morning fitness class in San Marcos. Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle.

— For Lisa Druxman, chief founding mom of Fit4mom (formerly known as “Stroller Strides”), the San Diego-based company which provides fitness for every stage of motherhood, launching the business 17 years ago came from pure necessity.

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Lisa Druxman, chief founding mom at Fit4mom, left, trains Susan Young and others during an early morning fitness class in San Marcos. Druxman, who founded Fit4mom in 2001 as a way to stay active and to build a community for herself as a new mom, still teaches two classes a week in the San Diego area.

FIT4MOM

Founder: Lisa Druxman

Number of franchises: 300, and over 2,000 class locations nationally

Year founded: 2001

Revenue: $3.7 million in 2017

Company description: A fitness and health program for moms that focuses on all stages of motherhood

Today, Fit4mom has 300 franchises — 40 of those groups in San Diego, which is a territory Druxman still owns — over 2,000 class locations nationally and an international presence on an American military base in Germany. The company’s corporate revenue went from $2.3 million in 2016 to $3.7 million in 2017. Revenue for franchisees went up by 47 percent from 2017 to mid-2018, with some franchisees making up to six figures, something Druxman credits to their focused efforts in helping grow the opportunity through “improved branding, marketing and support.”

Getting Started

“When I became a mom, I didn’t want to work full-time for someone else,” said Druxman, who graduated from San Diego State University in 1996 with a master’s degree in psychology, specializing in exercise adherence and weight management, and was working in fitness management at a La Jolla gym at the time. “During my maternity leave is when I created Stroller Strides. But, I didn’t create it for it to be a business. I created it for myself, because, although I knew I could get moms back in shape, I really just wanted a community and support. What I found was that I wasn’t the only mom looking for that. Within a few weeks of teaching, I did a fitness story on a local television station — that was August 2001 — and the rest is history.”

Franchising

Druxman, who still teaches classes in the San Diego area, says the key to her success has been keeping her target market — mothers — at the forefront of all her decisions, from maintaining franchising costs low ($4,995 for a single territory covering four miles or up to 100,000 in population) and charging two percent of gross sales in franchisor fees (less than the usual nine percent for most franchise businesses, according to Druxman), to the types of classes and support options she provides.

“I think the appeal, more than anything, is that we are not just a fitness class,” Druxman said, adding that while other trainers have attempted to kick off similar mom-focused fitness programs and other gyms have opened, none have the nationwide reach Fit4mom has. “We are really about building up the mom and building up the community around her. It doesn’t matter what city the mom is from, every mom is looking to make connections and needs a community. In other cultures, babies are raised by villages. We don’t have that here in the United States, so, we create that by helping build the mom back up and the community and the culture.”

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