We had the good fortune of connecting with Layn Chess and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Layn, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
In the beginning I just really wanted to help people, in an ethical way… I started my career at a gym where the main focus was closing sales and holding people to contracts rather than focusing on their health. I knew that if we put the service and the people first, word of mouth would do the rest, not a contract. Sure enough, I built my reputation and had a solid book of business. Then, a few years into my career, my grandfather who was my rock, passed away from health issues related to a lifetime of diabetes. Thats when I realized my personal mission in life was to share what I knew about health and wellness with as with as many people as I could, so I could prevent the type of pain and troubles my grandfather experienced in other peoples lives. I offered to open a second location with the owners of the gym I was at with the hope that they’d let me manage it and build this culture I dreamed of. But, I guess out of fear they fired me instead! So I got in my car, thought about my future paths, and decided to go after my dream. With some bumps, bruises, and a lot of grit, here we are 8 years and two locations later!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
When I began my career, the industry was all about aesthetics. Bodybuilding and fad diets were everywhere. Coming from a background where I had to rehab injuries and played sports that included elements of strength and endurance, I knew there was more to the equation. I quickly realized I could get my clients stronger my implementing mobility training, or help them run longer by doing strength training. This is where ‘FACETS’ came from. I began building programs that included all the Facets of Fitness, Flexibility, Agility, Core, Endurance, Toning, & Strength. That’s when I realized peoples’ internal culture towards fitness needs to change. Aesthetics and Athletics wreak havoc on the body, whereas if you create a program that is balanced the byproduct is people look and feel great, for a lifetime! So, when it comes to the “1” thing that sets us apart from others, it’s our culture. And when we say culture, that seeps into everything we do. Our stand point is everything and everyone has their place, and we should always be learning. This shows up in our relationships and how we treat our body. The fitness environments we’ve created allows people from all walks of life to feel like they belong in our community. We encourage our members to enjoy the different Facets of Fitness by attending different classes, trying different pieces of equipment, even having our members email us questions so that we can make “Education Tuesday” videos showing details on how to do certain exercises that we post on our socials. This has been a difficult task though. Most people are so hell bent on how they look it’s hard to get them to focus on how they move, to trust that they’ll look better because of it. But our brand is here to make that statement! We’ve learned that we can make an impact through educating our clients, teaching them how to love their bodies so that they look and feel great everyday. It truly becomes a lifestyle, and our members love it!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love this city, and if I could take someone on a Houston tour I’d start with East Downtown. So much history and the trails on Buffalo Bayou are amazing! From there I’d take us to the Heights where our other location is. It’s changed so much over the years, but still holds that charm where you want to walk to the shops and bars! My favorite spot to visit though is the ‘Ho Chih Minh’ trails at Memorial park. I love to trail run, and you can bike there too. Feels like you’re nowhere near the city when you’re back there! For dinner, you can really enjoy some good original Mexican food at Cucharas near Mid Town. But with so many options in town, you’d need more than just a visit to get a real feel of the city 😉
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to give a shoutout to Grandparents. To my grandfather for shaping the man I am today, and my grandmother for adding the spice and filling his shoes now that he’s gone. They’ve always supported me, encouraged me, and made the world a learning landscape.
Facebook: Layn Chess
Duy Ta Jose Madrigal