The Origins of EK Vitality!
Welcome to the Vitality Blog! My name is Erika Mitchell and I am the owner of EK Vitality. As a young girl living in Amherstburg, Ontario, never did I think that my life would look like it does right now: happily married with a beautiful daughter, living in Glencoe, Ontario, where I opened a group training studio to house my very own business, EK Vitality. As we start up this blog as a new platform, I thought I’d take you back to the beginning of my journey into fitness, creating a business, and growing a family, as an introduction to myself, this company, and the influences and experiences behind the future posts to come.
So, here we go…
October 2011: Following my love of sports and movement took me to Western University where I graduated with a degree in Kinesiology.
April 2012 – August 2013: After graduating, I became a personal trainer at The Athletic Club (London South location), which is now called Movati. I loved working with people and helping them make changes in their lives.
July, 2013: I met my now-husband, Kyle… two months before moving across the world.
September 2013- July 2014: I travelled and lived in Australia (only coming home for a month at Christmas). It was such an awesome experience.
September 2014: Inspired by a friend who was doing in-home fitness training, I began working on the business aspect of EK Vitality (EKV for short).
October 2014: To support myself while I worked to turn EK Vitality from a side hustle to a full-time business, I started working at The Keg.
November 2014: I landed EK Vitality’s very first private client.
January 2015: Shortly after officially starting EKV, I tore my ACL in my left knee and had to get reconstructive surgery, resulting in the business to be put on a brief hold while I recovered.
June 2015: I took the NPE (Net Profit Explosion) Fitness/Business Course. This really pushed me into group training, which would soon become the core of what EKV is!
September 2015: I made the LIFE CHANGING decision to start group training in the small, but mighty town of Glencoe, Ontario (where Kyle lived). I put the initial idea out there and had 28 people interested right away. We gathered at spaces like the elementary and high school gyms and the local dance studio, as well as public parks, parking lots and sports fields. Clients brought their own dumbbells and mats, I brought extra equipment and we made it work no matter what the setting! EKV’s “hub” was my trusty old car, named Betty White!
October 2015: I attended the NPE Conference that gave me the confidence to take my business to the next level.
November 2015: To really commit to EKV, I quit my job at The Keg and expanded my group training services to Dorchester, Amherstburg and London. I was still working out of Betty White.
May 2016: I moved to Glencoe to build a life there with Kyle.
October 2017: I married Kyle. Our wedding was one of the best days of my life!
June 2018: I started to solely group train in Glencoe.
June 11th, 2018: I hired my first employee, Brooke Richards. I cannot speak highly enough about this addition to my business and life. (Brooke is the literal reason Vaughan exists and has been my right-hand woman from day 1).
November 2018: I got pregnant!
August 2019: I gave birth to our beautiful daughter, Vaughan Leeann Nicole Mitchell. (Also one of the best days of my life!)
September 2019: After having a baby, I knew it was not going to be maintainable to keep lugging around equipment in the back of my car to different locations to run classes. I signed the lease to start construction on a studio for EK Vitality.
November 15th, 2019: I hired our yoga instructors, Hilary & Aleks. Incredible additions to the team and a beautiful balance adding yoga to the EKV structure.
December 1st, 2019: Despite a crazy ice storm, we hosted an Open House for the new EKV studio and had a great turnout.
December, 2nd, 2019: We opened studio doors and EKV officially had a home base!
February 3rd, 2020: I hired Kelci Myers to help run the beginners – low impact program.
March 11th, 2020: I hired Erin Wellington as our new yoga instructor (she has been providing all of the yoga videos for the remote training program)!
March 16th, 2020: Just four months after opening the studio, we had to close our doors due to COVID-19.
March 20th, 2020: To stay connected with each other and active during the (what at the time we thought would be two-week) lockdown, we started a 14 day “Accountability Accumulation Challenge”.
April 2020: When the lockdown was extended past 14 days, we launched our first remote coaching program over Zoom. We continued 4-week virtual coaching programs for 4 months.
May 4th, 2020: I hired Meghan Harvie to provide her expertise on social media content and management.
August 3rd, 2020: The studio reopened! We revamped our original membership to include in-studio, remote and hybrid training options. In preparation for reopening, we added two skiergs and a TV in the studio to run remote and in-studio classes simultaneously.
December 26th, 2020: Unfortunately we had to close the studio again due to COVID-19 restrictions. All of our memberships transitioned to being fully remote.
January 2021: We brought in Driven Nutrition products and we launched a monthly newsletter!
February 16th, 2021: The studio reopened again and we brought back our 3 membership options!
Present: Since reopening, we’ve added two squat stands, more plyo boxes and Crossover Symmetry units. Now that you are reading this, we’ve officially launched the Vitality Blog too!
It is so crazy to look back on your life and think “if that one thing hadn’t have happened, I wouldn’t be where I am now”. If I hadn’t gone to school at Western, I may have never ended up in London, where I met Kyle. If Kyle and I hadn’t stayed in touch when I went to Australia, I may have never settled down in Glencoe where I grew my family and my business. If I wasn’t forced to close my studio doors, I may have never discovered the possibility and power of remote training and virtual connection. I truly believe everything happens for a reason. The places I’ve been, people I’ve met, and decisions I’ve made, have all led me to where I am today, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world. EK Vitality would not be what it is today without the passionate community invested in it and I am so grateful that my path led me to all of them.
I’m so proud of what EKV has accomplished, as well as what I’ve personally accomplished in being an entrepreneur, wife, and mother. I cannot wait to see what the future holds and I hope if you’re reading this, you’ll be a part of it!