Clare_Schexnyder_TSEYour Name: Clare Schexnyder

Business Name: Oh Baby! Fitness, a fitness studio for new and expecting mothers

Type of Business: Health & Beauty

Business Location: Atlanta, Georgia, United States


Reason for starting
I founded Oh Baby! Fitness in 2005 after experiencing serious postpartum depression. I didn’t want anything to do with my baby, but being a control freak, I didn’t want anyone else to touch my baby either. A terrible combination! My neighbor took me to a New Parents Support group in my town, and the Moms and Dads in that group called me EVERY day and asked me to go for a walk. I didn’t want to go, but they were persistent. The friends I made, and the exercise (and a short prescription of Zoloft) saved my life. I quit my previous 17 year career at CNN to start a pregnancy and mom & baby fitness company. The idea for Oh Baby! Fitness was born! Now, we offer the widest variety of pregnancy and mom & baby exercise classes in the USA (Pilates, Yoga, Toning, Water Aerobics and Stroller Workout). We’ve gone national and are signing new instructors through a licensing program every day.

How do you define success?
Connecting with people and providing them with the service they’re looking for. In our classes, we connect moms in a community and help them bond with their babies and get in the best shapes of their lives. We’ve helped to create so many lifelong friendships in our exercise classes. If I do nothing else as long as I live, I can be happy about the friendships we’ve helped bring about, and other moms we’ve helped who have suffered from postpartum depression. I have an extremely satisfying job!

Biggest Success
Recently, our company keeps having a string of big successes. We’ve gone national, we’ve created an app for exercise that’s being downloaded around the world, and we’ve launched partnerships with some huge hospitals, health care systems and big names in business. Staying true to our mission of helping every woman in the USA have access to a safe pregnancy or mom & baby exercise class makes me happy. We’re actually on our way to doing that across the country. That, once achieved, will be our biggest success. Next, we plan to go international!

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? 
Technology is our top challenge. We’re in the process of launching a national website. Never, in a million years, would I have guessed that the majority of my energy and time would be spent on technology.. especially when you run a fitness business, but connecting with Moms on social media, sending emails and maintaining our current website and updating our new website and developing new apps for smart phones is all encompassing some days. I’ve learned so much and it’s incredibly exciting to realize how many people you can touch worldwide with your knowledge and expertise on a subject via the internet. We’re on the cutting edge when it comes to technology and fitness, and I’m extremely proud of that. But it’s been hard work!

Who is your most important role model?
I don’t have just one. I have so many strong women and men in my life. People I admire for various things they’re good at. As a former journalist, I think my strength is to question the people I admire often about the things they know and gain their advice and guidance. I’m fortunate to have so many people to ask and who are willing to answer my questions and help me succeed.