Amie Seier, owner of The Community Gym in Winnipeg
A year after opening The Community Gym, owner Amie Seier achieved what many thought she couldn’t. She created a thriving gym and helped revitalize Winnipeg’s downtown core. But when the pandemic struck and closed her business, Seier‘s strength was put to the test. As intimidating as it was to tackle the next steps, she couldn’t abandon her dream of bringing fitness and charm to her hometown.
“If we can survive this in our first year, I think we can survive anything. This experience has been incredibly tough but getting to have freedom as an entrepreneur and knowing that I'm in the driver seat… at the end of the day I'd rather have that than anything.” – Amie Seier, owner of The Community Gym.
Amie Seier always dreamt about opening a business in her hometown. When most businesses were moving out of Winnipeg’s downtown core, she decided to open up a gym in the heart of the city to help revitalize the area. She says, “After briefly living in Calgary, I saw how small businesses created a really incredible downtown culture. It inspired me to move home and try to do the same in Winnipeg.” She opened a fitness studio aptly named The Community Gym, offering four different classes: boxing, boot camp, yoga and spin class. Within a year of opening, Seier felt that she had become the type of facility she dreamed of; one that brought her city together. Then COVID-19 happened.
The Community Gym was based around the idea that people would come together in the same physical space, but with that now impossible, Seier pivoted into Instagram live classes. Within two weeks, she’d launched an on-demand fitness program, and is about to launch a 21-day challenge as a way to create community connection online.
At first Seier struggled to integrate video and fitness, but once word got out, the community showed up for her. “One of our instructor’s sisters who had some video experience offered to come help out every day for free. And every single day for a month and a half, she came in and we recorded all of our workouts.” It’s experiences like this that gave her faith in humanity, and the strength to keep her business going. With outdoor classes now permitted by Manitoba’s government, she can get back to her mission; helping build culture in the downtown community through fitness and physical education.
Seier has two takeaways for other small business owners: Overcoming adversity makes you stronger, and never sweat the small stuff.
To support Amie Seier, Winnipeggers can visit the The Community Gym website and sign up for an outdoor class.
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