Yes, this story is about Loibel Dance Studio, but before you roll your eyes and say, “There they go with their Zumba again,” this is not a story about Zumba (Ok, a little bit, but not so much!). This is a story for every woman of every age who ever had a dream and for every woman who ever wanted more for her life. Renata’s story is a story to inspire you, and to make you believe that no matter what, when you #ConnectToConfidence, you have the ability to make amazing things happen. She cleaned houses. She was unhappy. At times, no one took her seriously because of her accented English. And yet, when Renata set her mind to it, she found her confidence, and built one of the most well known dance studios in South Florida! (And we do a lot of dancing here, so that is no small accomplishment!!). Come to Loibel’s and go to the desk and you will always see Renata reading, asking advice or doing something else to continue to build and develop her business and herself. Renata, you are an inspiration to us all. Welcome to The Fit List!
Renata Rosa, Woman of Action. Business Owner. Mom. and Fashionista.
I sat down one Monday morning and interviewed co-owner of Loibel Dance Studio & Boca Raton resident, Renata Rosa. Renata shares her behind the scenes perspective of what it’s like to start a small business from scratch.
“Starting a business has been a learning process for me, but no matter how difficult something seems, it’s all possible.”
Renata’s story begins like no other. For years she cleaned houses, finding herself depressed and living a lifestyle she did not particularly enjoy. When Renata was able to #ConnectToConfidence, her story took a dramatic turn for the better. Renata found joy in attending Zumba classes (which Loibel taught), leaving the class feeling good about herself. She figured that if Zumba could help her change her overall lifestyle and mental and physical health, it could do the same for many others.
What was your inspiration for starting Loibel Dance Studio?
Loibel Dance Studio began as an idea between Loibel and me. It was never my dream to own a dance studio, but the idea of dance and fitness just felt so good to me that I knew it was a right fit.
What was the hardest thing about getting started?
Starting a business was no walk in the park. I’ll admit I had no prior experience in anything business-related and no money to bring in a bunch of fancy people to get things done. The studio was originally a restaurant, and transforming it into the place it is now was basically a big do-it-yourself project. From acquiring the permits at City Hall, to architecture, construction and painting/decorating, it was all done with girl power. A big initial roadblock was not knowing how to run a website.
Is it ever lonely being a small business owner?
Yes, being a small business owner is lonely. Sometimes, the community shows little support, because in the beginning, since so many businesses come and go, not a lot of people believe in your business.
But Renata made it happen! She shared a story of how she invited the Mayor of Boca Raton to come out to her very first Salsa Social. Getting the mayor to attend took creativity and plain old guts! She personally went to City Hall and invited the mayor with Chips and Salsa and a decorative jalapeño on top.
The Mayor and his wife loved the unique invitation, came to the social, danced and had a great time! If you don’t put yourself out there, you can’t succeed.
What do you do when something doesn’t work? How do you start fresh?
When something doesn’t work, I always try to keep an open mind. I take it as a learning opportunity in order to improve.
When things get tough, what gives you the confidence to keep going?
When the going gets tough, I think about all the “thank you’s” I receive on a daily basis.
What do you do when you have an off day?
When I’m having a bad day, seeing clients smile and show gratitude makes me feel great, because I know that they are improving and overall just having a great time. It’s part of the job that makes it feel like more than just a job.
What’s on the horizon for the dance studio? What’s next?
We are working on expanding our Salsa Program. In addition to that, we will be offering a new class called POUND in late January.
I am currently reading a book by Michael E. Gerber called:“The E Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It.” I can particularly relate to Gerber’s writing. It’s as if he is specifically talking to me, explaining the business-related mistakes I have made and why certain things I tried did not work out and providing enlightening solutions of ways to fix my mistakes.
What’s your best confidence building advice for young entrepreneurs?
Sure things won’t always be easy, but dedicating yourself to what you believe in has wonderful rewards. Also learning to delegate is a great skill to avoid burning yourself out.
What Does She’s Fit to Lead mean to you?
First one has to find their “fit,” in order to be fit to lead. That way, when you lead, you lead something you love and enjoy with passion.
People notice your outfits a lot because you always look great! You also mix it up – sometimes you are dressed to dance and sometimes you are dressed like a business owner – how do you decide what to wear?”
Fashion is my form of self-expression. Clothes and fashion have always been my dream and something I adore. I style my own tank tops to match my personality. Designing is something I enjoy doing in a quiet environment (not at the studio).
How I decide what to wear depends on the time of day I am at the studio or how I am feeling that day. When you see me dressed to dance, it is probably the morning and I am planning on jumping into Zumba class at some point. When I dress to dance, Loibel takes that as an opportunity to get me up on stage and dance. I dress like a business owner in the evenings when I want to look nice and plan on attending Salsa Lessons.
Tell us where you are from and your favorite dish from your country?
I am from a little town in the mountains called Nova Friburgo (a State of Rio de Janeiro). My favorite dish is Bacalhau, which is Cod fish with potatoes.
Thanks for the wise words and the inspiration Renata, and welcome to the Fit List!
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