Jones Grows Home-Based Fitness Business
Michelle Jones fell a lot while training as a competitive figure skater growing up in Canada.
“I really was a human Zamboni,” Jones says. “I would fall 400 times and get up and do it again.”
That persistence has paid off as an adult as Jones has parlayed her athletic prowess, nursing degree, Pilates training and certified health counselor status into Fusion Wellness, a home-based business in which she strives to help clients achieve a balanced life.
“I got the equipment for myself to start,” she says. “There was no master plan to go into business. It just sort of evolved. It’s been such an organic development for me.”
Jones is not alone. Fusion Wellness is one of 18.3 million home-based businesses nationwide, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Home offices are more common than ever, and it is estimated that almost 70 percent of such businesses succeed for at least three years, compared with 29 percent of outside-the-home ventures. Moreover, home-based business is a $427 billion a year industry.
Jones practices a holistic approach to health and wellness, which means that she looks at how all areas of a client’s life are connected.
“No matter where a client is on the health spectrum, I meet them there and support them to dramatically change their life,” she says. “There’s so much you can do to establish good health. You don’t have to wait to get sick to get healthy.”
Jones, 35, earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Western Ontario and worked several years as an emergency room nurse. She began practicing Pilates six years ago following the birth of her first child to relieve neck pain.
“I immediately felt a deep connection to this transforming and healing exercise discipline,” she says. “I just loved it from the very beginning. It’s detail-oriented and focuses on form and perfection, which I was used to from figure skating.”
Jones completed her training in Stott Pilates in 2007 and opened her in-home studio two years later after re-evaluating her life direction. She also enrolled online at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City, which is accredited by Cornell University.
“I love teaching, and I love the relationships I’ve developed with my clients,” she says.
Joan Thiele, who was her first client, has “a great deal of respect” for Jones because of her background in athletics and nursing.
“That combination is fabulous because she understands injuries and how to heal you slowly and properly so you come out much stronger on the other end,” Thiele says. “I always come away from a workout feeling very energized and relaxed at the same time because Michelle is a very quiet, tranquil person. It’s a nice high.”
Thiele adds that Jones has improved her flexibility and posture.
“She made a huge difference,” Thiele says. “I can’t imagine not doing this for the rest of my life.”
Tracy Newman turned to Jones three months ago because she felt that there was something missing from her normal exercise routine.
“I was hooked after my first session with Michelle,” Newman says. “I don’t get bored with her because she takes a multi-faceted approach. She’s really good at structuring a workout that is fun and challenging. She has something new for me every week.”
Newman, who is 5-foot-2, also feels “longer and stronger.”
“Michelle has helped me build upper body strength and improve my posture. My muscles not only feel longer and stronger, they look longer and stronger,” Newman says. “I sleep better. It’s changed my life.
“Michelle is wonderful. You can tell she has a passion for people to look their absolute best.”
Jones says that Stott Pilates is built upon five basic principles: breathing, pelvic placement, ribcage placement, scapular movement, and head and cervical spine placement.
“By adhering to these principles while performing exercises, not only do you encourage proper body alignment and prevent injury, but also isolate the exact muscles intended to be utilized throughout each exercise,” she says.
Jones uses a floor mat and four types of Pilates equipment to achieve the best results for her clients. Each piece of equipment has a name — the reformer, the cadillac, the stability chair and the ladder barrel — and there are a plethora of exercises that can be undertaken on each piece.
But before Jones puts a client through their initial workout, she first assesses their fitness and goals.
“There is no one-size-fits-all program,” she says. “As a client’s body changes and their skills improve, their routine is continually modified and advanced to meet their challenging needs.”
Fusion Wellness offers an introductory package of three, 50-minutes private sessions with Jones at her Pinehurst home.
Jones also has a six-month healthy body, balanced life program that begins at $95 per month for the first two months through June 1. The total life transformation program begins with a two-month introductory price of $235 per month, which includes nutritional coaching and one private Pilates session per week.
“There’s so much confusion about health and nutrition out there,” Jones says. “If you can cut through all the fads and junk science, getting healthy is simpler than it seems.”
Jones also offers a Nutrition Detectives program for children that teaches them how to make healthy choices and conducts corporate wellness workshops.
“Anyone running a successful company knows that having healthy employees equals a healthy bottom line,” she says.
In fact, for every $1 spent on employee preventive health care, there is a $3 to $5 return through reduced health care costs, medical premiums and attrition expenses, according to a study by the Wellness Council of America.
“I’m just really excited to reach out to people and make a difference in their lives,” Jones says. “You have to go through all these painful, crazy experiences to grow into the person that you are today.”
Just ask the human Zamboni.
Contact Ted Natt Jr. at email@example.com.
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