Crafted by: Stacy Schwartz
As a fitness enthusiast myself, I'm always looking for new and diverse ways to meet like-minded people and work up a sweat. Ketanga fitness does just that - combining fitness, social events, and adventure travel all in one. When my friend told me about the excursion she went on with KF in Costa Rica, I had to connect with the founder and learn more about this awesome business and the woman behind it.
Crafted by: Stacy Schwartz of Ketanga Fitness Retreats
Instagram Handle: @ketanga_fitness
What inspired you to start your own venture? I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit and explored different business ventures since I was a kid. I remember charging admission to my parents to watch a play that I wrote in my bedroom; launching a magazine in 5th grade; and building a music website when I was about 13 that catapulted me into an early career in the music business to try to achieve my -then- dream of opening a record label. I guess I always liked to see how things worked and to try to fill in the blanks where it seemed ideas were missing. So when I think about launching Ketanga Fitness Retreats, it comes down to the same idea of filling a blank space. I have always enjoyed being active, and when I was looking to book a trip that I could take alone to see a new part of the world while being active and taking part in workouts like boxing and boot camp, I couldn't find anything. I realized there must be other people like me who would enjoy traveling while focusing on fitness, and the rest is history!
When did you know that this job/career was for you or realized a past job wasn’t working for you? My career was always my top priority, and I always took work extremely seriously. I loved what I was doing before Ketanga - marketing/sales for publishing companies in NYC - but I was never good at balancing my personal life with my professional life, and I got burnt out pretty quickly. I decided to make a big move and quit my job to travel for three months - thinking I would come back to the same career path with a fresh perspective. On that trip, I saw 11 countries while being extremely active. I went on bike tours of cities, went horseback riding everywhere I could, and I dropped into local fitness studios. I had thought about the idea of fitness retreats in the past, particularly when I had looked into booking trips for myself leading up to this point, but it was on this trip that I realized I could combine my passions for travel and fitness into something tangible, and that's when I realized I wasn't going back to my old industry.
Word of advice for anyone looking to pursue a similar career: Use your time wisely! Time flies by so quickly, and it is your most valuable asset. So make sure that you are spending the majority of time on the most important part of your business. You can even create a calendar for your workday if it is helpful!
The best piece of advice you have ever received: Learn to be okay with saying no. This could apply to turning down an irrelevant meeting or a piece of business that doesn't align with my values. When you first start out, you think you should open every door and say yes to every opportunity, but you can't lose yourself or your mission in all this noise. It's important to say no sometimes.
In the rare moments where you're not being a total #girlboss what are some things you love to do in your spare time? The idea for Ketanga Fitness Retreats came out of my personal love for travel and fitness. While those things are now associated with work for me, I try to still find ways to enjoy them like going to my family's house in the Poconos for a relaxing weekend or signing up for a race with a friend! I also love a good margarita and horseback riding (but not in that order!).