The story of Jillian Tedesco’s company
Jillian grew up to be an athlete which made her decide to start in the fitness industry when she was 22 years old. She was a personal trainer, had her own training studio, and continued to work for a decade. The first mistake that she did getting into the business was starting the business with someone she didn’t know. 3 years running the business, she did not have equity, wasn’t able to profit, and had a fall out with her partner. On Jillian’s 25th birthday, she walked out on the business.
She had a passion for fitness but somehow she wasn’t able to the purpose or have a clear answer to why she is doing it. She found her real passion which is nutrition with the help of God in her time of struggling with trying to grow her business. Jillian loves to cook. She is a creative person and with cooking, she was able to express her creativity. She always wanted to go back to school but chose to continue her personal trainer business. The opportunity did present itself and she went back to school and got her culinary degree.
Jillian then started cooking for her clients because they didn’t eat well. When she started her fitness business, she knew her goal wasn’t to make money. Her goal was to solve problems, she wanted to help people and she was passionate about it. That became a driver for today where she uses her culinary excellence and put it with nutrition science to create the flavors. She pretty much became a personal chef for her clients which lasted for 3 and a half years. She opens up a brick and mortar and the business took off. In three years, she was able to open three stores and have a multimillion-dollar company with around 45 employees.
The company at one point did start to fail, they weren’t making the money. Jillian had lost track of what was important and eventually had to borrow money to continue her payroll. She knew that she was still on the right path, doing what she is passionate about. She figured out that she just needed to grow and innovate. She decided to go to Las Vegas to a package Expo, but she knew that they have to look for machines that package and label their meals. After 2 years, she was able to return and purchase 2 machines to implement in her production.
Jillian’s Faith encouraged her to continue
There were new challenges where she needed to restructure her entire company. The problem with this step is that people will get fired and there are workplace relationships that can hurt others. She needed to keep people that were there to help elevate her business and keep everyone on the same boat moving forward. Your employee culture is important because if you can’t handle it, then there will be changes that you can’t get back.
Working 6 more years without getting paid can make you feel less motivated to continue the business. For Jillian, her husband helped her by encouraging her to keep pushing forward and not be greedy. She went back to her faith because the Bible offers her a new perspective and what they’re battling that she can relate to. She knew that the times were changing and had to build an e-commerce.
How did Jillian innovate her business to success?
In 2017, they decided to rebuild their website and integrated Shopify with their website so they can build an online store. As the years continued with implementation, their online store started to grow at a steady pace. At the beginning of 2020 when the pandemic hit, everybody was shopping online. Everybody was looking for healthy food and at this moment, Jillian’s business was ready for this new change. She found her business in the right spot at the right time because they had innovated at the right time. Her business doubled during the pandemic and had to continue to adapt to keep up with production. Technology also helped her because meals that were fresh for 5 days would now be fresh for 10 days because of the machines.
Other Challenges the company faced
With the business you can never foresee the future, you can only try to work and continue making changes. Now, Jillian is working on her brand and has 5 locations in St. Louis. Her company is starting to build its reputation and she wants to be known for something. So when people think about fit flavors she wants people to think about the food that can help them get a healthy lifestyle. For this reason, they’re currently developing an app that is designed to direct people to where they want to go for nutritional needs and have their dietary restrictions followed. Anything related to health and diet, Fit flavors is the resource for healthy eating. When you’re building a culture in your company and you have people working for you. If they don’t feel like they belong to something that matters, they’re just not going to care like you are.
Pursue innovation and embrace change for growth. We would like to thank Jillian Tedesco for sharing her inspiring business story with us today. If you would like to know more about Jillian Tedesco, visit fit flavors.