Tenant Spotlight - Meet Baobab Village Wellness Group - Innovate New Albany | New Albany, Ohio

Tenant Spotlight – Meet Baobab Village Wellness Group

Baobab Village Wellness Group is a comprehensive wellness practice that specializes in life and nutritional coaching, counseling and personal training through face-to-face and virtual contact. Pia Fitzgerald is the president and co-founder, and her husband, Craig, is part owner, co-founder, and a licensed clinical counselor. They’ve always had a passion for living life to the fullest, and wanted others to be able to do the same.

Pia and her husband founded the Baobab Village Wellness Group in 2011, to provide products and services to nurture the whole person, and thus foster more productive employees, harmonious marriages and effective parents. The name comes from the Baobab tree, which is one of the oldest trees in the world and is known as the “Tree of Life.” It is a source of water, fuel, vitamins A and B, and many other nutrients.

What Baobab Village Wellness Group apart from similar businesses is they seek to develop the whole person both inside and out through one-on-one and/or group sessions and educational workshops. No matter a client’s wellness level or situation, they offer different tiered programs, so that even in a group setting, the client’s experience will be personalized to achieve results. In addition to providing tools and strategies for clients to implement immediately, they provide a structured accountability system to help them reach their wellness goals.

Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Pia worked in education for over 20 years in a variety of roles: high school English teacher, adjunct college professor, and college administrator. While in education, she functioned part-time in the fitness industry as an assistant track coach, drill team coach, and group fitness instructor.

What is your background?

Although fitness has been a part of my life since my inception (FOR REAL… my parents were always health nuts), I began to struggle with my weight as I advanced in my career. I always had the fitness portion nailed, but the nutrition component was sorely lacking. As a result, I rode the roller coaster on the scale and yo-yoed back and forth with my weight.

It wasn’t until 2008 that I began to make the mental, emotional, and spiritual shift necessary to lose the weight and KEEP it off. After much prayer and biblical study, I started preparing to take the American Council of Exercise (ACE) personal trainer exam. While studying, I began making lifestyle changes; and, in 2010, I took the weight off for good! To date, I have lost over 70lbs.

Because weight loss and management is 80% nutrition, I obtained my fitness nutrition specialist certification through ACE to better assist clients with their wellness goals.

Today, I happily serve as a business owner, life health coach, and personal trainer to many people. I take pleasure in helping others implement a plan that allows them to make transformational choices with their nutrition and fitness endeavors.

What is your “secret sauce”?

Many of our clients say it’s the creativity and uniqueness of HOW we do what we do. Much is out of the box and yet effective and simple to grasp. We also welcome EVERYONE and BELIEVE everyone can be successful, even if they don’t YET fully believe it for themselves… we will help them get there! We help them SEE what often is blurry to help them achieve success.

What is the smartest move you’ve made so far as a business owner?

Welcoming mistakes … this almost always creates new opportunities and room to grow. Seeking wise counsel and being open to counsel coming from unlikely sources.

If you had one piece of advice to give a new business owner, what would it be?

Take care of yourself while in the process of running your business. It is never okay to forgo sleep/rest, good nutrition, exercise, spiritual development, etc. for the sake of doing something for your business. You have to be a first-rate YOU to have a first-rate business!

What are some of the biggest challenges you face as a business owner?

TIGHT time management and keeping the priorities realistic. Don’t get ahead of yourself and the process of business development.

How has your business grown and changed since it first started?

It is funny because in 2007 we had this idea on what our business would be like the minute we launched and boy that has been laughable! We had to humble ourselves and start where we could, which was only a tiny portion of the big vision.

We started with offering personal training, and then added the clinical counseling and life coaching. From there we moved to offering nutritional consulting and will be launching our online community in 2017. There is more coming down the road, but that should give you a taste for now.

How long have you been a tenant at Innovate New Albany?

Since mid-January 2016

What made you decide to become a tenant at Innovate New Albany?

Location, support, resources, etc. Neil is a great person to know and is very helpful. He genuinely wants to see businesses develop and succeed and I appreciate that!

Being a self-employed business owner, how do you keep yourself focused and motivated?

Adhere to a schedule. Keep the vision at the forefront each day. Listen. Listen. And Listen again.

What do you love most about working/living in New Albany?

It is a welcoming place. Location to 161 helps a lot! Aesthetically pleasing! It sings a song of much opportunity and promise!

Innovate New Albany, the city’s incubator for technology startups, entrepreneurs and small businesses, features 16,000 square feet of space within the New Albany Business Park’s Signature Office Building, 8000 Walton Parkway.

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