Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you support the Charlottesville community?
I’m a Charlottesville native, so my love for this city runs deep! I was a competitive gymnast, diver, and dancer through high school, and have a BFA in Dance Education from ECU (Go Pirates!). I have coached gymnastics at every gym in Charlottesville (rec and competitive) for several years each and have taught dance for 20 years. I own Gryphon Gymnastics; we teach gymnastics, dance, and yoga to children up to age 13. We plan on expanding in the next few years to include students of all ages and levels. Our mission is to build successful athletes from the inside out by using positive teaching tools to build confidence. We have also developed a unique curriculum that combines creativity with a focus on correct technique to make lessons last a lifetime!
If we want to support you and learn more about your business, how can we find you?
Facebook: Gryphon Gymnastics
What inspired you to start your own business?
I was inspired to start my own business because I I felt I have a unique service to offer. My experience at different gyms and studios exposed me to so many great pedagogical methods and philosophies; I wanted to combine the strengths of each place I had taught to create a new, unique program here in Charlottesville. Also, to be completely honest, I like doing things my own way and opening a studio where I get to call the shots was too tempting to push aside.
What advice would you give to another mom looking to start her own business?
My 2 biggest pieces of advice would be: don’t be afraid to ask for help and be flexible. I would never have been able to do any of this without the help of family, friends, and the Community Investment Collaborative (@cic.cville). The CIC in particular helped me every step of the way, from teaching me what a Cash Flow is all the way through hooking me up with a realtor, brand designer, and insurance agent.
In terms of being flexible, I had some very rigid ideas about what I wanted Gryphon to be when I first started approaching this idea (see: “I like to do things my own way”). I really had to learn to pivot, let go, and scale back a few different times in order to make it work. One day, I’ll get to my grand vision, but it wasn’t until I was willing to try a different way that the business really took off.
How do you manage home life and work life?
Since we are in our first year and opening during a pandemic, there is not much of a home and work balance right now. Gryphon is very much like the newborn that it is —it needs constant attention, work, and money. Thankfully, my partner and our parents are able to help a lot. I make sure to take mornings off when I can and one full day a week no matter what; those times are just for me and my son.
What are your top 3 must dos in the Charlottesville/surrounding area?
Top three must dos are:
2. Anything by the Paramount or Live Arts
3. Gordon Avenue Book Sale
What is your favorite Green Bean product and why?
Count us in as another Little Sleepies fan! My son hates wearing PJs, these are the only ones he will wear. He also loves the PlanToys wooden fruit and veggie box that you can practice cutting. He plays with them every day and I love that they’re not plastic. They’re super durable and high quality, we love them.
Tell us one of your favorite “mom hacks”!
My biggest mom hack is my cell phone alarm. I reduced tantrums by 90% when I started setting my alarm when we had to transition from one activity to the next. My son appreciates the heads up and likes to set it himself. He also knows that when he hears the alarm, it’s not just me arbitrarily deciding his fun is over. “Don’t blame me, blame the clock” is a common refrain in my house!
Share one of your family’s favorite recipes!
Anyone who knows me knows I laughed and laughed when I read this question....I don’t cook. Like, at all. My favorite recipe is the Meal Service through Flavor Exceptional Catering (@flavor_exceptional_catering). They have a huge menu of delicious meals and staples (meat, eggs, tofu) that you order on Thursday and pick up on Sunday. Very affordable, easy to reheat (comes with instructions!) and super delicious. My son loves their energy bites!