Name: Kate Carski & Sam Heaps
Co-owners Kate Carski and Sam Heaps started their TITLE Boxing Club when Carski decided to leave the corporate world and visit a franchising consultant. After doing an assessment, Carski found that opening a franchise would be perfect fit for her. Fast forward a little over a year and Carski's vision includes her younger brother Sam Heaps and 10 employees. Heaps a former baseball player used his experience in sports and also being a personal trainer in Baltimore to help make the brother and sister duo great business partners.
DMVCEO spoke with Carski and Heaps about their business, the community, why the DMV is a great place to start a busines and their new location.
Why did you start your business?
Kate Carski: It was in my mind in high school and I later turned down opportunities because I didn't feel I had the confidence or the expertise. So, I worked for a government contractor SAIC and supported the Navy. One day, I spoke with a Franchise consultant and found out that the TITLE Boxing Club would be the best fit to start a business. I decided to start with my brother.
Sam Heaps: I wasn’t expecting to start so soon but always had in mind that I wanted to start a business.
How long did it take to get your center up and running? What went into starting up?
Carski & Heaps: We found a location in a few months after we decided to start the business. It took longer to finalize the lease and a year later we stated. It was October of 2012 we opened. It took a lot of background work including looking for location, hiring, setting up bank accounts and setting up an LLC.
How have you given back to the local community?
Carski & Heaps: It’s important to give back to the community. People that come to the club are within a 3-5 mile radius. It fits with our personality to be a part of the community. We made a great decision with hiring and have had low turnover. The people that we hired are local including college students, a Fairfax County Public School Teacher and people with a background in boxing. It’s challenging for people to find work that are in the boxing background. We employee about 10 or 11 people and we are flexible with or employees. They take ownership and have the class that they own. There is no going through the motions. Also, we are a newer franchise, but we go out into the community and attend local events.
How are you different from larger gyms or boxing gyms?
Carski: A key part of our difference is the relationship members have with the staff. We are friendly and members feel like they are part of the group. This helps with retention. Member referrals is a big part of our business.
Heaps: We are more services oriented than big box gyms. You're getting group training with individual attention and you are getting a workout that is results oriented. We are very friendly with members and concerned. We want to make sure our members have a good experience. What TITLE Boxing Club has provided is great and we are always trying to improve and see ways to get better. We don’t stick with the status quo.
How is it being brother and sister and business partners?
Carski: I'm the oldest by 8 years and our different backgrounds have made it work well. We each have a defined role.
Heaps: Yes, we don't butt heads over things that aren't important and we can bounce ideas off each other. We have figured it out pretty easily.
Why is the DMV a great place to be an entrepreneur?
Carski: Because there so many people and large population of people. There’s a great population to support the business and buy the products.
Heaps: I also think that because people are consciousness about improving and accomplishing goals. It could be just improving for a job opportunitiy, but it's really the mentality that people have here that translates well to our members.
Anything else you would like to add?
Carski: This is not a fight club. Anyone at any skill level can participate. 20% of our membership plans are family plans and that is because we have a comfortable atmosphere. It's for everybody, families including parents and children can participate.
Heaps: Come in and try the class. Some people get intimidated. You will get results and you won’t have to spend thousands on personal training. We also offer classes in self defense.
Drop by the Title Boxing Club to try a Power Hour session for free or visit their Falls Church location opening in January 2014. Springfield Location: 6228 Rolling Road Springfield, Virginia 22152. Falls Church location: 450 N Washington St Falls Church, Virginia 22046.
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