What is your name? Christina VanDam

What is your business? Zeal Aerial Fitness

Why did you start your business? I love to fly! When I moved back to Grand Rapids, I found there wasn't a place where I could take pole, silks, and hoop classes, so I created my own.

How long have you in business? 1 year!

What would you tell someone who wants to start a business? What advice would you give them?
Start small and find a group that supports you! Starting small can be scary, but it helps you to realize how to grow. It also lets you know what your target market is. Having support makes a difference. Find a group of people who will cheer you on, no matter what. And who will give you tough advice, because we all need to hear the tough stuff sometimes!
What is unique about you that helps you be successful in business?

I was a former high school teacher. I know that I love to teach things that I love. Never did I think that it would happen outside of the classroom, but I have learned there are other ways to teach. Being a teacher has helped me to create a solid curriculum for our clients and to help differentiate our classes so that each customer gets what they need.
What sets you apart from every other business in your field?

Our curriculum is unique to us and we have a membership model. Our members don't have to commit to specific classes for a specific period of time, they can pick what works best for them. Time is important to people and we acknowledge that life isn't always as predictable as we want it to be.

What is one major thing you learned about business?
You can never plan for the unexpected, and the unexpected WILL happen. Acknowledge you challenges and be willing to ask for help. No one is perfect.

What is the one thing you attribute to your success?
Honestly, having a group of people who REALLY support me and have my back. Deep relationships with others on a business and personal level have helped me to grow and learn more. Never stop growing and learning.