Love yourself: We sometimes feel our lives would be better if we hit our ideal weight or land our dream job… I can honestly say that my life has never been drastically better, or even much different, when these things happen. Nothing can replace being content with who you are and loving life everyday, even when things are not perfect.
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Floery Mahoney.
As a lifelong fitness enthusiast and owner of multiple businesses, Floery Mahoney’s career has taken many interesting paths. For her first endeavor in the fitness realm and as an entrepreneur, she opened a Pilates studio in Vermont, well before most people had heard of Pilates. Following the sale of the Pilates studio, Floery pivoted to another lifelong interest: food. She partnered with a talented chef from New York City to open the Starry Night Cafe, a beautiful American/Asian fusion restaurant located in the Vermont countryside. After the sale of the Starry Night Cafe, she opened Daily Chocolate in the Vermont town of Vergennes. Handcrafting mostly dark chocolate, she learned to make everything from pear chocolate truffles to green chili pistachio chocolate bark. But at age forty-five and spending most of her days surrounded by chocolate, she noticed some changes in her body: A little weight gain that wouldn’t go away, and joint and body aches from high impact workouts. Frustrated that nothing seemed to help her get back to looking and feeling her best, she began to develop a full-body workout using resistance bands. Tying bands to furniture, she shortened her workout by combining muscle groups and adding cardio. In just two weeks, she lost 10 pounds and was feeling better than ever. She immediately went on to create the BOARD30 method. There are now BOARD30 Studios all over the country, and a newly launched in-home exercise system, the BOARD30MINI, with the help of her sister, Heidi Mahoney, COO of BOARD30. From traveling to places like Kuwait and Korea, to running the Flagship BOARD30 Studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Floery hopes to share her secret to feeling fabulous with as much of the world as possible.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
Throughout my life, I’ve tried a multitude of fitness regimes and techniques. Once I committed to 30 minutes every day, instead of my usual 90-minute routine of cardio and then strength training, I slimmed and toned my body as never before. I discovered a method to work my body correctly, utilizing the first thirty minutes before the body moves into stress mode. I previously owned a Pilates studio and through that experience I developed the BOARD30 fitness system by tying resistance bands to my furniture for a new workout approach that surprised me with spectacular results. I realized I could incorporate my whole body during this short time frame, toning and lengthening my muscles by keeping them under tension throughout every move. I also discovered the possibility of movements was endless. After experimenting for three months, I devised and launched the BOARD30 fitness system. I now stand at the helm of an expanding fitness business that is taught in studios and gyms around the globe. More importantly, I am sharing with others my program for improved health and fitness.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
Within the first year of BOARD30 being in business, I was approached by two very propionate fitness companies, Jump Sport trampolines and Mad Dogg Athletics, who were simultaneously interested in buying my business. At that point, I thought I hit the jackpot and would be able to cash out early on my young company. After negotiations went on for weeks, I began to realize they would own me and my company for practically nothing. At the time, the company was just not at an evaluation that warranted a big price tag. Still, I pondered taking one of the deals for financial security. Funding was tight at that point, and I was enamored by the instant recognition my product would gain in the hands of these established companies.
Luckily, fate stepped in and a week before I was going to sign, a Korean company contacted me and placed a huge order, along with the promise of consistent orders going forward. If I had sold, I would have become an employee for a company that benefitting from my idea. It’s extremely important to remember that timing is everything! I have learned to be patient and not jump at every seemingly enticing offer, as there will be many others along the way.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
In the beginning, we were determined to manufacture within the US. This created a lot of issues for us with rough finish work on the wood, long lead times and it was extremely costly. After going through four different manufacturers, we were contacted by a manufacturing and sourcing company that convinced me they could get us higher quality for a lower price by manufacturing in Vietnam. Additionally, they were able to convince me to switch our pivot-joint from engineered wood to hardwood which was much more prevalent in Vietnam.
We ordered 600 units and tested the sample board for three weeks without any major issues. About six weeks after the first board went out, we started getting photos of broken pivot-joints from customers. It turned out that six in 10 would break after only a few months of use! We had to take the entire order to the dump. It was devastating! I have since switched manufacturing a few times, but I do a lot more due diligence now. Manufacturing is notoriously difficult, but if you have the right contract and you know your product well, you are likely to find the quality and price point you need.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My mother has influenced my life in ways that I will forever treasure. When I was 10, my father was tragically killed in a tornado accident. My mother was with him at the time and broke her neck. To recover, she was strapped to a bed for three months before returning to the real world as a widow with four daughters, all under the age of 10. This was in the 70’s, when many women would not know how to proceed with their lives. My mother decided to buy two rundown houses with the small life insurance payment she received and renovate them for resale. This was well before flipping houses had gained popularity. She also did much of the renovating work herself! From there, she earned a real estate license and took up photography. She didn’t remarry until she was in her 50’s, so she was able to accomplish all of this on her own.
My mother showed my sisters and me that you can do anything you want, even if the worst thing imaginable happens — you will survive it! She was a strong woman and inspired all four of us to grow up to be strong women like her.
Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
In recent years, we have seen the country become more unhealthy over time. There are many reasons for this, but one of the most prevalent is lack of time. Our lives can be so overwhelming with kids, jobs and other daily pressures that lead us to give up on certain activities, such as an hour-long fitness session.
As I was developing the BOARD30 Method, I discovered that there was a lot of science suggesting that shorter workouts could be more effective. However, to make the most of a shorter workout, it’s important to utilize all of the elements you would during a long workout: cardio, muscle training and muscle lengthening. My goal was to create a 30-minute workout combining them all, and discovered that resistance bands, with multiple anchor points, was the key! I could use significantly more muscle groups in each exercise and add cardio. It is also low impact, helping prevent injuries and breakdown over time.
We recently launched BOARD30MINI for in-home use so you can perform a similar workout if going to a studio is not feasible. Through my research and invention, I hope to make a healthy lifestyle safer and more achievable for everyone.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
- Commitment: We all know how easy it is to fall off the wagon when it comes to fitness, and we tend to let a few missed sessions turn into a pattern. Don’t let that happen! While we all miss a day here and there, get back to your regular routine as soon as you are able.
- Breathe: We are all busy. Minutes turn into hours and we push through the day without taking the time to stop and breathe. Taking only a few seconds every couple of hours to focus on your breathing, will calm your thoughts and help you to stay focused.
- Love yourself: We sometimes feel our lives would be better if we hit our ideal weight or land our dream job… I can honestly say that my life has never been drastically better, or even much different, when these things happen. Nothing can replace being content with who you are and loving life everyday, even when things are not perfect.
- Passion: It’s so much easier to stay committed when you love something. Don’t settle! Keep trying new things and exploring new ideas until you find what resonates with you. Taking care of your body should be fun and exciting, not like you’re headed to a root canal!
- Notice: Notice how much better you feel when you take care of yourself. Notice how much more productive you are. Notice how much more you can give to your family and friends when you are at your best!
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
If I were to start a movement, it would be to encourage everyone that even 10 minutes is worth it. Don’t let time be your master! Go for a short walk, do some jumping jacks while cooking dinner or a few stretches before bed. It doesn’t matter if you are short on time. Studies show that short bursts of exercise are still hugely beneficial, so SQUEEZE it in!
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- This is going to take time and there are no real short cuts. It’s hard to believe how many people have said to me, “I can’t believe how long you’ve been doing this.” Sometimes the process makes you feel like you’re running on a treadmill, but 99% of the time, it just takes time and consistency. To be successful, you must remain patient and stay the course.
- Sometimes it’s good to ignore advice. You get so much input when you’re running a startup. There are times when it is valuable advice, but it is more important to trust your instincts and yourself! If it doesn’t feel right to you it probably isn’t.
- Traditional business practices do not always make sense. I constantly get asked about our business plan. We do have one, but if I solely stuck by it and did not allow myself to be flexible, my company would have met its demise a long time ago.
- Go for it: Think of the person/place/thing that would help you the most and go for it, even if that goal seems far out of reach. For instance, three years ago, out of 800+ applications, I won the Tory Burch award for female entrepreneurs. I almost didn’t bother applying because I thought, “Why me?” Ultimately, I won and it was hard work, but totally worth it in the end! Don’t ever get stuck by saying, “Why me?”
- You need passion to succeed in anything you do… If you’re not passionate about it, don’t bother! It is far too difficult to put all your effort into something that doesn’t rock your world!
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Wow, that is a hard question as they all mean so much to me. I can honestly say that not one of these is more important to me than the others. We are constantly limiting ourselves and need to avoid doing that!
These three things matter now more than ever. We are running out of resources at a frightening pace and using materials that are destroying our planet. Veganism is a healthier option nutritionally, plus it helps our planet given that animal farming can cause up to 50% of global warming. Additionally, mental health is being ignored and minimized to a point where people are not seeking or able to access the help they need. My goal is to work towards a world that values each of these important topics!
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Thank you for these fantastic insights!