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Exploring Life & Business with Leanne Thomas of Daily Fuel

Today we’d like to introduce you to Leanne Thomas. 

Hi Leanne, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
Growing up, I was always active and full of expressive energy — jumping from dance class to piano lessons, to guitar lessons, to tennis practice, etc. Expressing myself and maintaining an active lifestyle have always been passions of mine. Fast forward after earning a degree in Graphic Design at the University of Georgia — I moved to NYC for a dream graphic design job. While I was excited to get away from the familiarity of living in the south, I didn’t anticipate the stress I would feel on my body from the constant race of the city and the pressures of my job. Over time, I had fallen into a sedentary lifestyle that was simply not me. I needed to make a change, and I decided to begin exercising again to refocus and regain my physical, mental, and emotional health. Fortunately, this decision was easy for me because my life was uprooted from choosing to follow my fiancé to his first Army duty station in Honolulu, Hawaii — leaving me unemployed with time to focus on my passions. And let me tell you . . . while I was excited to focus on my passions, exercising again was rough. I struggled mentally with not immediately meeting the physical expectations I had of myself from my many years of activity — comparing myself to the young dancer prepping in the splits for a competition with four challenging numbers ahead of me. Yet there I was re-learning my body and feeling as though I hadn’t done a push-up or a hamstring stretch in years. Fortunately, my passion for movement pushed me through the initial disappointment and intimidation and allowed me to build back the level of mental, emotional, and physical health I once had. With my new priorities, my passion for movement created job opportunities to teach barre fitness and help others attain a healthy life balance. 

Over time, I saw myself and others become stronger, happier, and healthier versions of ourselves — it was exceptionally fulfilling. Not only that, being a fitness instructor enabled me to make friends and become a part of a community of empowerment. And as part of my job, I was able to receive state-of-the-art certification training in Barre Fitness through Exhale and Barre3. Exhale taught me anatomy, form adjustment, class etiquette, injury prevention, pregnancy, and injury modification, and so much more — and Barre3 taught me new dynamic strengthening techniques and iterated the importance of instructors creating an environment where clients are welcomed, encouraged, and not intimidated to exercise. This resonated with me deeply, and it caused me to reflect and think back to when I personally felt intimidated to get back into fitness. It also made me think of the fulfillment I found in helping others get past that intimidation. This reflection led me to envision a day where I could go out on my own and cultivate a uniquely blended fitness approach with these core concepts to create a holistic environment that not only encourages others to begin moving without fear, disappointment, or judgment — but would also improve people’s emotional, mental, and physical health. Given my husband’s military career and the constant demand to relocate, I struggled to imagine the possibility to open a retail space. How could I create a business that could be moved? How would I retain and acquire clients if I was being uprooted when my husband changed duty stations? The answer came when I saw an opportunity as COVID-19 made its way into 2020. Studios were shut down, and I was looking for ways to continue teaching — and it was then that I realized there was a great opportunity to venture out into the rapidly growing online fitness market and carve out a portion of that growth by providing the fitness approach I had been envisioning. 

As I worked to bring life to my vision, my faith played a large part in my motivation to go out on my own. My faith is the foundation in all I do, and I believe my purpose is to positively impact others by focusing beyond myself and my immediate circle and connections. With that in mind, I saw a void currently in the fitness industry — as there are zero fitness options that dedicate a percentage of membership proceeds as a way to simultaneously give back to non-profits and other causes. While there are some fitness programs that offer various promotional donation workouts throughout the year to give back, there are not any online fitness platforms that consistently dedicate a defined percentage of membership proceeds to serve a social mission. Not only was this a way to distinguish my business from the countless other options consumers could choose from, this creates an opportunity to fill the void and spread wellness worldwide. And with that, I created Daily Fuel. 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I don’t think anyone’s road to entrepreneurship is smooth — not even ‘overnight’ successes! And while it hasn’t been easy, it has been 100% worth it. With today’s affordable access to state-of-the-art technology and connection, Daily Fuel operates and creates high-quality workouts with minimal costs compared to retail boutique fitness. My personal experiences have taught me a lot about educated exercise, as well as marketing and design. However, penetrating the growing online fitness industry and acquiring customers against competitors has not been easy; there are so many options to choose from! But that was no surprise. I’ve taken what I’ve learned from corporate team environments, and transitioned it to a one-woman-show in a competitive market — I expected the workload to feel overwhelming. That said, I’ve focused on staying true to the core of Daily Fuel’s mission and vision of encouraging bodyweight workouts, and I’m proud that it has already grown in less than one year to a database of 100+ workouts! 

We’ve been impressed with Daily Fuel, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Daily Fuel offers 100+ on-demand workout videos ranging from quick 7–10-minute burners to 45 minutes of cardio and strengthening. The video library is broken down into Strength, Cardio, Resistance Stretching, and Class Length, so you can easily find the best workout to fit your mood and schedule. Daily Fuel is unique because of the non-judgmental and customizable approach that encourages beginners with a variety of levels and modifications to find the best challenge and also motivates advanced clients to stay consistent with enjoyable daily movement, for a balanced and healthy lifestyle. As Daily Fuel grows, the variety of workouts continues to expand, keeping workouts fresh, fun, effective, and approachable. 

Additionally, my vision is to spread wellness worldwide. Daily Fuel promotes and contributes to the fight in ending world hunger with 10% of all proceeds going to international non-profit, Rise Against Hunger. Specifically, these proceeds go to Rise Against Hunger’s ‘empowering communities’ and ‘nourishing lives’ pathways to provide sustainable food for diversifying diets in underprivileged communities worldwide. Daily Fuel exists to fuel you and those in need. It is exciting to have the privilege to partner with Rise Against Hunger and afford members the opportunity to stretch their dollars further — not only can members feel better from moving, but they can also feel good about giving back to those in need. 

We love surprises, fun facts, and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
I think some people may be surprised to learn that I also work full-time as a Graphics and Branding Director for an incredible church based out of Hawaii; Inspire Church. When stationed on Oahu, Hawaii, we found a great church community, where I eventually joined the staff. I work remotely and love the opportunity to continue being part of our church, even from afar, and have a creative outlet daily that is a wonderful balance to the physical demands of owning a fitness business. Their continued support of my passions and dreams is a blessing and keeps me full of faith that Daily Fuel will be a light and a positive impact in both my local community and worldwide! 

Pricing:

  • 7 Day Free Trial
  • Online Membership: $19.99 per Month / $199.99 per Year
  • Private Sessions via Zoom: $49 per Class
  • 7×7 Challenge: $9.99 for 7 Days + 7 Workouts (7 min. long)
  • 10×10 Challenge: $12.99 for 14 Days + 10 Workouts (10 min. long)

Contact Info:

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3 Comments

  1. Chey

    September 1, 2021 at 4:08 pm

    Wow, what an amazing woman and business model! So proud to have her part of the Raleigh community and can’t wait to see Daily Fuel soar and take off while helping others in the process. Bravo, Leanne!

  2. Michelle DePolo

    September 1, 2021 at 6:39 pm

    Love Leanne’s story and what she is doing with daily fuel!! Always a great workout 🙂

  3. Ju

    September 1, 2021 at 7:30 pm

    I absolutely love this story and the future of fitness is here. Take advantage while you can and take control not only of your health but your future. If we could get healthy on our own we would already be there. That is why it is so important to have a great coach who understands the obstacles and the struggles to help you in your fitness journey. Learn from the best

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