Sally Bandstra of Body Shop Training gives insight and advice to starting a business

In January 2020, Park High alumna, Sally Bandstra and her daughters, Abbie and Sadie opened Body Shop Training. The three often exercised together and wanted to create a gym that encouraged people to use their own bodies instead of machines. Since there was not a gym in town that matched this criteria, they decided to start their own. Around this time, Bandstra’s husband had bought a building on South C Street that he ended up not needing, so it was a perfect opportunity for the girls.
Sally, who graduated from Park High in 1980, said that she had taken a lot of business classes throughout school, and since she had the knowledge, she never thought to shy away from having her own business. “Pay attention to your business classes and your education. It’s hard but there are a lot of resources out there to help you.” Encourages Sally. Abbie, a 2008 graduate, and Sadie a 2011 graduate, took business classes as well. Body Shop Training offers three classes a week. Sadie is the certified trainer, so she puts together the classes and then Abbie and Sally teach them. Sadie is also responsible for all their advertisements.
To all the Park High students interested in starting their own business, Bandstra says “Do it. It’s really fun to work for yourself although it is hard to get started. When you get started, things are going to be very lean and you’re not going to get rich quick.”
For a long time, Body Shop Training had 25-30 members, making it difficult for them to pay the rent. “Having another job was a big help until the gym grew so that we could take an income off of it,” recalled Bandstra. Sally also works as the receptionist at Washington and Abbie is a teacher at Sleeping Giant Middle school.
Body Shop Training now has over 120 members, with new people coming in each week. The gym provides treadmills and cardio equipment but no weight machines, only free weights. Bandstra noticed that the summer usually doesn’t bring in new members, but they had a lot of new people come in this summer. Bandstra attributes the rise in people exercising to the growth in population of the town and the number of people that are working at home. Finally, Bandstra says “Don’t be afraid to start your own business. You might fail and that’s okay. If it doesn’t work, try something else.”