The fitness and well-being center The Voima
“Sports and fitness have always been a part of our lives,” the entrepreneurs at the fitness and well-being center The Voima, Noora Kähkönen, Suvi Korhonen and Tiina Naukkarinen, say. Noora and Suvi have been working with fitness for years; as for Tiina, she worked as a waitress and the last five years as a Bachelor of Social Services, but fitness has always been her cherished hobby.
The idea of a company of their own sparked a year and a half ago, when Noora Kähkönen and Suvi Korhonen noticed how well their cooperation worked. “The idea was born, the premises were found, and we felt that this is our thing,” Noora and Suvi laugh. They persuaded Tiina to join, and for her, becoming an entrepreneur was a jump into the unknown. “I had to think for a while whether or not I dare to leave a permanent job, but luckily I had enough faith,” Tiina reminisces.
The opening for The Voima was on February 28, 2015, but before that the amount of work to renovate the premises was enormous. “We took a tenancy for the current premises in the Kertatalo building around Christmas of 2014, and after that, we had to build the gym – out of nothing,” the entrepreneur women explain. “We had a lot of doubters but also unshakable faith in ourselves, as well. We did as much by ourselves as we could, and we also got help from our families and a big bunch of voluntary workers.”
The Voima boasts a gym, versatile group training, a yoga studio, an acrobatics studio, CrossFit, an auditorium and sauna facilities. The premises also house LempiCafé, which offers milk- and gluten-free local and raw food. There are plenty of different kinds of workshops arranged at The Voima, for example raw food courses, aerial yoga, pole dancing and circus groups as well as tailor-made programs for companies and groups. The supply is plentiful, and the customers have found The Voima. “In addition to us three, we have two full-time workers and 12 occasional workers, and we give about 100 instructed classes a week,” the trio explains. “The fitness boom is huge, and especially yoga gains more and more new enthusiasts at the moment. We’re planning new things for yoga, for example online courses,” Noora says. “We have plenty of vision, and we’re constantly sniffing out trends to find out what’s the next big thing to sweep people along,” Suvi laughs.
The entrepreneurs at The Voima believe in the power of networking. “When you live in a small town, you have to pull in one direction and believe in cooperation that benefits everyone,” the entrepreneurs contemplate. “An example on this is the stand-up paddling we’ll be offering next summer in Varpasaari,” Noora explains. “Marketing is important as well, but we’re counting on the so-called soft ways; satisfied customers will bring us more satisfied customers. We’re staking our own expertise, skills and personas and we’re doing this work with passion,” the self-proclaimed perfectionists laugh. “We have our own visions, and we push through difficulties to fulfil them.”
The future seems bright and there’s plenty of eagerness for entrepreneurship. “We’re doing this work out of love, and what’s great is that the work gives us the freedom to try new things. We’ve discovered that we’re courageous and crazy enough to be entrepreneurs with more than enough vision,” Noora, Suvi and Tiina laugh in unison.