Kellyn Timmerman, FOUNDER & OWNER OF FENA
Q: Tell me about your company and how it came about. Kellyn Timmerman: feNa started to take shape in my mind 5-6 years before launching, while I was still thriving as an architect. I was given a gentle nudge to follow my passion when I was laid off in 2008. The fact that it was so disheartening to have the fate of my job be decided by someone else sparked the idea to start my own business. Q: What makes you stand out as a leader in your field/business? KT: I would say my unique background in architecture combined with my personal use and absolute love of my products makes me stand out. I excel at balance and proportion and use my architecture background to hand draw all of my bags to scale and carry them around on paper and tweak them before going to production. I make sure that the function is equally as important on each bag as the design.
Q: What’s one of the most common misconceptions about running your own business? KT: That you have loads of free time to do whatever you want. Even if you do get to do errands or other things at odd hours of the day, you are also most likely working when everyone is enjoying their free time at nights and on the weekends. The benefit is you get to figure out the best schedule for yourself and when you are most productive. Oddly, one of my most productive and creative times is often 5:00 p.m. on a Friday.
FOUNDER & CEO OF SEXYFIT Q: What is the story behind Sexyfit? Zlata Sushchik: I moved to the U.S. from Moscow when I was 16 and started entering and winning fitness competitions. I wanted to pass on my knowledge to other women and start something that would promote confidence and inner strength. From that I built a community focused on training women who help and support each other. Q: What is unique about SexyFit? ZS: It’s really a community of women helping each other. The community aspect breaks barriers and makes things less intimidating. There is no judgment here. Q: What are the biggest challenges in running your business? ZS: That there’s not 36 hours in a day. But honestly, I didn’t think it was going to be this hard. You constantly need to be keeping your clients entertained and happy. It’s kind of like Tetris; the problems keep coming but the bottom ones disappear as you start to solve things. SEXYFIT www.sexyfit.com 114 | LOCALE MAGAZINE
Q: If you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger self? ZS: Pay less attention to what people think about your decisions. Listen to your customer. Listen to your heart and your soul. Q: How do you stay grounded? ZS: You have to be willing to get enough help. Ultimately you need to build a team or burn out. Q: What does it mean to you to make a difference? ZS: I make a difference by breaking through my fears and helping other entrepreneurs do the same. I’m also involved in the community as a Big Sister and I make donations and give back. Q: What do you like about the San Diego business community? What brought you here? ZS: It’s very community focused and close-knit. I moved here on a whim when I decided to be a wellness coach. What it really came down to was listening to my heart.
PHOTOSHOOT LOCATION: DESKHUB 2159 India St, San Diego, CA 92101
Change for Good Zlata made several changes to adjust to a healthier lifestyle including: Ò Stopped treating some food as “dirty” and some as“clean” Ò Focused on what her body can do and became a true athlete
Q: What’s the best advice you ever received? KT: That there are no experts. Once you start your own business, everyone has an idea of what you should be doing and how you should be doing it. But no one else has walked in your shoes, has your exact same ideas or vision for what you want to accomplish. Trust yourself and your instincts. Q: How do you approach obstacles or challenges? KT: It’s really easy for me to see the big picture and immediately panic and get overwhelmed. Following that, I just break things down and have to take small steps and tackle one thing at a time. Take a task, set a time to have it finished, check it off the list, then on to the next one. Q: What is unique about running a company in the San Diego community? KT: I find San Diego to be incredibly supportive; it feels very collaborative here. You’ll be surprised at how many people are willing to share their expertise if you are seeking it and also to pair up with you to see if you can both grow your audiences together and help each other thrive and cheer each other on. It’s an incredible city full of opportunity if you’re open to it. FENA stores.fenadesigns.com | 619.278.8958
PHOTOSHOOT LOCATION: SHERATON CARLSBAD 5480 Grand Pacific Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008
“I make a difference by breaking through my fears and helping other entrepreneurs do the same.”