A 22-year-old for Pembrokeshire has launched a new Pilates business after her own medical struggles.
Beth Howes, from Narbeth, founded her Pilates business, Beth Howes Pilates in Haverfordwest, after years of ballet had left her with a bad back, knees and hips.
Pilates is a form of exercise which concentrates on strengthening the body with an emphasis on core strength. The health benefits include improving flexibility as well as increasing muscle strength and tone.
When Beth left school, there wasn’t anything in University that she wanted to study and that’s when she discovered Pilates at a local class. She enjoyed the lesson so much she realises it was what she wanted to do for a career.
In May 2016 she started training to become a Pilates instructor in Scotland were she travelled up frequently as part of the course. To qualify Beth needed to complete 600 hours of teaching and to complete this Beth moved up to Scotland for three months. Beth is now a qualified as a comprehensive Pilates teacher after finishing the hours of teaching in December 2017.
She said: “I was so excited when I discovered Pilates as I’ve always loved ballet and was saddened when I had to stop so finding something else that I loved just as much was amazing.
“Completing my Pilates training was difficult especially with all the travelling to Scotland, but now I have completed it all it has been so worth it.
“Working in my local community, and providing a service that I can see helping people with their fitness and other issues makes the job very rewarding.”
Beth developed her business with the help of Big Ideas Wales, the youth entrepreneurship service in Wales. Big Ideas Wales is part of Business Wales and is funded by the Welsh Government and the European Regional Development Fund. The service is aimed at anyone between the age of 5 and 25 who wants to develop a business idea.
Beth said: “At first I was very nervous about starting and running my own business and didn’t know how to even start. That’s where Big Ideas Wales played a big part. David Bannister, a Big Ideas Wales business advisor, was always there to assist with any questions I had through email or was able to meet in person. It was great to know I had that support.”
Last March, Beth joined 50 other young businesspeople at the Bootcamp to Business residential event in the Urdd Centre in Bala, a fully funded three-day workshop hosted by Big Ideas Wales. The Bootcamp gives young entrepreneurs the chance to learn and hone their business skills with advice and mentoring from successful Welsh businesspeople.
Speaking of the experience, Beth said: “I learnt a lot in the Bootcamp, especially through the role models, knowing they had been in the same position as me and how they had done so well gave me the confidence to understand that if I worked hard enough, I could do it too. I would highly recommend attending, although my business journey had already begun, it gave me the confidence to continue and allowed me to get to where I am now.
“If I had to give one piece of advice to someone starting a business I will tell then to create social media accounts straight away. They have been a great way to increase clients and awareness of my business at no cost.
“Since the studio opened my clientele has grown massively already, and I have seen so much more interest in people wanting to take classes. It’s all down to the grant that I was able to open my studio. My goal for the future is to increase my clientele further and to make more people aware of the health benefits of Pilates.”
David Bannister, a Big Ideas Wales business advisor, has been working closely with Beth offering advice to help her develop her business further. He said: “It’s great to see how well Beth is doing with her business already. She’s worked really hard in order to get her business off the ground, and I can’t wait to see where her business goes.”