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Talking Top Gun with GirlZone Fitness

Some of you may know that we held our Top Gun Regional Showcase this week, so it only seemed fitting to feature one of Tuesday night’s winners in this week’s Talking Top Gun! Melissa Smith, along with her partner, founded GirlZone Fitness, which is a program that offers a holistic approach to fitness focused on the emotional and physical health of young girls aged 7 to 17. In a world where girls are bombarded with pressures to look a particular way, be a certain body type, attain a specific size, GirlZone Fitness offers a two-part class with physical fitness and group support components that works on the girls’ self-esteem and confidence. It is GirlZone's mission to help young and teen girls become physically strong and emotionally confident!

What was your inspiration for starting GirlZone Fitness?

It wasn’t my idea; it was actually my business partner’s brainchild. When I heard what she (Melissa’s business partner) was doing, I thought it was such a great idea, and as a mother of a girl in the age group that we work with, I know it’s important. I struggled with eating disorders and body image issues growing up, so if we can make it so that girls don’t have to deal with that, everyone will be better off.

How are you different from other programs for young girls?

We are different because we combine the physical fitness and the emotional piece. I don’t know of any programs that are structured like ours that are attempting to go outside of just one location, and believe me, I’ve looked. The fact that we couple the emotional piece, which is so important, with the physical piece makes us different from anything else that we’ve been able to find.

What’s your long-term vision for GirlZone Fitness?

Ideally, we’re hoping that GirlZone Fitness takes off so that we can bring it to a national or international level by training instructors to go out into their own communities and deliver the programs to students. By training instructors to go out into their communities, we would create a whole network of people, brand ambassadors, who believe in the GirlZone Fitness brand, much like Zumba or Les Mills currently have.

If you want to see Melissa’s pitch, join us at the Top Gun Finale Showcase, at Hannaford Hall on USM’s campus in Portland from 5 to 8 on June 7th! Register here.

If you would like to hear more about the Top Gun Entrepreneurship Accelerator, visit our program page here.

Thank you to our Top Gun sponsors!

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