#startupmoms: Missy Paris & Anja Pierre

#startupmom BYOBfit founders Missy Paris & Anja Pierre

Two moms, two babies, one big idea. Tell us about your startup!  

Our company is BYOBfit™ (BYOB = Bring Your Own Baby), an innovative strength class for new moms and dads. We use both baby carriers and strollers for our unique workouts, the only thing you need to bring is your baby and you’re good to go.

When and how did you launch BYOBfit?

We launched our company in October 2014, but we were just a very small local class then. Things really started to kick into gear in the Spring of 2015 when we were featured in the New York Times (Women In The World), Yahoo! Health and SELF Magazine put on an event centered around our class. 

BYOBfit Logo

How did you come up with the idea?

We had children right around the same time and we are also neighbors, so when our kids were born, we would meet up for casual walks and some light exercise moves in our neighborhood. Soon we realized that it was satisfyingly challenging to add our babies as “human weight vests” to our strength workouts and that we were getting super strong just from these workouts with our kids. Since there was no such thing offered as a postpartum strength training class where you could bring your babies, we decided that we should just create our own.

Tell us about those adorable littles who help you through your workouts:

Anja: My daughter, Amaya, was born on last June in NYC. She is a highly active child with a super sweet spirit and she always wants to be on the move and loves to explore things. I see in her eyes that she is definitely an old soul with a lot of wisdom and knowledge within her, so watching her learn and grow every day is just so interesting to me. She is the true definition of a “busy body” and she is constantly doing something; my mom tells me I was just the same, so I know where she gets it.

Missy: My son, Auggie (Augustine), was also born in NYC and just celebrated his first birthday. It was the MOST beautiful fall day. He is extremely inquisitive, independent and strong willed little boy, but there is also a gentle and sensitive side of him. He recently started running to you for a hug and enjoys cuddling on the couch. Auggie loves to be outside running around meeting people but also loves his home cooked meals and green smoothies brought to you by mom.

How do you describe yourselves as moms? 

We are both very experimental mothers, meaning we are letting ourselves grow into the task of motherhood and all the duties that come with it. Yet, at the same time we are extremely organized mothers because we are both juggling our personal training businesses, our startup company, BYOBfit™ , motherhood and our family lives.

BYOBfit founders

Has co-founding a business changed your relationship with each other?

It has brought us so much closer and it has made us realize that we are basically cut from the same cloth. (We joke all the time that we are clones!) 

What do you love most about being a #startupmom?

Motherhood has given us a whole new purpose and drive. It is so rewarding to create something new and innovative that was 100% inspired by our kids. That, and people’s extremely positive responses to our business fills us with pure joy and excitement.

What inspires your work?

First and foremost our kids inspire our work. Without them, we would never have considered this business. Second, all the new moms (and dads) who have reached out to us in person, online, and by phone to let us know how needed our strength training program is and how we have inspired them to start exercising and ultimately, how we have helped them change their lives. That, to us, is the best kind of reward and inspiration. 

What was surprising about motherhood? 

We definitely did not fully comprehend how nonstop motherhood was until we actually experienced it first-hand. Although mommy friends of ours would tell us about the duties that never stop, we needed to have our littles before everything they had told us really began to resonate.

BYOBfit founders and #startupmoms

How crazy are your days? 

We have very similar days since we are both personal trainers. We get up early (5am-ish) to train our first few morning clients. Usually we love to get in a workout ourselves if we do not teach a BYOBfit™ class that day. Most mid-days/early afternoons we pop back home for a bit to check up on the kids until it’s time to head back out to train our evening clients. When we get back home we cook dinner since we both believe in healthy, fresh meals. In between all of this, we answer business emails, we get on conference calls, we handle all our social media posts and we update and create content for our website. We are a true two-woman-show.

What kind of time did you take off after the babes were born? 

We both took five weeks off after we had our babies to both physically heal from giving birth and to have that special bonding time with our new little humans. We felt great (physically and emotionally) after those five weeks, so it was a very welcomed transition to get back to work.

You have so many exciting things in the works, can you give us a sneak peek? 

We recently teamed up with Bugaboo and in light of their new running stroller (The Bugaboo Runner) we launched a new stroller running & strength class, a fun twist on our signature baby wearing classes. We meet up every Sunday and visit different NYC landmarks during our runs.

Also, since receiving countless inquiries from new moms and dads all over the country (and internationally) about how they can experience our workouts, we currently have a BYOBfit™ certification in the works. This certification will allow instructors nationally (and globally, really) to teach our unique classes to their local fitmoms community, which we are just so excited about.  

BYOBfit for Bugaboo

What was a time you felt like you were doing this mom thing really well?

Honestly, whenever we get our babies clean, fed and well rested to our classes and workouts at the exact same time, we feel very accomplished. As soon as we start exercising our kids just relax and they love every minute of it so it totally relaxes us as well and it makes the workout even more enjoyable for everyone.

Any parting advice?

If you feel a strong calling to do something, don’t think about the logistics or why you can’t or shouldn’t do it. JUST DO IT! Once you get started, the stars will align and everything will work out. As “corny” as that might sound, that’s how it has been for us! The world needs innovative, progressive mothers!

FREEBIE! NYC mamas, make sure you mention Babies4Babies when you sign up to get your first BYOBfit class free! 

Link up with BYOBfit below and checkout their NYC class schedule at www.BYOBfit.com (you can also book your class by phone at (646) 598-BYOB).

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