Fit Life Studio Helps People—and Fellow Business Owners— Thrive

by Kathryn Millhorn

In every community, small businesses are more than  just places to eat, shop and mingle. They keep money in the community, hire locally and anchor strong, vibrant neighborhoods. When a small business succeeds, it provides hope—and a learning experience—for others around it.

At Fit Life Studio, they teach personal training and fitness programming in one-on-one or small group settings. But owner Tessa Effland also created a small business incubator which includes an esthetician, nutrition counselor, home décor and staging company, clothing retailer, accessory jewelry retailer, and a judge-themed, hidden speakeasy called The Chamber (in honor of Tessa’s grandfather who was a local judge!).

Located in Olympia’s Briggs neighborhood, Fit Life opened its doors April 8, 2022, but Effland is no stranger to our area and her chosen profession. “I have lived in the beautiful Pacific Northwest for 50 years,” she says. “As a young child I played every sport known to man from soccer to basketball to gymnastics to fastpitch. The love of sports continued in high school where I played soccer and basketball.”

And things didn’t slow down in college. “As I headed off to Western Washington University, I was fortunate enough to be a member of the Div. 2 soccer team while working at an area gym in Bellingham. When I came home, I coached soccer at Olympia High School and Capital High School for 20 years. During that time, I also assisted the Saint Martin’s women’s basketball team for two years.”

“I started working out with my friends 13 years ago at an area gym and was told I look like a trainer,” says Effland, “and that I needed to stop looking like I worked there because I didn’t. I even got kicked out until I changed how I worked out. I was so confused but it made me think why not? Why not get certified and do what I love? So I did!”

She then reached out to others who might benefit from her expertise.
“I converted my garage into a small, 400 square foot gym and emailed my friends. I trained for a year in my garage until it got too big, and the city of Olympia regretfully had to shut me down. We took a leap and went to a brick and mortar and Fit Life Studio began!”

“Fit Life Studio is a small private studio for small group personal training classes, private training, sport specific training and nutritional coaching,” explains Effland. “We are full body, all fitness levels. Modified for the novice to advanced within the same class, we offer competitive rates with no contracts. We allow clients to go from monthly members to drop ins to fit their monthly needs and schedules.”

In private training sessions, “there is no one else in the studio except you and your trainer or your chosen small group. Sport specific training is for all ages and athletes. We do sport contracts with area clubs and schools along with weight training and Speed/Agility/Quickness training in studio.”

“Nutritional coaching is our unique program coaching clients into new healthy patterns,” says Effland, “challenging them with weekly goals off scale and educating them on how to eat the healthy food in the right serving size for them more consistently and the unhealthy food in the right serving size less consistently. It is a balanced approach to healthy living within the lifestyle they live.”

Effland’s motto has always been ‘Stronger together!’ and with that in mind, she used the idea of a business incubator to help others starting out. “We are all about community and helping provide opportunities for all to grow and flourish. It is a perfect neighborhood building for all to come to and shop local. That’s what business to me has always been about: our community.” Working with the Chamber also offers the ability to interact, learn, and grow. “Networking and marketing are priceless through the Chamber as is help with growth and development.”

Fit Life Studio is located at 4528 Maple Lane SE, Suite 101, in Olympia. The gym takes up one side and Studio 101 offers access to the local businesses on the other side. Visit Lovergreen or KD Lane boutiques, Seasons Design Studio, Edlund Esthetics, Fit Life Nutrition, and The Chamber to see what all the buzz is about.

At the end of the day, Effland simply hopes to “Keep growing to help more people be the healthiest versions of themselves.” Inside and out, at work or play, she’s well on the way to becoming a successful teacher and coach of exercise AND business. Swing by today and experience a neighborhood gem.

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