Who's That Gal: Eliza Shirazi of Kick It by Eliza
For most people January is a time to reset and put new practices in place. Whether it be in relationships, health, or career, many start the new year off with a plan. Believe me, between the three of us we have so many ideas for 2016 the list would be way too long to share. Instead we thought, who better to interview on the blog than the master of goals, in both fitness and career, than Eliza Shirazi of Kick It By Eliza™?! And, to make it even sweeter, Eliza will be sharing more of her career and fitness advice AND teaching a free mini workout session at our next Ladies Lounge event, on Wednesday, January 20th!
Name: Eliza Shirazi
Hometown: Leominster, MA
Current 'Hood: Cambridge, MA
You technically started your business in college (that’s crazy!), what knowledge (or courage) did you have that helped you set out as a fitness instructor?
I did start my business in college! And, yes, it is kind of crazy. Any entrepreneurial journey really begins with committing to trying something new. Once you decide you are going to do something no matter the outcome, you gain courage to move forward. When you gain courage to take the first step, you realize you are capable of doing it again. When you do it again, you become confident that you can replicate it. This theory is known as The 4 C’s Formula. Fancy.
Just kidding, not that fancy...here is how it translated to me and Kick It: I have always been committed to Kick It and it always takes courage to take new steps in the fitness industry because you don’t really know until you try. Yet, every time I try I realize I am capable of doing something great again and then some! The confidence this creates drives me forward every single day, every single class. But the fun ain’t ova. The challenges continue, and although it is fun, it takes balls. Luckily, I have a badass community aka the Kick It Crew next to me.
It is so cool that you were able to take your passions and turn them into a profitable business. Is this your full time job now? If not how do you go about balancing your careers?
Kick It is my priority and full-time job -- I am currently teaching at The Club by GF3 and Equinox. I live and breathe it and I don’t know anything different. Yet alongside Kick It, I have been working at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the Pulmonary Division for 2½ years. Yeah, it has been a real balancing act! But as Kick It revs up in 2016 for bigger ventures, I will be focusing solely on that. I am fortunate that my Kick It career is able to take off full-time!
So, what does a Kick It class actually entail (for our readers who haven’t taken a class)?
Kick It By Eliza™ is a 13-round fitness method that is music-driven, sweat-inducing, and kickboxing-inspired. Half way through the class, Kick It Crew members interact with each other through partner work. All of this has led to the Fempire™, the female inspired empire that has organically grown through this class. Kick It encourages women to feel empowered side by side, round by round, minute by minute.
The Kick It program is expanding, right? Congrats! What is it like taking your brand nationally?
Ding Ding! Going up! Yes, Kick It By Eliza™ is on the rise and expanding. Let’s just say I am on the 10th floor on this stairway to success. And there are, like, a million floors in this stairway. Although this can be scary, I don’t know what else I should be doing with my life other than this. I have a product that is really special and transferable...why the hell would I not try to reach as many people as possible with it?! But I am not doing this alone. Now entering….my business partner and BFFL, Rachel Levine. Rach and I went to UMass Amherst together, lived together, traveled together, and obviously Kick It together. She is invested in making Kick It sparkle nationwide AND internationally. Rach is so smart and thinks so fast that sometimes her sentences come out jumbled and e-mails come to me with missing words. She used to work for the Food and Drug Administration in DC, but Kick It is way more of a thrill. How lucky am I to have such a fast thinker/brainiac with me on this ride? Pretty damn lucky.
What three tips do you have for anyone looking to turn their passion into a career?
1. You’re going to f up. It’s okay, keep moving forward.
2. Never lose sight of why you are doing what you are doing.
3. Haters gonna hate. Don’t let other people dictate your dreams/passions, NO MATTER WHAT!
Hardest lesson you’ve learned along the way?
Hmm. Hardest lesson so far….as a young female entrepreneur, everyone has an opinion about what I am about to do with Kick It. Although I have received great feedback on what is to come, it can get overwhelming with the amount of opinions and suggestions. The learning curve is big, but you learn to take some and leave some. Stay true to you.
What does your workout (or relaxation) routine look like when you are alone, not in front of your Fempire?
I only work out in group settings! I don’t remember the last time I went for a light jog or run on the treadmill (ew). I love slowing down my pace with yoga and actually try to meditate on the reg. When I have time, I choose to go to The Handle Bar. But usually...I’m kickin it.
And your beauty routine? We’re so curious about how instructors look so good teaching classes!
I can thank my sister, Shayna, for much of my beauty skillz. She is in the biz of pampering over at Bliss Spa in the W Hotel and has always taken initiative to tell me if my eyebrows look disgusting or if I need a facial, and will quickly give me a makeover.
You also partner with a lot of charities to host benefit classes, which is amazing. Can you talk a little bit about why you incorporated this aspect into your business and how you select the organizations you work with?
Giving back is so important. Growing up, my parents instilled in me to do always do good deeds or ‘mitzvah’ (hebrew lingo). So when I was at UMass I used the really large audience I had to bring attention to organizations that I thought were important. Since Kick It has an emphasis on female empowerment and community, I helped raise money for Sisters on The Runway, which brings awareness and funds to women and children affected by domestic violence. I also helped raise enough money to build a library for Room to Read, a non-profit organization for improving literacy and gender equality in education in the developing world.
I found that there is something powerful about exercising for something bigger than yourself and this will always be a part of the Kick It brand. There are plenty of events like these coming in January/February 2016 and you can find them here on my schedule!
What’s next for Kick It?
How much time do you have? I’ll leave it at this: In 2016, Kick It By Eliza™ is on it’s way to having it’s very own space and will also scaling to having other trainers teach. Holla at me if you’re interested! We want YOU to be a part of this ride. Come to an event, a class, drop an email, click ‘like’ on social media, or tell me you like me in person (where you at prince charming?). Just be a part of the Kick It Crew because even the smallest bit of support means the world.
Must-have workout gear item: Kick It Crew Crop top and my New Balance sneaks!
Favorite winter hangout in Boston: Crema Cafe all day every day.. but I won’t say no to a mango martini from Beat Hotel
Jam of the week: Something About You - Majid Jordan
Your 2016 Resolution: Drink more water and stop procrastinating
Currently reading: Just finished The 4 C’s. Any recommendations for what I should read next?