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RapidChat: Gwadue Bossuah on celebrating the highs and lows of being a local business owner

After four years of being in business, Gwadue Bossuah, creator and owner of FZIQUE full body cycling studio, takes a walk down memory lane with us. Remembering all of the highs and lows that brought him to where he is today, Gwadue plans on hosting an extra-special celebration this month at his new Midtown location.

After four years of being in business, Gwadue Bossuah, creator and owner of FZIQUE full body cycling studio, takes a walk down memory lane with us. Remembering all of the highs and lows that brought him to where he is today, Gwadue plans on hosting an extra-special celebration this month at his new Midtown location.
Rapid Growth: It has been over three years since we last chatted. What are you up to these days?

Gwadue Bossuah: Three years ago seem like yesterday, but so much has happened. We’ve moved our studio, rebranded, and completely started over from scratch. This time with our number one focus being on customer experience and why we do what we do.

RG: How would you define your "why"?

GB: Mastery is impossible! Humans are limitless. We just need to turn ourselves on.

RG: Your studio will be turning four this month! How do you plan on celebrating?

GB: Great question. Can you imagine what a party for a spoiled four-year-old would look like? We hope to embrace the moment in celebrating our community. This community has carried us—and continues to support the brand—more than I could’ve ever imagine. I say “a spoiled four-year-old” because we feel like we’ve been that privileged, but we’re still pretty new and still an unfamiliar brand to a large percentage of Grand Rapids. We’d like to change that by partnering with complimentary local brands to host an all-day community appreciation day that will hopefully help ring and spread our name throughout the entire city.

RG: In celebration, can you recount some of your most memorable moments at FZIQUE?

GB: My personal top three are (1) When I taught a class of 3/30 people on the bike, to having a consecutive waitlist of five people for that same class. (2) I was personally celebrated during a class; a celebration that felt so special to me. More people attended that class than any other evening class that season. (3) My girlfriend Kaley and I started our relationship at our front desk!

RG: Why did you move FZIQUE from Cascade to downtown Grand Rapids?

GB: I listened to my heart then turned to data for confirmation. FZIQUE originated from the idea of fitness being more like a nightclub; we struggled with our brand identity while in Cascade and the space wasn’t ideal for my vision. But all the experience in Cascade led to what I now call “perfect.”

RG: What sort of obstacles did you encounter during this transition?

GB: We took a huge financial loss. I had a few legal settlements and positioned the business in a temporary location on Ionia street that was not necessary—but it was the only option or idea I could think of that would keep the brand alive while undergoing construction at 740 Michigan Street. We also lost approximately 95 percent of our members from Cascade. However, 2018 has been pretty good to us. Our community and classes have tripled in numbers since mid-November 2017.

RG: How did you help get those numbers back up?

GB: Our discovery of focusing on each of our individual crafts through music and exercise continues to impact our prospects... the experience and effect we have on first timer visitors is our most staple denominator in growth. This same discovery has also made it much easier to communicate our identity and service options within various social platform.

RG: How do you keep your cycling classes fresh, new, and exciting?

GB: We trust in music and ourselves as individuals. We’re truly great at recruiting passionate, creative, and intentional minds. We teach our instructors the functional standard of the brand, but we trust in each of her/his ability to go outside the box and create an integral experience that defines their current state. We identify our why, connect with it, and the direct it through music. This keeps every class you step into fresh and lit.


Jenna Morton is the RapidChat correspondent for Rapid Growth Media.
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