Meet Berwyn’s Entrepreneurs: Jamie Revell of Women’s Workout World
Welcome to Meet Berwyn’s Entrepreneurs! Berwyn has become a hot spot for urban professionals, entrepreneurs and creatively minded individuals. From musicians to crafters, small business owners to dedicated team members, Berwyn is home to a remarkable group of movers and shakers who keep our community vibrant. This segment gives us a chance to get to know what makes our local leaders tick! Enjoy!
Meet Jamie Revell of Women’s Workout & Wellness (6342 W Cermak Rd), est. Jan 1990
Hometown: Lemont, IL
Current Residence: Chicago, IL
All About Jamie: I grew up in the southwest suburbs in, what I like to call, an eclectic household. My sister was adopted before I was born from Paraguay and my brother was adopted when I was six years old. Everyone in my house, including my mom and dad, were from very different backgrounds but that’s what made us unique. Both of my parents were business owners, so growing up, we spent a lot of our time at their respective businesses: on job sites or in health clubs. Perhaps this is where my love of fitness began! Growing up, I played a lot of sports, my favorite being basketball, which I played through senior year of high school and continue to play on rec teams today. I started working in the fitness industry when I was 17 after my basketball season ended because I needed 2 things: a job and a way to stay active. My hobbies then grew to be a lover of all-things-fitness. I started getting my certifications, from Hip Hop to Turbokick to Zumba to AFAA to personal training, and taught various classes throughout college, both at the campus rec center and at surrounding gyms. I attended Tulane University where I studied management, marketing and Spanish, but on my own time, continued to read books about fitness and nutrition. It’s here where my passion for nutrition also developed, and I am currently studying for my Precision Nutrition certification to be a nutrition coach.
The Business Side: Women’s Workout World began 40+ years ago with my mom in her hometown of Portsmouth, OH. She worked part-time, grew into management and then into a franchisee in a chain of “women’s health clubs,” known as figure salons back in the 1970s. She sold her clubs and came to Chicago to help her friend and mentor, Audrey, start the franchise division of Women’s Workout World. Over time, she bought out Audrey and became the sole owner of W3.
Describe yourself using 3 words.
Inquisitive: I’ve always been a very curious and interested person and that drives my inquisitive nature to always seek the answer and ask a lot of questions. I like to feel empowered through knowledge, and one of the best ways is by asking questions, whether it’s to understand the basics, dive deeper into a topic or learn the how and why behind something.
Determined: A coworker told me one time “you’re like a candle that never burns out.” Where there is a problem, there is a solution, and I’m usually able to find it. However, it takes determination to solve problems and to stay focused. I am also determined to succeed and reach my goals. What drives me is a sense of accomplishment, and I am determined to feel that in all aspects of my life.
Active: It may seem obvious if you relate it to my passion for fitness, so in that sense, yes I am very active and love to workout. However, I mean active in the sense that I am always busy and doing something. I’m not a very ‘still’ person. I like productivity and the sense of accomplishment, so downtime does not really suit me very well. If you see me at work, I’m always doing something, oftentimes multitasking, and on the weekends, I’m always on the go. I have to make a conscious effort to set aside time to read and relax!
What inspires you?
Overall, people inspire me. I am inspired by business owners and also by the people around me every day: our members. I am very fascinated by business owners who have been able to create and mold an idea into a successful business. I like learning about people and their journeys on how they got to where they ended up; their stories inspire me.
Regarding our members, many of the women I see every day at the gym are so committed to reaching their goals despite a busy work schedule, family obligations, and everyday life demands; however, they make fitness a priority, find the time to get to W3 and make the most of it. Sure, they face setbacks, but what is inspiring is their determination to continue to reach their goals and then share their stories to inspire others. I love that!
Tell us something people might not know about you.
I was in a band once. LOL I’ve played piano since I was 5 years old. I stopped taking lessons when I went to high school due to sports and other obligations, but during high school, I wanted to get involved in something else again. I started taking voice and piano lessons again at a music academy in Lemont. This music academy put together children’s rock bands with their voice, piano, drum and guitar students to practice together, form a band, and perform at the Taste of Chicago. So when I was around 14 years old, I sang and played keyboard at the Taste!
Which place would you most like to visit and why?
Machu Picchu in Peru! I’m not sure where or how this started, but I’m really fascinated by the different cultures, places and backgrounds of the countries of South America. I took a lot of classes in college that focused on the history of South America, so perhaps this is where my ongoing interest comes from. With Machu Picchu in particular, it is a total wonder! It is absolutely amazing what this ancient civilization was able to accomplish during a time where technology, as we know it today, was nonexistent. To see pictures is fascinating, but to see it in person and be able to hike through the mountainous forest to get to the top of Machu Picchu would be an incredible experience.
What is something new you learned or experienced?
This past summer, I visited Cuba. Talk about a new experience! I love to travel and wanted to take a trip this past summer. I saw a lot of amazing pictures of Havana that peaked my curiosity, so I was excited to go. I didn’t realize that I would learn so much about Cuba’s history as well as the United States and how it all related to the world at that time. It was so fascinating to learn and see firsthand how certain historical events have shaped the lives of the Cuban people and of course the entire country. Even after my trip, I read a book about their leader and watched a few documentaries to try to get a deeper understanding of the government and people. My overall experience, from actually visiting Cuba and then furthering my knowledge of their history, has given me a new appreciation of what we have available to us everyday.
What are you most passionate about?
Helping people get healthy. I can’t describe what it is exactly that resonates with me, but it’s like a daily “ah-ha!” moment when it comes to helping people learn the ropes of fitness and then to see them each time they come in to workout and be with them on their journey toward success; it’s so fulfilling. My favorite thing is when I work with people who have never been exposed to fitness before coming to W3. Whether it’s in my classes or they have a question about a particular exercise, I love explaining things that will make a difference, whether it’s making a small tweak in their form or talking about what motivates them and why they want to achieve their goals. I know what fitness does for me. It makes me feel like a stronger, better person because I know I am doing something positive for myself, and I enjoy helping people feel the same.