We had the good fortune of connecting with Dawn Clements and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dawn, can you tell us about an impactful book you’ve read and why you liked it or what impact it had on you?
A business memoir I recently read and highly recommend is Shoe Dog by Phil Knight the founder of Nike. Mr. Knight begins with his childhood growing up in Oregon, his family dynamics and relationships and how this shaped who he became. His college track coach regularly created experimental running shoes by sewing, molding, hollowing out or disassembling a pair of shoes to make them lighter, give better support or improve the run time of his track team. He ended up being one of the most influential people in Phil Knight’s life and his partner at Nike which was originally named Blue Ribbon.
Phil Knight has a pioneering spirit of an Oregonian, nerves of steel, perseverance, pushes himself hard, has a tight knit group of loyal employees who stayed with him through his life and are his dearest friends along with his first wife who was his top student when he was an accounting professor. Phil and Penny Knight are known as two of the most generous philanthropists in the world.
I related to Mr. Knights frustration in his quest to find a manufacturer who was reliable, delivered the prototype ordered in the specified time promised by the manufacturer. Excellent Quality control, a trustworthy experienced supplier who understands the culture of the people where the factory is located and the material being used is crucial to getting the product you have designed. The time of year that your order is placed is critical. I learned the hard way to never place an order in China right before Chinese New Year. Not a lot of focused, reliable work seems to get done at this time since it is the biggest holiday of the year with most everyone making plans to celebrate with family and friends.
Having at least one ally from the country you are doing business in and who understands how things are done there can not be underestimated in its importance. One helpful fact to accept early on is that everything takes much longer than you will expect. I have now gone through 4 versions and 3 manufacturers to get my product Fit Buddy fitness tool where it is today. I am very proud of the high end quality and practicality of this tool that is made out of beautiful sustainable wood. Attractive enough to keep on your coffee table and practical enough to have over 20 uses for muscle tension relief, recovery, mobility and flexibility. Inventing this product has allowed me to meet many interesting people along the way who have taught me so much about life, myself and my product. I have been given access to both professional and former athletes along with personal trainers, physical therapists, health practitioners, doctors and everyday people seeking better fitness or just wanting some relief and to feel better. Meeting new people, learning, teaching workshops, growing and helping people feel better all have given me purpose and pleasure in life.
Dawn Clements founder and inventor of Fit Buddy www.FitBuddy.us Dawn@FitBuddy.us
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
LiLiFu is our company name and stands for Live Life Fully. It is a combination of the first two letters of each word and is what we hope to help people to do by using Fit Buddy fitness tool. Fit Buddy is a natural and sustainable wooden fitness tool with a unique design and over 20 uses for relieving muscle tension, for recovery, flexibility and mobility. We are so proud and excited to be on our 4th line and to be used in so many physical therapy centers including Emory Hospital Midtown and Atlanta Sport & Spine, by professional athletes including NFL and NBA players along with a wide range of people and age groups from student athletes to people in their early 90’s. I am most proud of receiving a patent and at how much people love Fit Buddy and benefit from using it. We have over 100 testimonials on the website ranging from surgeons who use it to help with their neck and back tension from craning their neck forward all day to Delta and Southwest flight attendants who have a range of issues including stretching tight foot muscles and tight hip flexors. I am most proud of getting into corporations including Delta and Southwest Airlines crew rooms and corporate gym, UPS, Kaiser, the Shepherd Spinal Center, Bank of America to name a few.
Growing up my dad would always tell me that I was tenacious and resourceful. Both of these helped me to get to where I am today. Getting into Launchpad2x for founders with startups has been very important in my journey and allowed me to connect with other female entrepreneurs. I have learned that the people you think will be instrumental in helping you may not pan out and that total strangers you may meet will support and love the product and make a huge difference. Also that you never know where you will meet people who will make introductions and open doors for you. Keep an open mind, be grateful and keep your heart open. I created Fit Buddy because of all the pain I was in from having 5 herniated discs at 23. I want people-to be empowered to help themselves and to feel better using Fit Buddy to create comfort in their body. We offer one on one sessions, corporate events, workshops and How to Use videos online at www.FitBuddy.us.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would definitely take my friend to the botanical garden. The transformation that the Atlanta botanical Garden has made since I started visiting in the 80’s is unbelievable. I am so proud of having this gorgeous green space with a wide variety of gardens and collections in the city. We would enjoy some cocktails and eat at the restaurant on property after exploring the gardens. Stress melts away and inspiration and creativity are tweaked and there is plenty of parking.
I would take them to get a foot massage and eat at Houston’s restaurant.
We would hike one of the trails in Atlanta as there are so many to choose from- Sweet Water, the Palisades, Sope Creek or walk at the end of Columns Drive by the river.
A docent led tour at the High Museum of one of the collections and drinks at the High’s restaurant and then middle eastern food at Cafe Agora. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Launchpad2x-rocket fuel for women owned businesses
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