At KF, we believe in the power of women. Each month, we'll introduce you to a 'Woman Who Inspires'. These incredible women are entrepreneurs, innovators and makers who are paving their own way in business, education, society, motherhood, and many more aspects of life. Learn how they started their ventures, the challenges they faced along the way and see how they are building their future - all of our futures - while inspiring others.
Founder of Fitness Brand LVFIT, Laura Varney
For as long as we have known Laura (a long time), she has always been on the go, from starting a new fantastic endeavor to keeping herself in tip top shape. She is a friend, a boss babe, an aunt, a daughter and one of the most thoughtful people we have ever met. Her passion has been fitness for quite some time and with the creation of LVFIT she has brought all of her wonderful qualities together to achieve a program and lifestyle that is fulfilling her dreams while helping her clients live their best lives.
I’m Laura Varney I’m the founder of LVFIT, a brand that encompasses the online and in person portion of my fitness business. I train clients one on one, teach yoga and coach clients on nutrition. I have an eBook that is a 12 Week Guide to Wellness and I am also the Health and Fitness Director at 1 Method Treatment Center, a drug and alcohol treatment center here in Los Angeles.
Why did you start your company?
I tried working at a desk job, and actually had a career in public relations prior to moving into the fitness world. I just knew all along that I wanted to do something where I felt like I was making a difference and helping other people. And sitting at a desk all day responding to emails and creating press releases didn’t fulfill that need. After grad school, I started to realize that my passion was fitness and nutrition. I was constantly consuming fitness and wellness related content throughout the day. I was training for bikini competitions and I loved teaching my friends about training and nutrition. One day I was talking to my boyfriend at the time about my career and he looked at me and said, “You love fitness. You love learning about diet and nutrition and teaching other people. Why don’t you just do it for your career?” To be honest I’m not sure that I would have made the leap if it weren’t for him. But my main motivation behind being a personal trainer and being the health and fitness director at a drug and alcohol treatment center is to help people and has been since day one. Seeing people progress and reach their goals is extremely rewarding. Every single day I wake up and I feel lucky to do what I do because I know for a fact that I’m making a positive impact on someone’s life.
What is your biggest failure in business and what did you learn from it?
I had to close down a business I started with a friend because it was no longer working for various reasons. It was tough - in the end, not only did I lose this company that we built from the ground up, I also lost a friend. I learned a few things from that failed endeavor: 1. Sign a partnership agreement up front 2. Don’t have too many expectations when launching a company 3. Consistency is key in any type of business.
What is the first thing you do after waking up to jump-start your day?
I have the same morning routine every day of the week. I believe the way we start our morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. One of the most valuable things I do is prep meals the night before so I can pop them in my bag the next day to take to work. I wake up around 5:30 most days, make my bed and turn on music. It used to be Spotify playlists, but I recently inherited my dad’s record collection, so lately it’s been Led Zeppelin or The Beatles. I drink warm lemon water and then I take my dog Gus out for a walk. While we walk I usually listen to a podcast - something to do with either nutrition or wellness. I like to be able to consume information whenever I can to stay sharp, and I find that I usually learn at least one thing that I can take into my business or to my clients. I come back inside, finish getting ready, make coffee, stretch for 5-10 minutes and head out for the day.
What tools would you recommend anyone trying to start their own business or make your workday easier?
MINDBODY - for any business that is wellness related. It’s great for scheduling classes, clients/appointments and streamlines payment.
Trello - for organization and to do lists and tasks, especially when multiple parties are involved.
What person in history living or dead has inspired you and how?
Both of my parents are a constant inspiration for me. I think that I have a pretty good combination of both of their personalities. I grew up in a house where I had the most loving, kind, compassionate and patient mother and a father who constantly told me I could do whatever I wanted as long as I tried my hardest (and he actually believed it). He’s also an entrepreneur who had his own architecture firm. He ran a very successful company, but always displayed integrity and treated his employees with respect. Now that I’m in the business world, I often see successful people operate under the assumption that they have to be somewhat deceiving or corrupt in order to get ahead. I watched my father succeed through hard work, honesty and always having the best intentions for his employees.
If this wasn’t your job what’s something else you’ve always wanted to do start or create?
I have two VERY different answers for this one. I got my master’s degree in Journalism and love to write, so I could see myself writing for a travel publication. I would also love to move to an island in Greece and open a little beach side cafe. I think cooking for people is one of the ultimate ways to show love. Plus, Greece is my favorite place in the world.
Let's Get Deep...
What emojis do you use most when texting?
I often use the face with the teeth showing like “Shit, sorry.” 😬
What is your go to cocktail?
Vodka water with fresh squeezed lemon juice. The vodka must be very cold and the lemon has to be freshly squeezed - none of this bottled lemon juice nonsense.
What books are you currently reading?
I like to keep two books on hand. I usually read one educational book that’s either wellness related or self-help/business related and another more lounge appropriate book that is either a biography or a fiction. Right now I’m reading 'The Obesity Code' which is about the connection between insulin resistance and obesity, and 'Acid for the Children' written by Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Go to fave garment in your closet.
A chambray jumper from Alice and Olivia that one of my friends Erin gave me for my birthday a couple of years ago and my black leather Balenciaga jacket.
What is your signature scent?
My daytime perfume is Le Labo Santal 33 and at night I switch to Le Labo Thé Noir 29.
Early riser or night owl?