Adala Bolto, who is now 40, was on maternity leave. She had put on weight, getting to a size 14 (she is usually an 8) and had two kids under two years old so getting free time to herself was a challenge.
She hated exercise but her friend dragged her along on a local gym one day. After 9 months she got herself back to a size 8, was blown away by the results and decided that she didn’t want to go back to her 9-5, she wants to work in the fitness industry.
In no time she qualified as a trainer, earned a job at Fernwood and then became a Club Manager. As her passion for the fitness industry and business grew and her loyal clientele continued to smash their goals, Adala saw a gap in the Australian market for a bespoke fitness studio targeting millennial women. In July 2017, equipped with a clear vision and a strong business plan, Adala teamed up with Fernwood and co-founded ZADI Training.
“I was very passionate and clear about the need to fill a gap in the market for a unique badass space with the best exercise science programs for women that want more and then, making every single touch point unique for them! I was very inspired by the explosive growth in the fitness industry and saw this a once in a lifetime opportunity to just go for it and to start!”
Adala launched her first two studios, Surry Hills in June 2018 and Neutral Bay in November 2018. The studios are designed with ‘The experience’ in mind. They are set up as a female only nightclub with a great vibe at atmosphere, workouts are all developed by Exercise Scientist Damien Kelly so they are female specific and ZADI have partnered with TechnoGym to create bespoke technology to help franchisees roll out the programs easily, and clients track their results.
She certainly did not have this mapped out for her future, but instead, she took the opportunities that came her way and has achieved success off the back of hard work, spotting a gap in the market and being inspired by her own results and wanting to help others.
“I believe that my approach has always been entrepreneurial. Even before I owned my own franchise at Fernwood or ZADI. I have never been afraid to take risks and love to put everything into my career goals.”
Looking back now, Adala said that there were many hurdles initially but she didn’t really see them as hurdles at the time. She just got busy solving problems and finding ways to make all the pieces of the puzzle to come together. It was extremely hard and the difficulties were daily and incremental especially close to launch date.
“My husband who is also going through it with his start up has been integral helping me overcome these hurdles. He is someone who I trust and he has never wavered in his support for what I want to achieve. This kind of support is definitely an integral part for how far we’ve come.”
Adala’s favourite thing about what she does? “I can’t pick just one, so the first is watching our members enjoying the product we have created and loving their time with us as well as the results. Of course there’s also the personal growth as well as the opportunity to help others grow within the business. Last of all, being able to create opportunities and find better ways of doing things every day.”