Karin Fellman: Founder and Owner of Hot Yoga University

Karin Fellman, founder and owner of Hot Yoga University, photographed at Hot Yoga University in Scottsdale, by Nicki Escudero

Karin Fellman, founder and owner of Hot Yoga University, photographed at Hot Yoga University in Scottsdale, by Nicki Escudero

Karin Fellman
twitter.com/hotyogau

Every day, Karin Fellman and her Hot Yoga University bring peace, confidence and strength to those who walk through the yoga studio’s doors. The 53-year-old Tempe resident has created a sanctuary for mental, physical and emotional restoration, melding encouraging messages into each challenging workout that increases muscle-building, fat-burning and flexibility. The studio also offers sleep-based meditation, and with 45 classes per week, there’s a yoga offering for anyone, no matter the skill level.

Fellman talked about how yoga has changed her life and why she wanted to open her own studio, and lets readers in on how they should prepare for a class. Hear her name her five favorite reasons for loving living in the Valley in a video, too.

What brought you to Arizona?

My family moved to Arizona in 1961 when I was 6 months old, and I was born in Greenfield, Massachusetts. My dad broke his back in an accident while working at machine shop, and after that couldn’t find work in Massachusetts, so my aunt said, “I hear there’s lots of opportunity for machinists in Arizona. Why don’t you move out there?”

He bought a Rambler station wagon and my mom, dad, brother and two sisters piled in, and we began our journey to the West. I attended Supai Elementary School, Coronado High School and Scottsdale Community College on an athletic scholarship for basketball and softball. Continue reading

Nikki Metzger: Owner of BODI Gym

Nikki Metzger, owner of BODI boutique gym in Scottsdale, photographed at BODI, by Nicki Escudero

Nikki Metzger, owner of BODI boutique gym in Scottsdale, photographed at BODI, by Nicki Escudero

Nikki Metzger
twitter.com/ScottsdaleBODI

Nikki Metzger is one strong lady. Not only could she kick your butt, at the age of 28, she’s already a successful Scottsdale business owner after opening her boutique gym BODI less than a year ago. The Scottsdale resident and Nike Master Trainer whips her students into shape, teaching more than 20 classes a week in a boot camp style.

Owning her own gym has been a dream of Metzger’s since she was only a kid, and she prides herself on providing all-encompassing healthy lifestyle motivation for her clients. Read on to discover what fuels her love for fitness, and check out a video of her naming her five favorite reasons for loving living in the Valley below.

What brought you to Arizona?

I was born and raised on the Wisconsin/Minnesota border in Amery, Wisconsin. The town was only 3,000 people and I didn’t even live in the town – my house was on 150 acres of land in the middle of nowhere.

I was in Chicago the past seven years. My husband and I randomly vacationed here like five or six years ago and just loved it. Ever since then, we’ve come twice a year. Both of us are very warm weather people and hate the cold, and we wanted to move somewhere that had character and wasn’t just a suburb with a lot of franchises. We chose to move here in December last year. Continue reading

Rachel Meier: Owner of RPM Spin Drop-Saddle Spin Studio

Rachel Meier, owner of RPM Spin in Scottsdale, photographed in her studio, by Nicki Escudero

Rachel Meier, owner of RPM Spin in Scottsdale, photographed in her studio, by Nicki Escudero

Rachel Meier
twitter.com/RPMSpin2014

For three years, Rachel Meier taught one of the most well-attended cycling classes at LA Fitness, with students packing the room to catch her high-energy, super-challenging work-outs. This past January, the 31-year-old Scottsdale resident broke out on her own, opening one of the only drop-saddle spin studios in the North Valley, RPM Spin. Her boutique studio is filled with Revmaster Pro bikes from LeMond, complete with computers that sync with Polar heart rate monitors, so you can take your workout home and sync it with the app. There are also LED lighting effects, with lights changing colors throughout the ride that cause garments to glow in the dark.

Meier, who also is an instructor at her studio, talked about what it was like to make the leap to business owner, as well as what people can expect from a drop-saddle class. Scroll down to hear her talk about her five favorite reasons for loving living in the Valley, too.

What brought you to Arizona?

The weather. I moved here in August of 2006, and am originally from Cortland, New York. I went to the University at Buffalo, and graduated with a double major in English and Communication. Continue reading

Lonni Lattie: Co-Founder of Sollus Nutrition and Fitness

Lonni Lattie
twitter.com/sollusfit

Sadly, nutrition and exercise are often at the bottom of people’s lists of priorities, and Fountain Hills mom Lonni Lattie wants to help Valley residents be healthier through nutrition-filled meals and staying fit. The 40-year-old Fountain Hills resident and former advertising professional co-founded Sollus Nutrition and Fitness in September 2012 with fellow mom Sonia Thalman, and the American Council on Exercise-certified fitness instructor coaches individuals, families and businesses on everything from how to healthily stock refrigerators, to exercise moves to stay toned. Lattie shared some of her top nutrition tips, and keep scrolling to watch a video of Lattie sharing her five favorite reasons for being a Valley dweller.

What brought you to Arizona?

We moved from Washington, D.C to the Valley in 2007 as my husband was relocated for work. I was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin. My family lives in a tiny town of 2,200 people. and I had a great childhood, but knew there was more to living than what I was exposed to in my upbringing. After graduating from college, I moved to Green Bay and worked for a few years before moving to Washington, D.C. for a position with a design studio. Continue reading

Marnie Wong: Boot Camp Babes Owner

Marnie Wong, owner of Boot Camp Babes, photographed at St. Francis in Phoenix by Nicki Escudero

Marnie Wong, owner of Boot Camp Babes, photographed at St. Francis in Phoenix by Nicki Escudero

Marnie Wong
twitter.com/BootCampBabesAZ

Canada native Marnie Wong never thought she’d be a boot camp instructor, nor a business owner. The Phoenix resident, 34, with a Master’s degree in engineering and circuit design, decided to steer her life in a totally different direction and leave an engineering career to purchase Boot Camps Babes fitness classes, which inspired her as a participant before she became co-owner of the Boot Camp Babes’ four locations a year-and-a-half ago. While it was what some may consider a huge leap, Wong hasn’t been happier. Read on to hear her business advice, as well as five reasons why she loves living in the Valley.

What brought you to Arizona?

I came in 1999 after I got into ASU. It was a very last-minute decision. I had been going to the University of Calgary, and I decided I wanted to go a different place, and it was already August, so I wanted somewhere I could get in quick, and I had never lived away from home so I wanted to go somewhere not too far from home but somewhere warm. ASU accepted me right away, and I got a scholarship. Continue reading