She Took the Next Step For her Own Business in Athens, Ga.

Owner Kandy Duke talks about her commitment to helping people become healthier.


1. What's the name of your business? Next Step - Take your next step towards a healthier lifestyle

2.What does your business do? Next Step is an integrative whole body approach to fitness. I provide private and group exercise instruction in Pilates, yoga, weight training, and Yamuna Body Rolling. I integrate Healing Touch, CranialSacral, Touch for Health and Practitioner-assisted Table Body Rolling to help clients reach their wellness goals.

3. How long have you been doing this? I've been in fitness and body work for over 11 years. 

4. Why are you doing this in Athens? I'm located in Athens because in my previous career there was a merger and my job moved to New Jersey. My husband and I weren't interested in relocating.

5. What are the advantages of owning a small busness? I have thoroughly enjoyed working for myself. The best part of owning your own business is the fact that you have more control over how much you work and what you can offer clients.

6. If you could change one thing about owning a small business, what would that be? The most difficult thing in owning my own business is, though, I strongly believe in the work I provide I'm not fond of the marketing and self promotion needed.

7. Do you have any employees? It's just me and I don't see that changing; however, I do have room to share with other practitioners who don't have their own space.

8. Do you own the place where you do business or do you move around or rent space? For several years I have provided services in client's homes, my home studio and gyms around town. About 6 months ago I began renting a small space in Athens Business Center. I have one room for 8 to 10 students, along with two smaller rooms for private appointments.

9. Is anyone else in town doing what you do? Athens residents are lucky in that there are lots of yoga and Pilates instructors in town. Even though there are very few Body Rolling practitioners in Georgia most of them live in the Athens area. There isn't anyone in town, however, that combines the seven different modalities I provide in one location.

10. Do you like what you do? My greatest love is helping people do things they didn't think they could do. This was a huge career change for me so if I didn't enjoy it I certainly wouldn't be doing it.

11. Do you have a story to share about how you started your business? I began this journey when I took my first Pilates class with a huge room full of 20 year olds. I was inflexible and weighed more than I ever had in my life. I was determined to finish the semester and did but with only 2 other women besides me still attending. I had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and was in pain a good bit of the time. I decided I wasn't going to stay that way and I didn't. First I began teaching Pilates, then Water Aerobics followed by Body Rolling and then yoga. In between teacher training I worked towards certification in Healing Touch and additional training in Touch for Health and Cranialsacral Therapy.

12. What are you plans for the future? My future plans include continuing to help others reach new physical and spiritual goals and adding a few new exercise options to my mix.


Do you have a business to profile? Send me an email.

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Paige Cummings March 15, 2013 at 03:33 PM
Always love the classes at Kandy's studio, and she understands the frustrations of being "upper middle aged" and still wanting to explore new exercise modalities.
Rebecca McCarthy March 15, 2013 at 03:36 PM
Kandy is courageously adventurous....in everything!


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