Meet Katie;
our franchise partner and store owner of TRIB3 Manchester Deansgate

As one of our founding franchise partners in the UK, Katie Kopka’s franchise will be the very first to be situated in a hotel, as part of the Qbic Manchester development, and one of the two stores opening in the heart of the city in Q2 2021. We’re thrilled to have Katie onboard as she starts her new journey in fitness franchising.

Hear from Katie directly about her background, what International Women’s Day means to her and who has been her biggest inspiration so far.

What did you do before TRIB3 and what brought you to joining the TRIB3 family?

I’ve worked in the learning & talent space for the last 15 years. I founded my own small boutique consultancy that works with organisations to help them unlock the potential and performance of their people. During a short career break I saw an article in the Guardian about the rise of fitness boutiques in the UK which featured TRIB3. I picked up the phone and called Kevin and within a week I was over in Spain experiencing the brand. TRIB3’s values truly align to my own so how could I say no!

What does International Women Day mean to you?

IWD gives women a louder voice - a chance to celebrate achievements and advancements but most importantly to highlight the fact that there’s very foundational work that still needs to be done for women globally. It’s so easy to forget this.

This year’s theme is #ChooseToChallenge, “We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.”. What does that phrase mean to you when it comes to your career?

For me, this is about taking personal accountability to not adding to the challenges we already face. We all have bias even as women, about other women, so we need to start by challenging ourselves. We also need to speak up when we spot bias and inequality. Most importantly, it’s being proactive in creating a culture where everyone feels safe, valued and respected. This is my starting point for the team and customers coming into my TRIB3 studio. Even though we are not yet open, we started by re-designing the changing rooms to be non-binary.

Where and how have you felt empowered before?

TRIB3! Honestly and I’m not being paid to say this. From the start, as an early female franchisee, the team has worked hard to support me and guide me through their experiences but ultimately empower me to make the key decisions – location, design, operations and team.

Who inspires you?

I am very lucky to have such an inspirational team around me – my husband, family, friends, and colleagues. In my ‘day job’ I am often privilege to people’s struggles and journeys. I find it astounding the things people deal with every day and yet still show-up as good powerful people who contribute even when it would be so easy for them not to. I will always call out my mum who is a daily pillar of strength and comfort and my personal cheerleader.

What do you think is the biggest challenge today when it comes to women in fitness?

My personal experience in fitness has been focused on buying a franchise. Investment is the biggest barrier not only in fitness but more broadly in business. Less funding gets funneled to female-run businesses and traditionally women tend to start with less upfront capital available. This is also about investment in developing women’s business skills. I have been fortunate to have had support in the form of two accelerator programmes one of which was targeted at women. Thankfully, there’s a lot of free resources out there and good people who are willing to support but you still have to work hard to find it.

What would you like to say to other women in the fitness industry to help empower them?

It’s so very easy to talk yourself out of something – be that an opportunity to develop yourself, take a slightly different direction in your career or go out on your own. DON’T. Talk yourself into it instead. Women tend to find it harder to bounce back from failures big or small, but we need to see failure as part of the process. Things may not always work out the way you planned but don’t let it stop you. It’s about what you do with the learning that comes from failure - not the failure itself.

Ready to join our global fitness movement? Enquire today.

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