Friday 9 December 2016

'I vomited before teaching my first class'

Published 12/08/2016 | 02:30

Work it out: Business partners and friends Teri Dillon and Suzanne Flanagan in their Pilates studio in Dunboyne
Work it out: Business partners and friends Teri Dillon and Suzanne Flanagan in their Pilates studio in Dunboyne

"You don't know anything really when you start, but you want to know everything," says hospital administrator Teri Dillon, on starting her fitness and Pilates business six years ago from scratch, without any background except an enjoyment of the activity.

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"I couldn't believe anyone would actually come to my classes. I thought I'd be no good at it. But friends came and they pushed me after that."

Suzanne Flanagan was one such friend. She had worked in insurance for 22 years before taking redundancy.

"I'd be the one in the gym at 6.30am, but I didn't think I'd have the courage to teach. I'm very shy. Teri needed someone to take over some of her classes and asked me. I was physically sick before the first one, but then we talked about doing classes together in Dunboyne, where we live."

They both made a decision to operate as sole traders, each with their own clients, rather than start a formal partnership or company, and have no plans to change this.

While they love the classes, holding dozens each week at their studio bases in Dunboyne and Ratoath, they admit there are some aspects of running a small business that they find tedious.

"We find the accounts side terrible, tax and all that," says Teri. "And social media - we get our kids to do it but we need to be better," adds Suzanne.

Irish Independent

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