JUST TESTING

How the Creators of No Waist Gang 216 Turned Their Degrees Into An Inclusive Wellness Empire

Ty Stevens and DAndrea Rander, the owners of No Waist Gang

Tyler Stevens didn’t know if she wanted to pursue higher education after she graduated high school in 2010. That is until her mother, a longtime administrative employee at Bryant & Stratton College in Cleveland, encouraged her to investigate the many diverse degree programs at the College.

“I always wanted to start my own business, but I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do,” said Stevens. “I wanted to collect a broad range of entrepreneurial skills and knowledge, so Bryant & Stratton’s business program was a natural fit for me.”

Inseparable since high school, Stevens’ best friend, DAndrea Rander, also enrolled at the College at that time to pursue a nursing degree and achieve her dream of working in healthcare. During their college experiences, both women discovered they were pregnant, but that didn’t stop them from working towards their desired career goals.

“We really pushed and supported each other throughout our college education, and we were lucky enough to have supportive friends and family to help us achieve our goals,” said Rander.

Utilizing the College’s flexible in-person, hybrid, and remote learning offerings, Stevens successfully completed her associate degree in business from Bryant & Stratton College in 2013 and returned to the College to achieve her bachelor’s in business in 2017. While Rander completed her nursing degree elsewhere, both women ultimately pursued careers in healthcare, with Stevens working as a caretaker and Rander working as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).

However, the women’s ultimate goal was to start a business together using the unique skills they both gained from their degree programs. Given their occupations at the time and their natural affinities for nurturing, their initial plan was to open a group home to care for those in need. While they planned their next steps, the women began regularly working out together and going to exercise classes in their free time to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“The more we worked out together, we noticed that there wasn’t a lot of millennials in the classes we were attending,” said Rander. “We started looking for a new way to work out that catered to diverse people, age groups, and body types.”

It’s from that idea that No Waist Gang 216 (NWG216) was founded in 2018 to incorporate music and movement to make exercise fun for all. Combining the business management and accounting skills that Stevens gained during her time at Bryant & Stratton College and the body mechanics and nutritional knowledge that Rander utilized in her nursing career, the women began building their wellness brand from the ground up.

“We started by establishing a social media presence and doing routines and hosting virtual classes on Instagram,” said Stevens. “As we gained supporters, we saw natural opportunities to grow, including hosting in-person classes and, most recently, creating products like waist trainers and nutritional detox products.”

Stevens also credits her Bryant & Stratton education for the customer loyalty that NWG216 has been able to build over the past three years. “A lot of the program was about maintaining customer satisfaction, and I have used those skills to keep our customers happy and use their feedback to keep our classes fresh.”

Today, NWG216 hosts workout classes to popular rap and hip-hop music that inspires attendees to get moving. Focused on inclusivity, all classes are beginner friendly, and routines include sequences of repetition to ensure that everybody can keep up.

The women are starting to work with retail brands like Athleta to host their classes, and continue to hold classes Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at Body Rocks Dance Fitness Studio in Euclid, Ohio.

“Our goal is to make sure everyone that attends our classes feels comfortable and empowered,” said Stevens. “We’re so proud of the results our clients are seeing and the confidence that they have built through getting healthy and exercising with us every week.”

As for what’s next, Stevens and Rander want to take their classes on the road – and eventually international. They are also working on creating virtual class packs for purchase so that everyone has access to their programs in a way that fits their schedules.

Those interested in joining a class can learn more at @nowaistgang216 on Instagram or schedule a class at https://nwgclasses.as.me/schedule.php.

Share this:
 
 
 



Related Articles