Ted Fournier didn’t go to college expecting a career in the fitness industry.
Ted graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in business and got a job with La Salle Bank. At the time, the bank was growing its commercial lending nationally and Ted signed on to come to Chicago for a year of training and then go back to Connecticut to help the bank grow on the East Coast.
About a year after he returned home to Connecticut, his life took an unexpected turn. He was involved in a major car crash that landed him in the hospital for one month and then back home with his parents for six months to recover. His recovery was a long and arduous process that involved ten major surgeries and hours of rehab.
Even though the doctors advised him to stay home for an entire year to focus on his recovery, the thought of living at home and not moving forward with his life was not appealing to a young 23-year-old. Six months after his accident, cane in hand, he moved to Chicago for a job at The Private Bank.
The job at the bank, while a great job, required long days and extended periods of sitting. For a person still in a lot of pain and needing hours of physical therapy to continue his recovery, it wasn’t a good fit.
While working at the bank, Ted was spending a lot of time researching therapies, trying out what worked, and what didn’t. The experience of taking control of his recovery and realizing the benefits of physical activity for keeping him mobile and pain free started him thinking about the possibility of owning his own business in the fitness field. But still, he wasn’t sure exactly what that would look like.
After four years at The Private Bank, he shifted gears completely and began working for Wade Anderson at Orange Shoe Personal Fitness in North Center. He loved working with clients and the team centered-approach Orange Shoe took with each client.
About a year after joining Orange Shoe, he went to dinner with Wade to talk about his desire to own his own business one day. Several beers later, Wade proposed a business partnership with Ted to open the second Orange Shoe Personal Fitness.
When Wade and Ted were looking for a location, they knew for their business model to work, it had to be in a neighborhood that was connected and engaged. Andersonville fit the bill and they signed a lease at 5609 N Clark Street.
Orange Shoe Personal Fitness Andersonville opened in November 2016 and the team has quickly become an active part of the neighborhood. From volunteering time at Peirce Elementary, to participating as a premier sponsor at the Edgewater 5k, you will find the Orange Shoe team all over Edgewater and Andersonville. Ted takes a personal approach to building local partnerships with other practitioners and visits potential referral partners to learn about their philosophy and experience their service.
Only 16 months in, this second location is exceeding projections. Ted attributes the success of the business to several things. First, they take care of their employees. The trainers are paid salary plus benefits so they can focus on training, not selling. Second, the team approach they take with each client. Often several trainers look at a client’s goals and help his/her trainer develop the best approach or trouble shoot when they hit a snag. It’s easy to stand behind the excellent trainers who work with clients at the Orange Shoe studio or in their homes.
Ted now spends his time growing his business, helping people achieve their fitness goals or recover from injuries and giving back. He is on the junior board of the top-rated rehabilitation institute in the country – the Sherley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago.
Ted’s life-changing accident led him to career he hadn’t planned for. But now he can see how owning his own fitness business is a good fit for his strengths and passions.
To connect with Ted, contact him at:
Orange Shoe Personal Fitness
5609 N Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60660