Business Focus: Curves for Women

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“I love to solve problems; I like puzzles; I love helping people and being around people,” the owner of the Huntsville and Conroe Curves gyms shared, explaining how this dynamic lady with a degree in computer science came to be an enthusiastic proponent of a unique way of working out specifically targeted for women. Proud Bearkat Tish Humphrey possesses an entrepreneurial spirit that has contributed to our community through numerous avenues.  

Tish Humphrey – Owner

In 2000, Tish and a friend joined the Huntsville Curves with a gift certificate that had been purchased through a Sam Houston Football Auction. “I fell in love with the concept! Although my mom is a wonderful example of staying active and exercising, I hadn’t worked out in 20 years,” Tish noted. In 2000, Tish bought her first Curves, which was one of the fastest-growing franchises. Her husband told her that she should buy the Willis location as well. “So, at this time, I had two businesses, two kids, a marriage, and a fulltime job. God was so involved with these opportunities.” 

Tish coaches Mel on proper form.

Last year, Curves North America, New Zealand, and Australia were bought by Krishea Holloway, who Tish believes was probably 18 years old when she bought her first Curves. As the President, last year, she introduced the MyCurves on Demand workout.” As a club owner, Tish questioned why the company was encouraging people to workout at home; however, this foresight had set in motion what women would need as Covid-19 altered the reality for many of the gym members.

“We have an at-home option that interfaces with the Curves philosophy.”

When ladies moved away from their cities or when a Curves closes in their area, this program allowed them to continue their health journey. “MyCurves on Demand is an online portal where anyone can get access as a member. It comes with a resistance band that is soft and safety tested. It is $24.99 a month for non-

Curves members; Curves members get a discount. It is hard sometimes for working moms; they might be able to make it to the club a couple of days a week, but they want the consistency of what Curves is. Curves is 30-minutes; Curves is fun, fast, and safe. The coach is always there training you. The videos are made by ‘real women’ –members, owners–so it is relatable”, Tish stated. Another advantage is that a person can use MyCurves on Demand when one travels; taking the band and logging in when someone is traveling keeps that person from having to work out in a hotel gym.   

Curves coaches (starting with
closest and clockwise): Fran
Balko, Melanie Michaelchuk,
Kaylie Perez, Tish Humphrey,
Deborah O’Barr, and Cindy
Hardy. Not pictured: Jami
Slott, Jill Nowell and Mary
Kay Skinner

She went on to say, “I have tried so many things in this setting that I would never have tried in a traditional gym. A lot of women feel like me; I can be silly here; I can be myself. When I purchased Curves, I was 30 pounds heavier. Curves changed my life! I learned that dieting is not a way of life.” Curves produced a book in 2002 called Permanent Results Without Permanent Dieting. The paradigm of most gyms is intimidating to most women. Many people aren’t sure how to do the exercises, and they are too embarrassed to ask someone for help. Curves has all the traditional offerings of cardio, boxing, balance, etc. that can meet the needs of a young lady who is fifteen or a wise woman who is ninety. “A twenty-year-old can work out with her forty-five-year-old mom, who is working out with her seventy-year-old mom in the midst of this pandemic,” Tish added. They encourage everyone to keep working out so as not to lose muscle mass, which helps with balance, health, a stronger immune system, etc.  

The 30-minute Curves workout is based on five components: Warm Up, Cardio, Strength, Cool Down and Stretch. The upper and lower body are worked out through concentric and eccentric movements. “We go through a circuit: you go from band/machine work to body movement, then you go back to strength training. You go back and forth, and then you start cooling down and then go to stretching. Stretching is critical. You get a 19% strength gain by stretching,” Tish explained.  

Tish has been able to marry her computer programmer mind with her heart to help and love on people. “In Curves, the coaches and I get to interact with people; we get to listen to them. We get to get into their hearts and find out what it is that makes them want to lose weight, to be healthier.” Some of the members want to be able to play with grandkids or not be a burden to their families. Tish’s amazing coaches are Cindy Hardy, Kaylie Perez, Melanie Michaelchuck, Deborah Obarr, Fran Balko, Jami Slott, Jill Nowell and Mary Kay Skinner.  

Tish & Mel

 One member, Shirley, joined Curves after beating cancer. She wanted to be strong enough to make a trip with her family. Another lady, Melanie, was an active person before joining Curves. Since joining, she lost 40+ pounds and has since climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. Client Melinda recently celebrated her year anniversary and proudly shares her weight-loss/health journey on Facebook.  The members of this facility enjoy the monthly coaching that keeps them accountable.  

“On Facebook, we have free workouts that are available to everyone in the community,”

“While we are closed, we are helping our members set goals, helping them through struggles, sending classes online and on Facebook. We are also offering something to the community. Depression can hold people back. We are reminding people to celebrate their downtime. On Facebook, we have free workouts that are available to everyone in the community,” Tish said.   

Tish during the Food
Drive Basket Parade

Although health and fitness are the main priorities of this institution, Curves also contributes to the community in several ways. “We are community! We are a beacon!” During the current pandemic, Curves has concentrated on “loving our neighbor” and helping people. “While we are closed, we are calling people to see if they need anything. Even our members have called us and said, ‘Hey! If you hear of somebody who needs something, please tell me; I want to help!’”  Curves also does an annual food drive each year. This year, they decided to include local businesses.  They did a Basket Parade down Highway 75 in Huntsville. “We called all the businesses and told them what we were doing. These businesses got to participate in a big way. We were able to contribute around 400 pounds of food to the Good Shepherd Mission. Even though we do not have a location in Willis anymore, we continue to support the TLC Food Pantry. We were able to give almost 250 pounds of food to them before the more restrictive measures were put in place,” Tish offered.  

Tish mentioned that some women drive a good distance to go to her clubs. “Once you get Curves in your blood, you know the difference! The strength training is going to help keep you strong and help you feel good. It is hard to give it up. Members who have left and tried other things come back and say, ‘I wish that I had never left!’ It is like family!” 

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