WARREN, Pa. – JAM Fitness began as a relatively simple concept.
The gym is all-female owned by Margia Hansen, Jackie Vincent and Ashley Swanson. They wanted a place for people to come and achieve their fitness goals. The trio met at a different group fitness studio, and when that studio closed, they knew they wanted to do something.
“The three of us got together one night and we’re like, ‘we can’t let this go, we have to keep going,” Hansen said. “So we started asking where we could go, and, we just stumbled upon this place.”
The place is the home of their studio at 1751 Market St. in Warren, which opened in July of 2019.
“It did not look like this when we started,” Hansen said with a laugh. “But I mean it’s perfect. It’s just a nice, open space. We had a big grand opening in July of 2019. I would say at least 75 percent of the people that started with us are still here.”
And they offer a number of different classes that are open to both beginners and experts alike, including but not limited to strength, high fitness, kettlebell and Yoga. And in addition to Hansen, Vincent and Swanson, they also have five different instructors who all teach something different. They also have a new class starting in November for kickboxing.
“There are some people that come in, they’re like, oh it’s Monday it was a really rough day, I’m not really ready for this,” Hansen said. ”And then after class, they’re like, I really needed that, like, that was a great class, I needed that. That makes it worth it.”
Like many businesses, JAM ran into a snag with the pandemic. But, they were able to make adjustments and work their way through it.
“Things were going really well, and then the pandemic hit,” Hansen explained. “The first day when they announced that there would be a shutdown the three of us came here and we’re like, ‘what do we do?’ Because at that time we thought it would be two weeks.
“We figured out how to do Zoom. And we just taught classes on Zoom from home, so I mean it was cool, we’re kind of all together but not. We had a really good following, we really did. Everybody wanted to stick with us and honestly, I don’t think we really lost many during the pandemic handful. When we opened back up, we knew we had to keep our Zoom options going. We still have a lot of people that stay home and do it on Zoom, which is cool.”
For the three owners, it’s a labor of love.
“We love it, it’s our happy place,” Vincent said. “Everyone is really welcoming and we have a judgment-free zone. Everybody gets along really well.”
In addition to their normal classes, JAM also has special events.
“We have a couple coming up for Halloween, both the (October) 29th and 30th,” Hansen said. “We do glow events too where we turn on the black lights and people wear bright colored shirts. We work hard, but we try and keep it fun and exciting.”
And it’s been incredibly rewarding for everyone involved.
“Seeing people achieve their personal goals is awesome,” Hansen said. “I mean, we’ve had so many members that even through the pandemic are like crushing their goals and just to know that we had like a little tiny part and that is awesome.”
And it’s not about making money, it’s about making a difference.
“We all three have full-time jobs,” Hansen said. “The money that comes in, we pay rent and we pay our instructors.”
Prospective clients can go through the Vagaro Class booking app to book a class, and more information can also be found on their website, jamfitnessstudio.com.
“We have something for everyone,” Hansen said.