Cori Williams On Owning a Business, Leading a Team, and Inspiring Future Generations
When I initially saw Cori, she seemed perky, cheerful, and kind of like a little ball of light - wrapped in some pretty chic workout gear. However, as I chatted with her at our photo shoot, I learned quickly that she is also quite the badass boss babe, earning her a spot on our 2018 boss babe roster. Sometimes as business owners, there's this pause, or kind of synchronized feeling where you give each other a mental hug or fist bump, saying, "girl, I got you. This shit is hard as hell, and I, unlike 99% of people who say this, actually get you because I'm right there in the thick of it too," and that's how I felt hanging with Cori. She showed up with a bunch of bags, shoes for the shoot, coat and coffee in hand, running from a meeting to a photo shoot to a class later that evening, and still greeted us with a cheerful and friendly welcome. This boss babe is the real deal, here to stay, and ready and willing to help lead future generations of mini-boss babes along their way. It was truly an honor to meet her.
- Becky VandenBout, Owner of Joon + Co. -
Cori Williams is the owner of Beer City Barre, a barre studio located in the West side of Grand Rapids, Michigan, or you know, "Beer City." Beer City Barre has been open for a little over a year now, and is making quite the name for itself in the booming West Side of Downtown Grand Rapids. Williams has a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from Grand Valley State University, and she has high goals, high hopes, and even higher expectations for herself.
There is literally no way a person can fully understand the sacrifice and actual blood, sweat, and tears that go into taking on a dream like owning your own business without going through the rollercoaster of a journey first-hand. Williams is not only a business owner, instructor, studio manager, marketer, team leader, she is ALL. OF. THIS. at once, while somehow remaining to still have a personal life. When your lifelong passion becomes a dream come true, the feeling of making a mark on the world is life-changing.
Beer City Barre stemmed from a brainstorming session in Fall of 2015, deciding on a business name by January 2016, and signing a lease on their current space not long after, in March of the same year. After summer construction, doors opened to a full schedule of classes on September 16th, 2016. Business is doing well, classes are maxing out, and Williams has big goals for the future including a larger, privately owned building, a second location, and even an online streaming service for their classes. She one day wants a staff to run the daily business operations, while she continues to manage the overall company direction as well as continue teaching classes, the part of the business she is most passionate about.
Business ownership is tough all around - I constantly feel like I am riding a roller coaster with all the ups and downs. The toughest lesson I have learned is that not everyone is going to share my passion. Not everyone will believe in your brand, or see your vision. You have got to keep your head down and quit worrying what others are doing/thinking/saying and stay steadfast and true to yourself and your business.
My favorite line carried [at Joon + Co.] is Groceries Apparel. I've recently purchased the Evalina dress that I am completely obsessed with. I can't get over the soft material [eucalyptus Tencel], and how it can so easily transition from day to night.When asked what gets WIlliams out of bed in the morning, she quickly replied, "MY CLIENTS. Seriously, they are the BEST and I love them so much!" She was recently nominated as a finalist for the ‘West Michigan Woman Brilliance Awards’ in the ‘Team Player’ category. Williams adds,"Those finalist lists are filled with some pretty AMAZING women and I am so honored to be amongst them." The Grand Rapids entrepreneurial community is a strong one, both in resilience and in strength of character, and Williams is no exception. Joon + Co., an advocate for female empowerment, is focusing, through the BossBabe campaign, on highlighting some of the strongest, sincerest women in the area. We should all surround ourselves with fierce, fearless women, ready to change the world for the better.
I love that Joon + Co focuses so much on sustainable, ethical fashion, as well as community building efforts. It’s important for our generation to be conscious of what we’re using, how we’re using it, and how it will affect our future environment and community.
If you can't tell already, Williams is very passionate about community, leading by example, and learning from other industry leaders. As one of the first Joon + Co. Boss Babes, she says, "I hope to just spread the word of all the awesome women in our community. It’s so fun to see women achieving their dreams, meeting them, and hearing their stories. It inspires me!" Joon + Co. is so happy to share the stories of these amazing women, and hope to inspire many more to come. Here is a final note from this beautifully badass boss babe, for all of the future boss babes out there:
I am so passionate about empowering young women! I think its important to teach young women that dreams are always possible. And to dream BIG. If you work hard enough, long enough, and persevere you can have success - but you’ve got to be willing to WORK.
Joon + Co. wishes Cori and the Beer City Barre team the best of luck in the future and encourages all of our lovely, local customers and followers to stop by for a class.
Cori and her team have been kind enough to offer a FREE CLASS at Beer City Barre to Joon + Co. subscribers. You can subscribe to the Joon + Co. mailing list HERE and sign up for your free barre class HERE. When you show up for your class, mention this article to receive your free class!
Head over to beercitybarre.com to learn more about the company, check out their class schedule, and to keep up with their journey. Make sure to follow Beer City Barre on social as well - Instagram, Facebook .
Contact details here and below:
820 Monroe Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503