Jen Hamilton of Oxygen Yoga and Fitness shares her franchising advice, passion for fitness, and the importance of occasionally pressing pause
Oxygen Yoga and Fitness is not your typical yoga studio—and CEO Jen Hamilton is more than just the energetic founder of the franchise. Oxygen “offers diverse yoga and fitness fusion classes in an infrared heated environment,” says Hamilton, who started the business in 2011 and has been franchising since 2012.
This is the go-to spot for members to feel better in their mind, body, and spirit while burning calories and detoxing their bodies through a variety of modern yoga and fitness classes. Franchisees with Oxygen get the chance to provide a dynamic service that makes a difference in their customers’ lives every single day.
2022 will be a big year for Oxygen Yoga and Fitness as Hamilton notes that, “We’ll have 100 locations sold by the end of this year in Canada. There’s also an interest in international opportunities.” What better way to celebrate that milestone than by getting to know the creative, funny, and understanding founder behind the brand.
Here, Hamilton shares her effective advice for franchisors, the iconic Rocketman she’d love to meet, and her adoration for her children and family who remind her about the importance of taking breaks and enjoying the sunshine with loved ones.
The most interesting thing I’ve done recently is… Booked a spontaneous trip to Hawaii to rediscover and ground myself by being as close to the water and sand as possible.
In its best form, work is… Very gratifying. I love working with franchise owners and the members they serve. This business model creates a community that promotes health and wellness and so much positivity.
A good franchisee… Is open to communication, able to follow the systems, and continues to be accountable and provide feedback to allow us to learn and redevelop plans and identify their strengths and weaknesses.
A good franchisor… Understands the business from the fundamentals and is able to listen, understand, and empathize. They have the ability to build on successes but also bring in support where systems are lacking to create solutions and opportunities for the brand.
My top advice for prospective franchisees is… To understand that you’re coming into a business that has systems, policies, and procedures already established. You still have to put in the work, but the systems and support networks have been established so it gives you the security and reassurance that you don’t have to problem solve on your own.
My top advice for new franchisors is… To ensure that you have a good team who’s as passionate as you are and better than you in their areas of expertise, so that you can all learn from and inspire each other. You also need to make sure you have a short- and long-term plan, breaking it down from three months to six months to a year, and then build three and five year plans beyond that.
The most important thing in life is… My family.
One of the most enjoyable things to do is… Spend time with my family and loved ones doing outdoor activities.
The hardest thing for me to do is… Take breaks for myself and turn off work. As an entrepreneur, it’s hard to press pause on work but I’ve learned to take breaks because it ultimately creates a healthier mind space for me to work and balance my own personal life.
My favourite drink is… I love my flat white in the morning and a pinot gris in the evening!
If I could change one thing… I would spend more time with my mom before I lost her.
If I could meet anyone… Elton John.
The person who has had the most positive influence on me as a businessperson is… Dale Saip at the beginning of my career, for networking me with so many different people and opening up new doors. My current business partner, Patch Evans, gives me so much praise and reassurance on decisions I make and provides a lot of support and confidence.
Canadian franchising… Gives you the ability the open a business that you’re passionate about and that you can duplicate to create business opportunities on a national level.
My franchise system began because… I really wanted to share the idea and concept with others, building a community that was an extension of my own personal beliefs and passion.
The most positive influence on my life as a person is… My children.
The key to success is… Discovering what you’re passionate about and not being afraid of failure, because you get to learn and grow from that as a person.
I’d like my friends to describe me as… Funny, charming, caring, and trustworthy.
The accomplishment I look forward to the most is… Winning the Canadian Women’s Entrepreneur Award that I’ve been nominated for three times.
My personal motto is… I love my life.
One necessary item on my life’s “to do” list is… Lunch with Jimmy Pattison.