Heather White: Bringing Diversity and Culture to Fitness

It’s the basic blueprint for any fledgling entrepreneur: identify a need, find a solution, and create a way to meet the needs of future customers by fulfilling that need.

It’s a blueprint that Heather White followed as she launched TRILLFIT, Inc., an award-winning lifestyle fitness brand aimed at bringing diversity and inclusion to the boutique fitness industry.

The idea came to White about a year and a half ago. She was taking a fitness class and realized that there was a complete lack of diversity in the class. Nothing about the class reflected who she was as a woman of color—not the people, not the music, and not even the fashion. “I suddenly felt out of place,” she said. The lack of diversity, White added, showed her that there was an opportunity to create a safe space for people like her.

The idea, White explained, was to develop a fitness brand that embraced what she—and she believed other young women and millennials like herself—were looking for. She started taking more classes at other facilities shopping, as it were, for the things she liked and the things she didn’t like in each exercise program. Slowly, the list of what she wanted her new company, TRILLFIT, Inc., to offer clients grew to the point where she decided to take the leap and open for business.

“I’ve never run a business before; my background is in marketing,” she said, “but I had a lot of faith in the idea and was getting a lot of positive feedback from the people I consulted with, so I knew I had to take the chance.”

It took a while for White to fine tune the TRILLFIT program, mainly because of the amount of research she put into developing the business, going so far as to personally take a class with any potential instructors so she knows what they can offer and whether it’s the right fit for her clients. White wanted to ensure that everything from the music to the instructors was reflective of hip hop culture.

TRILLFIT Boston now shares space with Studio 52 at 52 Province St., but White said she is looking for a unique space for her business to grow. And while her influence is certainly growing among the fitness and hip-hop community in Boston, she regularly travels to New York, L.A., and beyond to conduct popup TRILLFIT classes and help spread the word of what’s to come.

“It’s not just about fitness,” she said. “It’s about building a welcoming community that people want to be part of.”