408 H Street NE Washington, DC 20002
Alita Brown recalls the days before she owned Fitness Together, a gym with two outlets in the District of Columbia.
“I didn’t hate my job, but I knew I had a higher calling,” said Brown, a certified personal trainer.
Brown dreamed of owning a personal training studio — one that would serve her community.
“I wanted to get up every day and know, no matter what, I was doing something to help someone,” Brown said. Unfortunately, Brown lacked capital to make her project a reality.
That’s where Wacif came in. In all, Wacif gave Brown two loans totaling $114,000 to enhance her first location and acquire a second. Even with Wacif funds, it wasn’t easy to get Fitness Together off the ground. Brown chose a location on H Street, N.E., four blocks from Union Station, as the location of her flagship gym.
But in opting for the District’s H Street Corridor, Brown had put her business in the center of a rapidly developing neighborhood, complete with sprawling construction projects. At that time, many of the basic comforts of a neighborhood were missing. For a long time the area didn’t even have a sidewalk. And that made getting to the door rough.
“Part of how a neighborhood like ours gets revitalizes is by businesses like mine staying here,” Brown said.
It took a lot of work to achieve her success, but today Brown’s studio operates by the mission that she dreamed of years earlier: “Whether you are looking to lose weight, tone and tighten muscles or simply work toward better health, Fitness Together pairs you with a personal trainer in a private setting equipped with a workout plan tailored just for you.”
Brown is enthusiastic about the support that Wacif gave her when her dream was a nascent idea nine years ago.
“It makes me feel good that Wacif is actually interested in what I’m doing and giving me ideas. And they believe in me. It’s been a great journey but it was difficult, Brown said. “Without them, I honestly can’t say that I would be here.”