Royally Fit Turns Profit to Progress for the Community

5935 Penn Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15122
Phone: (412) 345-1762

Royally Fit started with a focus on just exercising. Owner Aquene Watkins-Wise said her husband, an Air-Force veteran, is a bodybuilder and would get inquiries on how to get into shape. She was not as excited about physical fitness, but admitted it provided a great temporary outlet from being a mom of three.
“Fitness is not my thing. I enjoy working out because it’s my time away from everyone. I’m not anyone’s mom, no one is asking me where snacks are, I just get to be me,” said Watkins-Wise.
She soon realized running a business all about fitness was making her miserable. A conversation with her mentor changed that.
“I had a spray that I put on my kids’ pillows to help them sleep at night. She was like, oh my gosh, why aren’t you selling these things?”
That’s when Watkins-Wise evolved Royally Fit to include more holistic health and wellness aspects.
Already a proponent of homeopathic remedies, Watkins-Wise grows Royally Fit’s wholistic health products in her own garden. Herbs that are infused are organically grown and sustainably sourced from her garden and that of another black-owned business, the Soil Sisters.
Unlike most businesses, sales profits do not go back to the owner.
“I take zero salary from Royally Fit. Anything anyone purchases, the cost of the goods are covered, but any profit goes right back into making sure we have free programming,” said Watkins-Wise.
Programming, originally launched in the Homewood neighborhood, fills the gap between lack of access focusing on nutritional, physical, financial, emotional, and mental wellness. It’s a 12-week program encompassing lessons on the benefits of fresh food along with instructions on how to grow and prepare produce. The goal is at the end of the 12 weeks, every participant has a mini edible garden that they can grow in their home. Royally Fit seeks to provide healthy skills to last a lifetime.
As people begin to set goals for the new year, Watkins-Wise says do not procrastinate.
“You don’t have to wait for 2021. You don’t have to wait for it to be a new week. You don’t have to wait for it to be Monday or Sunday. Make the decision today to do something beneficial for your health and wellness.” She added, “Even if you fall off the wagon this week, or eat bad in the morning, that doesn’t mean you can’t get back on in the afternoon…It’s really about being intentional about what you’re doing for and with your body every sing day. If you make a mistake, there’s no need in beating yourself up. Do better next time.”

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