Written By: Samantha Cee
Our next, Next up feature is on the phenomenal business woman Tory Kei . Also known as Hip Hop's Personal Trainer is a Music Fanatic who was once 220 pounds and is now Vegan! She is dedicating her purpose to bring Health back into Hip-hop, her community, and World Wide! Helping those with in the entertainment business and busy lifestyles to put their HEALTH FIRST!
Social Media: IG: @hiphopspersonaltrainer
Fashion Gxd Magazine : How did the idea for your business come about?
Tory Kei : Well, around the age of 20, I weighed 220 pounds (I'm 26 and currently 160 pounds). I was always funny, thought I had a great personality, and belief within myself! Inside though, I felt as if something was missing! What would make me the Ultimate ME? What was the next flaw that needed to be improved? These were questions I always found myself asking. It was my weight! I felt uncomfortable shopping in the plus size stores when I went to the malls with my friends! Having to pretend to look through sections I KNEW did NOT carry my size and sneaking off to shop in stores that did! They would unconsciously skip and walk right past the stores I'd normally shopped at. This was before social media and the Internet made it easier to find affordable plus size designer clothes!
I was also always attending hip hop and music industry events. I was at a URL rap battle that a close friend of mine who actually battles (Charlie Clips lol) who made a few jokes about my weight! I wasn't offended, I actually laughed if it off! But it was that moment I realized I wanted to be the BEST TORY! I told myself, the next time i attend these type of events I would be THE BEST ME!
I began to train with a friend 3 days out of the week in parks or in the house. Within 4 weeks of sticking with the change, I became hooked! I changed my workout days from 3 to 5 Days for 30 mins- Hour! In a year I went from a size 18 to a 13 WITHOUT a gym membership!
People, mostly men would hit me up via social media and ask them to train their girlfriends! At first, I didn't think I was good enough to train anyone. An old high school friend encouraged me And I took my first client. She wanted to pursue an acting career, a full time worker and college student. I trained her in a park, and had her body looking completely different after 6 weeks! She told me she had a trainer for months and never saw the results my training style brought her! It was then I realized my gift in motivating others! Four years into my training, I am now Vegan and am known as Tory, HipHop's Personal Trainer. I specialize in training artists (hip hop, Rnb, and pop) and those with BUSY lifestyles (CEO's, Models, actors, lawyers, stylists, etc)! I currently train at FITNESS FAST TEAM USA, in Newark, NJ. The gym is located Right in our own COMMUNITY!
Fashion Gxd Magazine : How do you find people to bring into your organization that truly care about the organization the way you do?
FIND people who want just as much for THEMSELVES as YOU WANT FOR YOURSELF! What I mean by that is, when people understand their purpose, less TIME IS WASTED! An organization is a TEAM! A team of individuals with common goals or at least the same mission (whether the mission/goal is temporary or long term)! WHEN people know exactly what they want, it makes it easier for them to master and play THEIR ROLE within the group! FOR EXAMPLE: I'm good at training. I am NOT good at creating contracts, or accounting. Therefore the only ROLE I need to play for the mission or project at hand is the TRAINER, nothing more and nothing less. If I didn't know myself, I'd probably try and play ALL OF THE ROLES, waste time, or probably never complete it ! WHEN A PERSON VALUES THEIR SELF they value who and what they spend their TIME and ENERGY on. You ever notice a person who doesn't know what they want out of LIFE?? They usually just go with the flow or with whatever. Nothing is wrong with going with the flow. Everyone needs TIME to find themselves, but you can save YOUR TIME by building with those who are ON or BEYOND your level! Let the person who doesn't know what they want in life to catch up on THEIR OWN TIME, NOT YOURS!
Fashion Gxd Magazine : What three pieces of advice would you give to college students who want to become entrepreneurs?
Tory Kei: NETWORK, FOLLOW UP, and KEEP ELEVATING (within YOURSELF and YOUR BUSINESS) College is one of the best places to meet people and build relationships! Relationships are a major key in business!!! Meet people, build a solid relationship and STAY IN CONTACT! You never know if an opportunity may pop up and because you sent that good morning text message yesterday you were the first to mind for an opportunity!!
One more tip I'd give is: Know if college is for your lifestyle or not. IF you aren't sure, there's no loss in taking a risk to try it out. EVERYONE NEEDS a point in LIFE when they are the STUDENT, whether it's from College, a Mentor, You Tube videos, school now or school 5 years later! Never stop learning! What you learn in College, read in Books, and experience through life's lessons is USELESS if you don't apply it to situations at hand!
Fashion Gxd Magazine :If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Tory Kei: OF COURSE!!! Who wouldn't Lol???! I'm thankful for ALL of my experiences, they made me who I am today! One thing I would change is ASKING QUESTIONS or FOR HELP! Today, I have no shame in my game to ask for assistance or admitting I don't know something. Back then I felt weak to be ignorant of certain topics and I always ended up taking on tasks that took entirely too long to do all because I was ashamed to open my mouth! Now, I ask people such as the Fashion Gxd Pilar Scratch for advice all the time hahaha and GUESS WHAT?? I get to my goals way Faster! Let people's mistakes and those who've been successful guide you as well! I would've asked questions and for guidance a LONG TIME AGO in my career!
Fashion Gxd Magazine :What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Tory Kei: HEALTH, Networking, and a providing a great PRODUCT or SERVICE! Good Health allows me to stay positive, energized, and driven! Without Networking or talking to people it would be extremely hard to build a marketing base. Great products and service lock in your clientele base for life!
Fashion Gxd Magazine :What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
Tory Kei: I mentioned not asking questions or advice earlier in my career! That's definitely one! THERE are too many "Failures," I've experienced. I learned to not become frustrated when failure happens and figure out the lesson at hand! The longer I'm frustrated, the more time it takes to figure out how to better my situation. The "Failures" I don't admire are the ones where I MAKE THE SAME MISTAKES! Sometimes we don't get second chances! I may miss the lesson the first time, so if it happens again I need to try my best to use what I learned the first time around. Ironically, I love failing . Without it means I'm not trying anything new. Failure = GROWTH (if you learn from it) It's either a BLESSING or a LESSON!
Fashion Gxd Magazine : How many hours do you work a day on average?
Tory Kei: I'm always working! Networking and meeting new people is work! As far as training clients: 3-4 hours a day 3x a week. On the alternate days I don't train I spend 2-4 hours working ON my business daily. Whether it's marketing, paperwork, or generating new ideas. I learned it's great to work in your business but you also need to make time to Work ON your business too. Helps to keep elevation! The rest of my time goes to cooking, cleaning, family, the studio, hip hop and fashion events, reading and LIFE.
Fashion Gxd Magazine :Describe/outline your typical day? Sheesh! Lol
Wake up 3a (pray/meditate) this helps to get my mind focused for the day (It is important to take care of SELF FIRST)
Train 4a (some days 5a) before My clients! Again, It is important to take care of SELF FIRST!!!
Train mid morning 9:30-10:30a
10:30-4 I'm usually food shopping, cooking dinner, cleaning up, working on my business, fixing new leads, marketing social media, answering clients, creating new ideas, getting my second workout in. (I separate this within the days of the week)
4-5pm another break or another training session
6-7pm train clients or my "Hip Hop Calisthenics" class
7pm I'm done with business and give the rest of my time to family/ friends and w/e I want to do.
I try to go to sleep by 9:30, but it usually never happens. I may hit a studio up or attend some type of hip hop event!
Fashion Gxd Magazine : How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
Tory Kei r: sheesh!! There's been times Hip Hop or Fitness events have popped up and I had to choose the event over spending time with Family I haven't seen in years. I don't take anything as a loss. I want so much for myself and Family, the decision to appear at the events that I'm attending are in the end, FOR MY FAMILY! I need these contacts and relationships with the people at the events I go to! If I don't help myself, HOW CAN I TRUELY HELP MY FAMILY? I came to the conclusion that choosing to attend an event is still for my Family! There are also times I've picked family over work! Neither is wrong! If I'm not building a better relationship within my business it because I'm building a better rapport with my family! As I stated prior, there is NEVER a loss when you pick either one! Balance is key! They are both EQUALLY IMPORTANT! If possible I try and include my family in the events I attend and knock out two birds with one stone! If they Love you they will understand and if they don't they will get over it! Keeping your intentions positive and that's all that matters!
Fashion Gxd Magazine :What motivates you?
Tory Kei: I look towards myself for Motivation. I don't ever want to move backwards! That's motivation enough.
Fashion Gxd Magazine: How do you generate new ideas?
Tory Kei: Honestly some of my best ideas come from Pain and Stress! When pain hits, BOY DOES IT HIT! Stress and Pain are NEEDED FOR GROWTH! Embrace it when it appears by channeling it towards something healthy in your life. Try Working out, writing, taking a drive, or simply JUST RELAXING and letting it go!
When I relax and take a break to actually sit back and analyze all of that I've accomplished the ideas flow! As entrepreneurs, our BRAINS are always on GO. We are constantly thinking about our next move, what we could've did better, or personal issues. We usually reach a goal and are on to the next! As humans, sometimes we should TRUELY JUST BE THANKFUL! Life works easier that way! When you are open and positive Life comes to YOU!
Fashion Gxd Magazine : What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
Tory Kei: EVERYTHING HAS BEEN A SACRIFICE! Some days have been, "Should I fix my car or buy food? Should I buy new clothes or save my money for my next move?" Nothing is more important to me than moving on MY OWN TIME! Without sacrifice there is no reward!
Fashion Gxd Magazine : Where you see yourself and your business in 10 years? 20 years?
I see myself teaching artists of all kinds the importance of Health and Success! I noticed many business oriented people (especially those in the public eye) WORK VERY HARD within their CAREERS and NEGLECT THEIR HEALTH! How many celebrities or successful family members have we seen pass away from diseases, overdoses, heart disease and cancer???
What's the importance of a STRONG BUSINESS PLAN if your LIFE PLAN does not Match??? So many famous people die for health issues physical and mental! Because the public sees how hard they work, I learned that many of the PUBLIC want to work just as hard in belief and hope to create the same LIFESTYLE! What many of the public eye doesn't teach is the importance of HEALTH!
If you are up 24/7 working hard on your business for other companies, or in school, but are neglecting sleep and maintaining a poor diet. The saying "sleep when I die" is very popular with today's urban youth. How long can you really keep your career or stick around for the benefits of your labor if your health is out of order??
My brand is statement to help people with busy lifestyles and celebrities who have no direction on how to build their CAREER AROUND HEALTH! In 10-20 years I will have gyms, books, and workout plans catered to branching the Business and Fitness LIFESTYLE! Health is the REAL WEALTH