I love this recent blog from Colleen Jolly! She is spot on about how difficult entrepreneurship is. I must say all of these things ran through my mind at one point or another when creating Polebuff. Several times, some of these thoughts almost stopped me from moving forward. Almost.
Aside from being a pole-preneur, I am also an inventor which adds another layer of complexity when creating something that just didn’t exist in the world before. When inventing a brand new product, there’s no true benchmarks that tell you where to start, how hard and (very) expensive it’s going to be, or if anyone will even want it in the end. I’ve heard at least 5 times since launching Polebuff in May that others have had this very same idea and that they love it or wish they had created it themselves. I’ve also been told it’s hated…to my face or otherwise. And although I learn something from everyone I talk to, I choose to focus on the positive because not one company in the universe has a product that EVERYONE loves, wants or needs. And that’s OK. Those that love and see the value in it make this venture worthwhile.
My Own Pole-preneur Journey
Due to working 40 hours a week, being a wife, a mom of two kids and two dogs, endless rides to and from hockey rinks and soccer fields, and my own non-negotiable pole time, actually getting Polebuff to this point has taken 2 long years. My family has been amazingly supportive and helpful throughout it all. We’ve had endless brainstorming sessions and revisions on design for best fit and functionality, numerous visits and interviews with design engineers and injection mold companies, meetings and phone calls with patent lawyers trying to understand THAT whole side of things, and then finding suppliers for all the other components (stickers, connection joints, screws, choosing the right extension pole and length, cloth material and endless design revisions, seamstresses, labels…and so on). This was a crash course for me to say the least, but in the end I’m so excited and thankful that I even had the opportunity to do something like this in my lifetime.
Now I get to attend conventions and meet some of the most cool, nice, amazingly talented performers and people that I otherwise never would have. And while all of that is a complete blast, helping people see why they may need or want a brand new product is no easy task. In fact, in some ways it’s more difficult than actually building it. Being a new Pole-preneur on the block in this amazing industry is fun and hard all at the same time, but I know it takes time and it’ll be worth it.
Polebuff was created from the place where all inventions come from…a place where there is an opportunity for improvement, big or small, and you create a solution for it that didn’t exist before. It’s been an amazingly cool experience and feeling to actually invent something and share it with the world. However, Colleen nailed it…this sh*t is hard!
POLE STRENGTH CONDITIONING: Climbing is NOT the only way to gain strength for pole dancing, nor should it be. Do you agree?
I had a back injury from pole last year and had an Ah-Ha moment when my back specialist told me I had to strength train OUTSIDE of pole in order to get stronger (insert confused look here) and that ALL professional athletes, like a gymnast or football player, do not ONLY do gymnastics or play football to stay at the top of their game or to prevent injury (insert V8 head slap moment here).
Does climbing make you stronger? Of course! Would you rely on it to be your only source of strength training? Probably not. Something as simple as push ups and pull ups help tremendously with climbing and upper body strength…and you don’t even need a pole!
Using Polebuff for daily studio pole cleaning, or simply at the start and end of your workout, won’t EVER take away from your workout if you’re training hard while you’re in AND outside of the studio. Polebuff just helps your studio look great while you’re doing it:)
What types of outside training do you do to help you with pole?
Read this Reddit conversation for some ideas.
Yes, that picture is of me 2 years ago at a VERY public pole appearance…in a nightclub…during a fireman’s convention…half naked. Definitely not something your typical introvert may decide to participate in. By definition, I am hands down an Introvert. Not to the extreme where I don’t leave my house mind you, but for instance I enjoy being a home body and having alone time. I don’t go out of my way to throw parties or insert myself into social activities (but love to go when asked!). I’d rather hang out with close friends in an intimate atmosphere than in large crowds where I don’t know many. I enjoy listening more than talking. I have a great (twisted) sense of humor but will never be the class clown to draw attention to myself. I’m not an open book, but if I open up to you it’s because I trust you. If you can relate, you might be an introvert too. Nice to meet you;) So how on earth did I end up doing, and loving an activity that by nature seems to be more suited towards extroverts?
This brings me to my (obscure) reference to one of the basic building blocks in pole dancing, the invert. Invert is defined as the opposite in position, direction, or relationship from where you begin. This is pretty much how I felt when I started pole dancing, like I was in a place that was the exact opposite of where my core personality ever thought to go. It would seem that this type of activity would be the LAST place an introvert would want to be. I mean, exposing yourself, your body and level of fitness (or lack of) in a room full of women that you may feel are secretly judging you. Luckily that is never the case. In fact it’s the exact opposite. I’m sensing a pattern here.
Point being, it’s hard as an introvert to find an activity that breaks you out of your mold, gives you confidence and makes you feel accepted in an environment where it’s actually encouraged for you to be free and express yourself. Pole dancing is THAT very activity!!
I will always be an introvert. You can’t change who you are at the core, nor should you try. EVER. Instead, embrace the creative space while in your pole class, be confident and a bit more extroverted than you are in other aspects of your life, even if it’s only for a short period of time each week. The TV is always waiting at home when you’re done:)
The 4 Types of Introvert: Which Are You?
I can’t help but share this blog from Pole Zone! It hit the nail on the head for me, and I’m sure many others.
Until I started poling in my late 30’s, I didn’t have a “group” of friends that all shared a common interest. Typically, they were friends from different aspects of my life that didn’t really overlap and it was frustrating to have to be different things to different people. With my pole friends, it’s completely different. It’s a safe place to just be ourselves and laugh and support each other along the way. And BOY do we laugh at each other:) I’ve made more life-long friends and bonds with women in the past 5 years than I feel I have my whole life. That says something about the beauty and power of pole and how it is more than just an activity or form of exercise for most of us. It’s a genuine way to connect to other men and women at any point in your life…it’s never too late!
Check out Pole Zone’s blog : Why my pole friends are my best friends. Can you relate?
We’ve all been there, or at least witnessed it and sat in horrified silence not knowing how to warn the next person. I’m talking about the person at the gym who blissfully ignores the pool of sweat they leave behind when done using a piece of workout equipment. Or better yet, coughs or sneezes into their hands and then touches the equipment only to leave it there for the next person.
Hygiene is all the rage these days, as you can tell by just about any store, mall, or gym you walk into that has hand sanitizer at every turn. Gyms, and yes, pole dance studios, are breeding grounds for germs and bacteria considering what we do with, and what body parts we actually put on the equipment.
With that in mind, how do you feel when you arrive at Pole class to find a grimy dance pole? At first glance it may not appear that way, but next time you are greeted by that shiny dance pole at eye level, look up. Pretty often, from about 6 ft up you may notice a blurry mess left behind by someone who may have been too tired or sore to climb that one last time to clean it. Or, an instructor that didn’t have enough time or energy between classes to clean 8-10 dance poles…alone. What’s left behind, aside from hand prints, grip aids, bacteria, is truth be told…sweat residue from the nether regions. Yep, I went there. Polebuff allows you to clean your dance pole before your workout without climbing over all THAT in order to do so.
Although not Pole Studio specific, this article from USA Today, Dec 2014, has some great statistics and advice for fending off germs at any workout facility. USA Today – Gym Equipment A Breeding Ground for Germs
Use Polebuff to clean your dance poles and spread pole love, not pole germs.