A 32 year old New Orleans native with a serious passion for health and wellness and her city, April has 13 years of experience in the industry. She has been passionate about wellness her entire life starting as a dancer and athlete and later transitioning into teaching dance, fitness, Health and Physical Education. Footprints To Fitness is a health & wellness company that creates high-quality fun & unique wellness experiences that are accessible for all. April is an educator first, and an entrepreneur second. She began Footprints with a mission to help others…not make money. She quickly realized that no matter her passion, She owned a business at the end of it all. In order to keep her business thriving, She must think like an owner & educator.
Q: How did you get started? Tell us your motivation for starting this business.
A: Having been a fitness instructor & Health/PE teacher for so long, I’ve been blessed to educate so many residents of New Orleans but felt limited. I’ve taught at very upscale gyms and schools, but when transitioning to the charter school system as an educator I saw a huge difference in accessibility. There’s a direct correlation to people who cannot afford most wellness services to major health issues. This broke my heart so I wanted to create a community where I could reach more people and give them the wellness education they deserved. I created Footprints to provide high-quality educational wellness experiences to those who otherwise could not afford it. I believe that health & wellness should be ACCESSIBLE FOR ALL.
Q: How long has your business been in operation? Is this business your main source of income or do you have other jobs or ventures you also participate in?
A: Footprints has been operating for 3 years. I’m a full time entrepreneur and recently joined the WWL morning team as the newest Traffic Reporter. My efforts of what I was doing in the community through my company was noticed by the WWL organization and actually is what led me to join the team. Grateful that I can still operate Footprints full time since broadcast ends early morning. It’s actually great being able to be a part of two completely different worlds!
Q: As an African American/Black entrepreneur, what were some of the biggest challenges and/or surprises you faced when starting your business?
A: There aren’t many people who look like me in the health & wellness industry, especially in New Orleans. When I taught in gyms and studios before starting my own company, I was often times the only black person in class…who happen to be the instructor. Receiving strange looks was common for me when I approached the front of the class for those who were newcomers. I worked hard to perfect my craft so that no one would question my ability the moment I spoke. To counter, I’ve had countless people thank me for devoting a huge part of my life to help others through wellness because I “look like them” and they we inspired. Many don’t realize how powerful that is until being reminded. Health & Wellness isn’t valued in the New Orleans community as much as other areas so it’s always a struggle, no matter the demographic…especially in the black community. My mission for Footprints was to create an environment where EVERYONE LOOKED DIFFERENT & that was embraced. This is the true culture of New Orleans. We’re a gumbo of races, genders, passions, & more, but at the end of the day we’re all New Orleanians and connect with that unbreakable bond!
Q: What are you most proud of (related to your business)?
A: That’s such a hard question, but I’d have to say that I’m most proud of people trusting me to educate them. Although I’ve been in the health & wellness industry for 15 years, I’m a newbie when it comes to the entrepreneurial life. People believe in my passion and have supported this community from its conception. Of course, those numbers have grown and I hope will continue to, but TRUST, DIVERSITY, & ACCEPTANCE will always be the foundation of Footprints. That’s our constant focus!
Q: What advice do you have to fellow African American/Black entrepreneurs starting a business?
A: DON’T GIVE UP & BECOME AN EXPERT AT YOUR CRAFT! Laziness, defeat, stress, depression, barriers, and more will take over you. Keep pushing through. People may try to deny you for many things, but BE SO GOOD THAT THEY CAN’T DENY YOUR TALENT! Also, DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE PAPERWORK. Get all affairs in order that will set you up for success so your business isn’t threatened by something you let slip through the cracks.
Stay In Touch:
Phone: (504) 383-4718
Facebook: Footprints To Fitness
Personal Social Media:
Facebook: April Dupre WWL TV