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How One Black-owned Business is Changing the Conversation Around Inclusivity

By Lauren McAlister

March 7, 2024

Wellness hasn’t always been a space for all. And although we’ve made progress as an industry, there’s still a long way to go. That’s why it’s especially powerful when wellness leaders use their voices and spaces to push for change. Founder and CEO of TRILLFIT® Heather White is one of those people.

Originally Boston-based, TRILLFIT is boutique fitness at its best: accessible, inclusive, and fun. The purpose-driven brand is on a mission to redefine what the wellness industry looks and feels like—and with Heather at the helm, they’re bringing that vision to life.

It was an honor to chat with her about her new studio, the power of inclusivity, Juneteenth, and more.

Lauren McAlister: Heather, tell us about your new studio! 

Heather White: We’re so excited to be opening up a brand-new flagship studio in Brooklyn! We’re opening in two phases. In phase one, we’ll be offering cardio dance classes, sculpt classes, private Pilates reformer sessions, healing workshops, and a variety of other wellness services highlighting BIPOC and queer entrepreneurs. We’re so excited for the flagship to be a place where culture, wellness, conversation, and community come together.

LM: You mentioned that you’ll be one of the few Black-owned fitness businesses in the area—why is that important to you and the broader community?

HW: Being a Black-owned brand that’s working to push the entire industry forward by prioritizing Black health—especially when being Black in this country can be a death sentence for many—is powerful and my proudest accomplishment. I want to show marginalized communities that they deserve to feel well, be well, enjoy luxury, pour into themselves, and live longer.

LM: Talk to us about the ClassPass Social Impact Fund, which started in June of 2020 to help BIPOC-owned fitness businesses expand their physical footprint and expand their reach. How has it impacted your business? 

HW: After George Floyd was murdered, TRILLFIT called for racial justice in the wellness industry worldwide and encouraged over 1,000 studios to sign our pledge for racial justice and wellness. After that, ClassPass stepped up and established the Social Impact Fund, of which we were a recipient. We’re so grateful. With this infusion of capital, we were able to finish construction on our Brooklyn space, which had been at a standstill for almost a year. For us to be able to open in this community is incredible. I want to thank ClassPass with all of my heart.

LM: You’re opening your Brooklyn studio on Juneteenth this year. Can you share the significance of that? 

HW: At TRILLFIT, we preach the gospel according to what we call “Front Row Freedom.” You know the thing in wellness where people are anxious, nervous, or scared of the front row; when they don’t feel good being or being seen there? We seek to abolish that! The red thread that connects our values and deep commitment to marginalized communities with our focus on fun, wellness, and community building is FREEDOM. Because of that, there's no better time to open our doors than Juneteenth, a historic day of freedom for Black people. I’m so, so proud that we’re able to open our doors to the community! 

LM: Why are Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) efforts so important, specifically in fitness?

HW: In the fitness industry, you often see one picture of wellness: thin, beautiful, and white bodies. Advocating for diversity and inclusion for those who don’t fit that bill is so important because you can’t be what you can’t see. TRILLFIT exists to enhance and extend the lives of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and queer community members. We work hard on DEIB because we want these communities to feel embraced by wellness. We see you. We love you. You belong here. You deserve to feel well in your body. 

LM: What would you tell someone who is looking to start a studio in their own community?

HW: Do it! Please do it. There’s nothing more beautiful than giving the gift of wellness to your community and neighbors. Tag me when you do; I’m here to help.

Fitness businesses have the opportunity—and responsibility—to create a welcoming environment for all.

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About the author:

Lauren McAlister

Lauren McAlister

Senior Marketing Content Specialist


Lauren is the co-owner of a fitness studio and a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP). Born and raised in California, Lauren has a heart for fitness, travel, and baking. She's also passionate about crafting meaningful content for others in the wellness space, which makes her role at Mindbody a perfect fit.


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