Business Leader recently spoke to Krissy Cela, the Founder of Tone & Sculpt – an app which has had over 500,000 subscribers since its launch in 2019. Krissy helps her community of women worldwide on their fitness journey, to feel both physically and mentally stronger.
Can you give me an overview of Tone & Sculpt?
Tone & Sculpt is a fitness and nutrition app for women, with the aim to cater for women of all backgrounds, in all walks of life. Through our app and the wonderful Tone & Sculpt community which stands at over 100,000 women now, Tone & Sculpt provides a safe space for women to feel supported, motivated and challenged to be their best selves in body and mind through the power of fitness.
What was the inspiration behind the business?
Women across the world who just wanted a simple and easy way to feel fit, strong and healthy – it’s as simple as that. I also think the fitness industry and world for women can sometimes come across as competitive, unattainable and rather complex. I wanted to simplify this based on my experiences and knowledge on what works. And, I wanted it to be accessible and affordable for women globally.
How would you describe the growth of the company and what do you put it down to?
Unforeseeable. Tone & Sculpt launched in January 2019 with just myself and my business partner, Jack Bullimore. We were completely new to the app industry when we launched – we just knew we wanted to help as many women as possible in the simplest way possible.
Based on our experiences (and mistakes) with this launch in 2019 – and trust me, there were several – we relaunched in January 2020 and the app has been downloaded over 400k times since. Within the space of nine months, we went from two employees to 20 ranging from in-house developers, a marketing department and a customer support team who are available 24/7 for our global client base.
Can you tell me about your upbringing and how it led you to start this business?:
My upbringing was definitely out of the ordinary. I was born in Albania and my parents came to England in 2000. My parents would work three jobs to make ends meet and to ensure there was food on the table every evening. I remember at the age of 14 I lied about my age to start working at a local coffee shop washing plates; that didn’t last long as they managed to find out what my real age was.
We didn’t have much growing up and fitness was never really something my mum and dad encouraged me to do; they wanted me to get a fine education for a successful, professional future – something perhaps they felt they did not have. One thing they continued to instil in me is nothing comes to anyone without hard work, dedication and consistency.
I went to university to read Law, which I loved. At university, I used fitness as a way to keep me motivated, disciplined and in a successful routine – and it really works. Along the way, I would document my journey on social media, whilst supporting other women with their fitness goals. I studied and graduated whilst growing my social media presence, which at graduation amounted to 30 thousands clients and four workout programmes. I was so motivated, almost addicted to helping other women to feel great about themselves – and two years later, here we are with an incredible app!
How have you utilised social media to grow your brand, image and business?
You have to be honest and transparent on social media. My growth has been completely organic and I make sure I respond to and interact with all my clients and followers – in fact, followers is the wrong word, they are people who care, empathise and find my platform to be a safe space – I fully respect and value that.
My app is honest, real and completely based on the feedback of the Tone & Sculpt community. I believe there is such a beauty in being open with your clients and audience. There is beauty In admiring when you’ve made mistakes and could have done more or better; there is beauty in growing and learning what your audience wants from you. I would never have achieved what I have today without the constant uplifting support of my community; they are family. Forever.
How does your app stand out in the crowded marketplace that is the fitness sector?
We focus on user experience more than anything. We have created a product that is not only simple to use, it’s fit for every woman, whether you are a busy student, a full time mum, or working 9-5 there is literally something for all women and we include all women (and this is in constant development).
It is also fully customizable from the way you plan your workouts, meals, shopping lists and even the notifications you receive. It quite literally is the individual’s app.
What are your future plans?
Our aim is to make Tone & Sculpt more and more accessible to women globally so we will be expanding into different markets, making the app available on Apple TV & Watch, whilst focusing on making it wholly inclusive for women across the globe. Just keep watching the great space Tone & Sculpt is and will dominate in the future!