On the Ladder: Elishia Tinnaj Ortiz
Elishia Tinnaj Ortiz was 18 when she found out Wegmans was going to carry Young&Fit Forever, an exercise DVD she created to get kids motivated to live a healthy lifestyle.
Two years and about 400 copies later, she is focused on keeping the momentum going.
"Words can't explain how happy I was ... I was only 18, and I was able to do that on my very own," she the 20-year-old marketing student at the Rochester Institute of Technology. "The challenges I face with Young&Fit are getting the DVDs into the hands of more distributors to get the sales to increase and the publicity ... to grow."
We spoke with the entrepreneur recently about how the company began and how she balances one business, two jobs and school.
What do you do as president of Young&Fit Forever?
I continue to make sure the DVDs are selling through the website, www.youngandfit.com. I also contact school districts that could possibly use my DVD in their gym classes (and) I'm starting to work on a social media plan for Young&Fit, to get it on Twitter and Facebook.
What was the inspiration behind Young&Fit Forever?
I was a competitive ballroom dancer; I loved to exercise, and I adored children. In putting my interests and hobbies together, I came up with the idea for Young&Fit while I was participating in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy.
How do you balance your work, school and Young&Fit?
If I didn't have my day planner, I would be lost [laughs]. I'm the type of person who can handle a lot of things going on at once; for me, it's just how I function. ... I don't have much time for Young&Fit, but I have passion for my business and my cause of fighting childhood obesity, that is why I try to put as much time into it as possible.
What challenges do you face with your business?
Getting the DVDs into the hands of more distributors to get the sales to increase and the publicity of Young&Fit Forever to grow.
What do you do outside of work?
Outside of work, I'm on the executive board of two student clubs, I attend a lot of networking events, and I love to travel, dance and, of course, workout. This summer I'm going to Barcelona, Spain to study abroad for five weeks, and I can't wait.
Any advice for other young professionals?
My advice would be to find something your passionate about and that you love because then you will truly be successful.