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BURN Boot Camp Brings #BurnNation to DSM

BURN Boot Camp

May 14, 2021


Darci Evans, co-owner of BURN Boot Camp in Greater Des Moines (DSM), shares about her startup journey, including traveling between two cities and hiring employees, and owning a business during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Getting Started

Evans, who is a full-time ER nurse in Madison, Wisconsin, planned to buy two gyms along with her businesspartner. Evans never wanted to own a gym. When she was first invited to work out by a friend, she agreed, but was under no illusion that she would like it. By the end of the class, she was hooked, and the two friends came to the conclusion that owning a gym was in their future. Evans says she wanted to create a place that empowers and celebrates women.

As Evans and her business partner were getting ready to sign the ownership papers, Her partner had to back out due to her father being diagnosed with a health issue. That’s when her husband stepped up and told Evans they would open the gym together. Evans’ husband is originally from Iowa, which is why they decided to open their locations here. The couple opened their first location in Clive in the spring of 2018. The Ankeny location opened in the spring of 2019. There are still plans to open the Waukeelocationsometimesoon

Traveling Between Locations

For several years, Evans has gone back and forth between Wisconsin and Iowa. Evans dropped down to 24 hours a week at the hospital and commuted to Iowa to help grow the gyms. Since the pandemic and realizing she doesn’t want to leave nursing completely, Evans says her husband has moved to part-time work so he could take over the commuting and running of the gyms. 

Hiring Employees for Your Business

Further along in the podcast, Evans outlines what she looks for in employees. She says to hire for heart and find people with a good work ethic who are solution-focused, not problem-focused. Integrity and genuineness are important as well. These are things that cannot be as easily taught, but are vital in a good employee. Evans says you can send an employee for a training to gain a specific skillset, but you can’t teach an employee integrity.

Evans also discusses how the gyms dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic — including safety measures and virtual options — resiliency during challenging times and why she chose to open a franchise.

Listen to the entire podcast above.

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Startup Stories DSM

Startup Stories DSM is a podcast featuring conversations with entrepreneurs who share both their victories and failures on their paths to success. It is produced by the Greater Des Moines Partnership.