Dominique Edomwande launched her fitness brand B.L.U.E 21 Training in April of 2019 and she's quickly gained a following. She grew up in Cleveland, Ohio with her two older brothers. Her oldest brother actually named her himself, after basketball player Jacques Dominique Wilkins. This was an indicator of things to come as the three were always very active, playing football and soccer in their backyard or basketball at their neighbor’s court. She played several sports growing up but her real passion was always basketball. Dominique started playing basketball when she was just three years old and played through college at the University of Cincinnati and later at Ohio State where she studied business administration and marketing. She currently works full time at Oracle as an account executive, where she began training her friends for free in her spare time, most of whom encouraged her to start her own business. Driven to pursue her passion, Dominique became NASM certified as a personal trainer, food nutrition specialist, and cardio specialist in January of last year and launched her training business the following April. She's currently in the process of transitioning into running B.L.U.E 21 Training full time, and currently works with clients in person and online. She trains her clients using the Optimum Performance Training Model (OPT) that is based on moving through the three stages of stability, strength, and power. Dominique also provides nutritional guidance and lifestyle consulting to help her clients reach their goals.
She works out of south Austin gym Ladder and during her typical training sessions runs her clients through a thirty-minute high intensity interval training (HIIT) session or a one hour OPT stage session. She trains both men and women, and when asked about any challenges she faces as a female trainer she said that one of the challenges she faces is actually in training her female clients, debunking a fear some women have that training in the way she does will make them too ‘big’ or ‘masculine’. Some of her other challenges in business are time management and finding a work life balance while she works at Oracle, and moving B.L.U.E 21 into the virtual space to reach a larger audience. She currently has people outside of her gym and city reaching out to her for training, and she’s working on getting together the resources to start taking on these clients.
When asked what her advice would be to other women pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams or going into a similar business, she recommended that women just “go for it”. Dominique emphasized the importance of being passionate about something and the power of waking up and doing what you love.
“Start it now. If you have something you're passionate about you have to get up and go do it...don't put it off for tomorrow, don't wait a couple of years, start it now because it's going to take time to work and build your business,” she told us. Dominique’s most rewarding part of this experience so far has been changing lives and creating a job she loves. She’s always wanted to help others which led to her dreaming of becoming a doctor growing up, but now her focus has shifted. She wants to help people with chronic illness, weight loss, nutrition, etc. to live their healthiest lives. Seeing the happiness she brings people through fitness. “when people hit their goals they are so happy and super excited,” she said.
The ambitious trainer also says that she's grown as a person through the experience of running her business. It’s given her the ability to meet new people, build her communication skills, and experience new backgrounds and cultures. She trains a diverse group of people and has been able to learn about different experiences and ways of thinking that have expanded her perspective on life. She also enjoys learning about topics on fitness, the human body, breathing techniques, etc. in her free time to help her improve in her practice. Her business’ name: B.L.U.E is an acronym standing for “believe and love you every day”, which aptly sums up her business’s mission. She promotes loving yourself as an individual even before physical progress with her clients, “Love who you are now and we are going to get you to a point where you're going to love yourself even more,” she says. She also encourages an open dialogue in her practice and talks with clients about their challenges not only inside of the gym but outside as well, humanizing a business that’s seen as stressful or scary to some people.
So what’s next for Dominique Edomwande? In the near future, she sees her brand moving largely into the virtual space serving a wider range of clientele, as well as incorporating youth basketball to bring it full circle with her athletic journey. Dominique specializes in general fitness training, functional strength training, and weight loss/weight management, as well as in sports performance and is currently working to build a program working with local youth through schools to train them in basketball. She didn't have a trainer growing up due to the cost and aims to provide her services for children in the same circumstances. She’s adamant that it's not all about the money for her through setting affordable training rates, giving back to the Austin community, and providing an opportunity for kids who otherwise wouldn't have access to these services in schools.