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How I built my business: Adrea Maxwell

When my children (Mary Nelson, 6, and Gates, 3) were born, I worked as a regional human resources and recruiting director for a national restaurant chain. I traveled a lot and worked some weekends and all holidays. The job was stable and paid well, but I wasn’t passionate about it. It was a great job for 10 years, but my priorities had changed. 

I decided that if I was going to continue to be a working mom, I wanted to be passionate and driven in my career. I also wanted to be able to teach my children the value of hard work while maintaining a nice family life. 

I taught fitness classes on the side for several years, something I enjoyed that brought in a little extra money, which is always nice. I also realized that after becoming a mother, I really looked forward to workouts. I needed that hour every day to forget about work, meals, kids’ projects, housework and everything else that comes with being a working mom. For those moments, I could focus on myself. 

I knew that other moms must feel the same, and I wanted to help. 

In August of 2018, I opened Seaside Fitness. My goal was to provide an environment for clients to get that hour of “me-time” in their day. I wanted to cultivate a unique place where workouts are challenging, effective and creative (no two classes at Seaside Fitness are the same). Our members can completely let go of their daily burdens and stressors. I also wanted Seaside Fitness to have a social aspect and be a place where friendships are made and fostered.

Another important element of Seaside Fitness is, of course, my family. My children are staples at the studio. In fact, my daughter recently has taken a huge interest in our 5 a.m. class! She wakes up when she hears my alarm at 4:15 a.m. and begs to come with me. Usually, I let her. 

Our members know their children are always welcome. New moms are always excited to return to classes, often with their newborn beside them. I love that my children will grow up witnessing so many hard-working, motivated women making time in their busy schedules to take care of themselves. 

All our trainers are mothers and understand how important that “me-time” can be. It’s not unusual for a trainer to gently rock a fussy baby to sleep in a stroller while leading mom through a rigorous workout. I love that these children will grow up thinking that working out is a normal and natural part of life. 

I’m also quite proud of the work ethic being instilled in my children. I am by no means a perfect mother (I mean, who is?!), but they see the long hours I devote to making Seaside Fitness what it is, and they also know that they are the driving force behind what I do. 

I’m a firm believer that you can’t pour from an empty cup. I truly feel that we help our members fill their cups each day so they can be the best mothers, wives, friends and employees (or bosses) possible. 

The physical strength gained from exercise is crucial to maintaining a healthy life. However, the mental strength and clarity that people receive when they take time to take care of themselves is also invaluable. 

Our members are some of the most caring, motivated and dedicated people I’ve ever met, and our trainers are incredible! Seaside Fitness would not be what it is without the seven women who dedicate their precious time to helping others reach their goals. 

Adrea Maxwell is owner/trainer at Seaside Fitness – Group Training Studio, located at 703 Bellande Ave., Ocean Springs. Reach her at or (601) 919-6623. 

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