Dominique Thomas was always athletic, she says. In high school, she competed in sports and visited the gym regularly. She found it easy to be active. As time moved on and her life progressed to adulthood, the time seemed to slip away and got lost in earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology and having children.
“I gained a lot of weight after my first child,” she said. While this can be a natural occurrence for many women, she decided to do something to motivate herself to get back to her pre-pregnant weight and fitness.
In 2015 she launched Beauty that Moves Fitness, a program for the whole person, encompassing health in the body, mind, and spirit. Beauty that Moves Fitness does not have a brick-and-mortar home; instead, Thomas brings the program to her clients.
“My favorite class to teach is yoga fit,” she said. “It’s a combination of physicality and mental fitness through traditional yoga and meditation.” She offers classes to individuals and groups of two or more in their places of work.
Currently, she has about 50 clients and offers classes in yoga/meditation, pole fitness, trap cardio, and bedroom beauty dance fitness, which is really about self-image and self-care, she said. Her customers range in age from 18 to 84 years.
A certified trainer, Thomas is a mother first and foremost, she says. Born and raised in Buffalo, she is a shining example for women in Western New York and beyond of how, if you want to work hard, you can raise children and create your own thriving business.
“My clients know there will be children around,” she said. Her days are filled with the usual errands associated with having small children and running a business. And there were struggles along the way, of course.
“When I first started out,” she said, “I had to decide if I would have a physical location. I also had to learn the seasons of fitness here in Buffalo.” She explained that there are certain times of the year—like February!—when people are less interested in fitness.
“And since I’m a mom first, I had to learn to juggle sometimes conflicting priorities,” she added. In the beginning, Thomas had a trial period when she offered free classes in the park to gauge who would attend and how often. When response was favorable, she rented spaced for dance classes.
“It’s a lot of balancing,” she said, but she found her rhythm and little by little her client base has grown. “My business goes where I go; it’s a reflection of what’s important to me.”
Recently, she has been asked to speak to groups of women, and she is grateful she can bring her skills and knowledge to help women feel empowered in the 21st century. “I feel like my business is branded as a wellness company, and I am happy about that.”
As she continues to grow Beauty that Moves Fitness and help people be their best selves, she is pursuing a master’s degree in health and human performance at Canisius College. “I hope to complete my degree by 2021,” she said.
Thomas believes the climate for starting businesses in Buffalo is steadily increasing. “I am grateful for guidance I received from Ignite Buffalo and Score Buffalo,” she said, noting that she attended a variety of the free business seminars offered by Ignite Buffalo about financial planning, social media, and planning, and that SCORE consulted with her about her business plan/structure and financial planning. She has plans for the future, and those plans include continuing to share her knowledge of fitness for the whole person. How she plans to succeed is through developing her website and an app to go along with it, doing more consulting to empower women, and speaking at more events.
“I haven’t applied for any grants yet,” she said, “but I probably will as my company grows and gets bigger.”
No matter what the future holds, Thomas plans to help each individual find their own kind of beauty—inside and out—and have fun while doing it. She remains true to her company’s mission, which is “to enrich and uplift communities on the benefits of creating healthy physical and mental fitness habits.”