Chris and his brother Steven had dreams of their own standard-bearing fitness centre for many years. Fulfilling them, though, took commitment and courage – something that Johnson Reed also gave to their funding model.
The brothers always had a keen interest in physical activity. They played rugby league from the age of eight, until bodybuilding took over their free time. Together, they went from strength to strength, gaining employment in a fitness brand. But they began to think they could do a better job…
Steven is a professional body builder in the Muscle Model category – which relies on warmth and character as much as a trim physique. Chris wanted these traits to be mirrored in Kiss Fitness Centre, recognising that many people are put off by today’s workout culture. To create a gym that was different – not basic, or impersonal – the pair knew they had to spend a fair amount on their concept.
Over several years, they looked at a couple of planning permits in Diggle, by Saddleworth Moor. Yet finance seemed like a whole new mountain to climb. Everything had to be paid for: kettlebells, free weights, cardio machines, yoga mats, fitness bands… When researching this, a manufacturer passed Johnson Reed’s number to Chris, sensing he could use some assistance.
On the phone, Mark was incredibly confident that leases could be secured. Chris mentioned that their cost estimates had doubled. “That’s fine,” Mark explained. “Don’t worry about a thing. We’ve done this before. Let us see what’s possible.” At the end of that first conversation, he gave the brothers a verbal ‘okay’.
Soon enough, one of our lenders made that official. As Chris and Steven were tied up in planning the build, we maintained contact until they were ready to move forward. Throughout that period, Mark became their go-to advisor, in a sense, talking straight about what could work or where the brothers may be getting ripped off.
August 2018 marked the opening of Kiss Fitness Centre, following a successful lease of the top-line training and cardio gear they needed to bring their dream fitness centre to life. Membership spiked in the initial couple of weeks, driven largely by celebrity clientele (Paul Scholes, Joe Greenwood and several professional netballers). This and the 100% sign-up rate from those who try it out are testament to a game-changing fitness brand.
We’ve created something very special here. For two guys in their mid-20s, it’s been so important to have Johnson Reed’s confidence at our backs. We were impressed by Mark’s patience and the tax breaks that come with the leases are a bonus too! Kiss Fitness Centre is doing so well, we look forward to choosing them again for a second equipment fit-out in three or four years!