The New Fitlosophy
The thrill of a challenge and the power to create products that sell help fuel Angela Mader (InfoSys’01) as she grows her small business.
But small is a misleading word: You might see her one-time “passion project” on the shelves at Target or featured on the televised shopping network QVC.
In 2008 Mader officially launched fitlosophy, a California-based fitness company that produces a 12-week weight-loss journal called fitbook. Five years later, the privately held company hit the $1 million mark. To date, she has sold more than 300,000 fitbooks and expanded the product line to include journals for children and mothers-to-be, as well as goal-oriented, healthy-living tools and the recent launch of the fitbook+ lite goal-setting app.
The fitbook user — or “fitbooker,” Mader’s reference to the book’s owner — documents food intake, exercise and goals. During the 12-week course the fitbooker is encouraged with quotes and facts peppered throughout the journal, based on the premise that small steps will lead to bigger accomplishments.
Studies indicate that by writing down our goals, we are more likely to accomplish them. It’s this lifelong habit of Mader’s that helped her business go international. Fitbooks and the other fitlosophy products are now being distributed across the U.S., Europe, Canada, Australia, parts of Africa and the Middle East.
“When I was little, my dad would always talk to me about the importance of having a five-year plan,” she says. “Being visual, I would always have a method of recording those goals and then going back to see my progress.”
Mader hails from Lamar, Colo., a town of 8,000 people in the state’s rural southeast. She was always a very high achiever. At CU-Boulder, she was part of the Presidents Leadership Class (PLC), a “pivotal” experience for her.
“Being a small-town conservative girl tossed in with highly intellectual, mostly liberal individuals from the big city taught me to think quick on my feet, to stand firm in my beliefs and to interact and engage with people from all walks of life,” Mader says. “PLC was a highly rigorous program that exposed me to a whole new world I never knew existed and challenged me in ways that shaped my beliefs in who I was and who I wanted to become.”
Before fitbook’s success, however, journaling was instrumental for Mader while she was going through treatment at CU for an eating disorder. Long before a business plan was in place, the first fitbook iteration was one Mader created for herself.
It’s a time she refuses to look back on with negativity, preferring to view it as a catalyst for future achievement.
“When it comes to life, the things that inspire me are the stories of triumph; people who faced unbeatable odds and turned their setbacks into a victory,” she says. “Those are the stories that matter and inspire.”
Read more about Mader and fitlosophy at www.getfitbook.com.
Photography courtesy Angela Mader