Corrie: Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach & Musician

Name: Corrie Marie

Age: 26

City: Baltimore, Maryland

Main Hustle: New wife! I’m all about that side hustlin’.

Side Hustle: Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach by day: Focused on teaching individuals to take ownership of their health and empowering them to do it consistently and effectively. No need for dieting—just form good habits.

Musician by night (or really whenever): I work in several local churches and around the nation traveling for retreats, conferences, and seminars. Beyond that there is a side of music which we like to call “human music.” It’s a singer/songwriter atmosphere that takes us into people’s homes to create those intimate connections that everyone longs for. It’s the raw and real kind of music that tells a story and takes you on a journey. It may even sound a little bit like your own story as you listen, and that’s what we’re after.

How did you get started?: A few years ago. I left the gym I was working at to pursue my music career full time. Once I got the hang of it, I thought, “Why not do it all?” That’s kind of why I say they’re both my side hustles. I’ve always felt a deep connection between my physical and emotional strength, so pursuing both of these arenas at the same time only felt natural to me. The association between them helped me become a better trainer because I could relate with people on a more personal level. In writing and singing, knowing more about their everyday health journey made my music even richer.

When/where do you work on your Side Hustle?: I train down at Under Armour Performance Center powered by FX Studios, in addition to coaching nutritional habits online. Most recently I’m starting a habit-based coaching curriculum which has me really excited. This can be done anywhere for me, as well as for my clients.

Singing takes me all over, but I spend most weekends at a couple of different parishes in Baltimore.

Every day looks different. Some days I’m in the gym for half the day and then whisked away to an event for music. Other days it’s all day strumming away and stretching these vocal cords.

When I go to write for an album, I usually have to find some uninterrupted time to be still and listen. Creativity requires me to shut out a lot of the everyday noise.

What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?: Having multiple side hustles makes organization my biggest challenge. I have a manager who (siting next to me right now) is helping me stay on top of my music career. In order to be the best trainer I can be, I need an environment that pushes me. That’s why I train at the gym and not in people’s homes to make sure that the time we have is efficiently and intentionally used. There’s a tendency to waste a lot of time when you’re not organized, so these things are so important for success. The online training is the latest way I’ve combated this challenge. I recently got a certification to teach a year-long curriculum, and I can do it from anywhere. This allows me to help more people when the gym has its off hours or I’m not booked for a music gig.

What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?:

It’s all about helping other people. I get to help people get healthy through testing their physical boundaries. With regards to music, I get to be a means to reflection and growth in a person’s mind and heart. Both of these side hustles to me are about FREEDOM and helping others break free from their own limitations.

Who is your greatest supporter?: There are many, but I cannot forget my husband, David, my parents (dad cries tears of joy a lot), my home church, and my manager, Melinda. These are the ones who day in and day out are praying for me, pushing me, challenging me to be better, and encouraging me through all the good and the hard. My mentors especially, who are basically my life coaches, help me navigate the many obstacles that pop up through life and entrepreneurship. Each person offers a different perspective and has different gifts to lend!

Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?:

The depth of the human person really inspires me to always be thinking, searching, and bringing out hope in people. It really inspires everything I do because I believe that our life experiences impact the way we think and act, and we sometimes don’t even know why we do something.

I’m inspired by FREEDOM that comes from hope. Hope that someone will be able to physically achieve a milestone. Hope that through a song, they’ll see a part of themselves that has been hidden for a long time, and in uncovering that piece of themselves, they come to life in a whole new way.

Have you received recognition for your work? If so, please toot your horn below: I wrote a song that won a contest, earned an opening spot at a big fall festival, recorded a single, filmed a music video, and got me mentorship for music for a whole year. Oh, and they gave me and my church a bunch of instruments to upgrade the ministry and give the youth I teach the tools they need.

What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: My dream is that everything I do can be integrated into a seamless brand of who I am and what I do. That when people see Corrie Marie, they know they will be fed by the music, they can turn to me for questions about health, and they can know that I am a coach who will walk with them step by step to create necessary habits for a better lifestyle. I want my clients and my friends to know their strength: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Do you have any advice for others working on a Side Hustle?:

Dream Big: there are dreams in every heart that we know as a kid and our parents tell us we can achieve. Yet somehow the world at large has a way of shutting us down and giving us a “dose of reality”. The only reality about it is that the world at large is wrong.

There are few that take what they know is true and run after it with their whole self. But those are the ones that truly live life to the fullest and will say they gave it all they had.

It’s not easy to start out on your own, and you may be the only one carrying your vision, but if you can tell people WHY you do what you do, they will come along side of you.People aren’t as interested in the WHAT or the HOW of your business: they want to know why you’d give everything up for it.

Learn more about Corrie and her Side Hustles by checking out her music on her websiteInstagram, or Facebook, her fitness on Instagram, or reaching out via email for more information on her music, as well as her online coaching.

Feature Photo and First Two Images Below: Meaghan Clare Photography

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Tjaden: Aerial Silks Vocalist & Performer

Name: Tjaden O’Dowd Cox

Age: 29

City: Mobile, AL

Main Hustle: I own an aerial studio, The Fit Nest. We teach both vertical silk and aerial yoga classes. Vertical silks are the more cirque-style silk work probably more prominent in people’s mind with two fabrics hung to a single point. In these classes clients learn to climb, do basic poses and footlocks, and eventually build up to more tricks and more height. Aerial yoga uses one fabric tied as a swing and used as an apparatus for a traditional yoga flow on the mat. In these classes clients build core stability, full body strength, and increase flexibility while also getting to learn a trick or two.

I am also a professional singer. I sing Opera for companies along the Gulf coast, and I’ve also sung in places like China and the White House. I also sing any other style asked which comes in handy for things like weddings and with jazz bands.

Side Hustle: Recently, I have had the distinct pleasure of joining my two passions of singing and silking. I had the idea that a singing act on the silks would be something really exciting and wonderfully entertaining, so I started working on one about three years ago. In an audition last summer, the gentleman for whom I was singing asked what “aerialist” meant, so I explained. He asked if I had any video of the act, which of course I did. I was hired on the spot for a show this past February in which I got to do two big numbers on the silks. As a result of that, I have had the opportunity to perform the act here in town with Mobile Opera, for whom I got to do four numbers. I also have the exciting chance to sing Evelyn Nesbit in the upcoming production of Ragtime, completely on the silks.

How did you get started?: I started singing as a kid, continued through high school, where I started performing on stage, then got a degree in Musica Theatre from James Madison University. About 5+ years ago, I started silking and almost immediately started teaching. Since then I’ve done a good bit a training, including two levels of a 4 part program in LA that, once I pass all four levels (Fingers crossed! It is crazy competitive), I will get to travel around the world teaching aerial workshops.

When/where do you work on your Side Hustle?: Everyday, at my studio, which I share with JH CrossFit and that wonderful community! They are very patient with the weirdo singing 20 feet in the air while they’re trying to lift heavy things.

What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?: With aerial still being relatively new to mainstream attention, it has been an interesting struggle of either people not recognizing what the art form is or, if they do see the potential, not understanding the logistics of how to do it safely. There is a lot that goes in to the rigging of an aerial apparatus to make sure an act is death defying rather than the alternative. The assumption is that we can set up along any exposed space on a beam. Not necessarily true. Is that beam load bearing? Can it support the added weight generated by some of the more dynamic tricks? That being said, with most stages, rigging a silk is completely doable with relative ease as long as we are allowed the proper equipment. To summarize, one shouldn’t ask an aerialist to just tie her silks to any open point on a ceiling, but also don’t excuse the possibility of an aerial act until you’ve heard them say if they can rig it or not.

The challenges of adding the singing aspect to the aerial is as you might expect. It’s exhausting! Practicing enough and choreographing appropriate moves so as to not compromise the quality of sound is REALLY hard, but 100% worth it.

What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?: Getting down off the silks and having people say “That was the most ridiculous and amazing thing I’ve ever seen” is a pretty cool feeling. It keeps me in pretty good shape too. 😂

Who is your greatest supporter?: My entire family has always been so great. But, my husband, Finn, has been just so amazing. He hates to watch me silks because it still makes him incredibly nervous. But he does it anyway. And as far as my singing, I know for a fact I would have given up on the possibility of performing more a long time ago if I didn’t have him pushing me. He walks the line of loving encouragement and tough love perfectly.

Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?: My mom. She always knew I could perform if I wanted to. I’m hoping to prove her right.

Have you received recognition for your work?: The Fit Nest won the 2015 Nappie for Best Yoga Studio. As far as recondition for the aerial act, I’m getting hired to do it more, so that’s pretty exciting.

What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: To do it more 😂
No seriously, I want to be able to perform as much as possible. That’s really the only goal. Keep making it better, find more things to choreograph, find more companies interested in using aerial and making that happen for them.

Do you have any advice for others working on a Side Hustle?:

Work hard. Luck helps. But definitely don’t skip the work so you’re ready when luck decides to grace you with her presence.

Check out The Fit Nest’s website for more information, follow along on Instagram or Facebook, or reach out via email to connect or collaborate!

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