Making Girls Strong

Read time: 2 minutes

Katie Grossman, ’13, who rowed for Michigan and studied women’s health and nutrition, is now (not surprisingly) working in fitness. What is remarkable is that she already owns her company, having founded esTeam — a fitness clinic program to help girls strengthen not just their bodies, but their minds.

Did you always know you wanted to go into the fitness/wellness business?

I always thought I would go into a holistic wellness and nutrition-related field because I have forever been fascinated by the human body’s amazing ability to heal itself with proper love and nutrients.

How did your time at U-M affect your career?

Rowing at U-M helped me see that maintaining a healthy lifestyle regimen, as well as a sense of balance, was key to my success and survival competing at a Division One level. My women’s studies and sociology classes at U-M motivated me to address issues that girls deal with in our society, from disordered eating, low self-esteem, and unhealthy relationships to an overall negative self-image.

How did you start esTeam and what is your business model?

I started it five years ago the summer before my junior year, and it took off. At esTeam, we focus on connecting mind, body, and spirit through body movement. I have created two main programs, one for elementary girls and one for middle school girls. In both, we discuss everything that might be affecting girls — self-image and confidence, health and nutrition, stress relief and mindfulness, friendship and bullying, and community service and leadership. Now, I am in the process of developing a curriculum for high school girls.

What has been the most challenging aspect of starting your own business at such a young age?

Finding and maintaining a sense of balance. I am always thinking about how to evolve, create and explore more within esTeam. But I also need to “just be” — absent of my career life sometimes in order to preserve my mental and emotional well-being.

Have you seen young women transformed as a result of esTeam?

I have seen fourth and fifth grade girls start their own neighborhood businesses and teach friends about the benefits of exercise and meditation. I’ve seen girls no longer needing antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. And, of course, it is amazing to hear girls tell you esTeam has changed their life in the best way possible.

What advice would you give to current U-M students about finding the right career path?

Align your interest with service, and fearlessly follow your heart. This will lead to a career path of extreme abundance, joy, and success — guaranteed.

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