My career at The Little Gym started in a very small way – as a part-time instructor at The Little Gym Wezembeek. At first, it was just a Saturday job to earn money while studying primary school teaching. But really, it was so much more than that.
Saturday quickly became my favourite day of the week. The smiles, laughter and fun were contagious. Helping timid kids build up the courage to walk, jump and eventually cartwheel on the high beam, and seeing the look of pride on parents’ faces as they watched. It was just unbeatable.
When a full-time instructor job became available, I jumped at the chance, and after a couple of years I stepped up to manage and run the gym.
But that still wasn’t enough. I wanted a The Little Gym to call my own. And when I had one, it still wasn’t enough. I wanted to bring more fun to more families in more cities.
So today, I am the guy that went from running birthday parties to owning three The Little Gym franchises!
The Little Gym Europe granted me the franchise for The Little Gym Uccle, my first The Little Gym, in 2007. What a roller coaster – I had the franchise, I was young and entrepreneurial, and I wanted to make a difference. But where to start?
My father gave me some sage advice “Surround yourself with smart, good people that have complementary talents. Join forces and build The Little Gym Uccle together.”
The stars aligned at a friend’s wedding that same year. I was best man along with two old school friends. We realised it wasn’t just the bride and groom that were a great match. We were too! So we started an adventure to open The Little Gym Uccle together.
The Little Gym Uccle opened in January 2011. In 2012, we took ownership of The Little Gym Wezembeek. And in 2016, we were joined by a The Little Gym parent, Fred, to take on The Little Gym Wavre.
Today, nearly 1,500 children join our teams in Wezembeek, Wavre and Uccle – that’s a lot of smiles, high fives and proud moments!
Our children are in our lives for such a short time before they fly the nest. I want to give parents an opportunity to lose themselves in their children. A moment to step off the roller coaster of life and laugh, learn and grow together.
Our instructors are talented teachers, but they are so much more than just teachers. They care for the children like a favourite uncle or aunt – always happy to see them, no judgement or conditions, and committed to helping them succeed on their journey.
I’m passionate about helping our teams open and run gyms across Europe. So passionate that I also work as a business advisor for The Little Gym of Europe – helping teams offer great classes and make the same positive difference to children and families that we’ve been lucky enough to enjoy.
What still amazes me today is our ability to put a smile on every face - be it the parents or the children that enjoy our quality program. When we hear the excited shrills/screams of the children before they even set foot in the lobby, rushing in with flushed cheeks and ready to greet the team with the biggest high five ever, we realise to what extend we change their lives. We enjoy chatting with the parents and hearing how their kids keep asking ‘Is today a The Little Gym day?’.
We are incredibly thankful for the privilege. And we look forward to seeing you in the gym soon!Pierre FolleboucktGym Owner – The Little Gym Wezembeek, The Little Gym Uccle, The Little Gym Wavre