Background: Lauren Minnich is the owner of Wyomissing ATA Martial Arts.  Lauren stated that martial arts has been a huge part of her life for the past 18 years. She started when she was 11 yrs. old and has been training ever since. After graduating from the Wyomissing Area School District, she pursued a bachelor’s degree in business at Muhlenberg College in Allentown.  During her sophomore year of college, she opened her first martial arts studio.  Five years later, she purchased a second location, Wyomissing ATA Martial Arts.  Since she purchased the studio, she’s been focused not only on building tomorrow’s leaders through martial arts training, but also instilling a strong sense of service leadership in the students.  They do this by hosting multiple community service events throughout the year.  Lauren is a 2018 graduate of the Leadership Berks Program through Alvernia University, and will be pursuing a Masters of Business Administration degree this fall.

Her take on being a young professional/business owner in the Greater Reading area:

“Growing up here, I knew so many people who couldn’t wait to leave.  They hated the “small town vibe” and claimed there was nothing to do here.  How wrong they were!  I’ve come to realize, that Reading has many ways to keep residents entertained, there is so much going on!” She loves going to local restaurants like Say Cheese! and attending the West Reading Farmers Market. Lauren stated, “Not only do we have new, small businesses taking root, we’ve got larger businesses investing in our city’s development.  Even more incredible is the non-profit scene which helps thousands of people through community initiatives.  I am so incredibly proud to be a part of this community, and I can’t wait to see it grow even more!”

Leadership & other community activities:

  • Sits on the Community Contributions Committee with the Junior League of Reading
  • Going through the process to be on the Program Development Committee with the Olivet Boys and Girls Club
  • 2018 graduate of Alvernia University’s Leadership Berks Program.

Tips to other entrepreneurs:

My mother would always say, “Fake it ‘til you make it!” and “Always have a plan B.”  I agree, and would recommend that you always plan for the worst so that you are prepared regardless of what happens.

Practice service leadership and give back to the community as much as you’re able.

Take care of yourself, being an entrepreneur is stressful enough on its own, don’t add to the load. Take time to spend with family and friends, and take time to unwind on your own.  Whether that’s gardening, getting a massage or a pedicure (like I do!), or reading a book, dedicate time each day to self-love.  If you can’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of your business.

What would you like the readers to know about your business that they may not be aware of?

I have three things!  First, martial arts is a year-round sport.  But, don’t let that stop you from trying it out – we have many students who use our program to cross train in addition to other sports.  Second, our programs were developed by professional educators and childhood development specialists.  This means that our programs are not only age-appropriate, but also great for all ages.  Third, our staff is constantly attending training seminars, conferences, and business seminars locally.  We value continued education and the result is a team of excellent instructors who set a positive, always-learning example for our students.