Women in business spotlight: Jennifer Karl

Jennifer Karl

Describe your business:
In Motion Dance Studio is a dance studio here in Tiffin and is celebrating its 20th year of business. The studio provides high-quality dance classes for children ages 3-up and helps students develop confidence and self-esteem through classes that are fun, positive and inspiring.

How did I get started?
I graduated from the University of Kansas in 1999 and was eager to start my dream of owning a dance studio of my own. A dance studio was listed for sale in Tiffin (previously Ballet Tiffin) and I decided to drive to Ohio to see if there was any potential. I decided to pursue the opportunity and made the big move to Ohio in August of 99. I didn’t know a soul but that didn’t bother me at the time. I was just excited to start doing what I love! Things went well the first year and I actually met my husband 6 months after I moved to Ohio. The rest is history!

What was the hardest thing I have encountered?
I think the hardest part of my career was when my husband and I decided to have our first child in 2006. The studio had grown to 250 students and I was the only teacher at the time. I had to bring in some help to be able to take maternity leave and have someone to teach all my classes while I was out. It was difficult to step away and trust in others to take care of things while I was away. From this experience, I have learned that I need help and that I can trust in others to help take good care of my business. I’m still learning how to delegate but with 10 staff members now it helps make it possible for me to be a mom, wife, studio owner and teacher!

What advice do I have to offer other women who are wanting to start a business:
My advice to anyone who is starting a business is that you have to be “all in or nothing”. You have to be willing to work on your business on days off, after the kids go to bed, on the weekends, and more. Additionally, you have to do what YOU feel is best for the business. You will not be able to please everyone all the time and this is one of the hardest things to accept. Trust in your decisions and yourself. Finally, stay educated. Attend classes or conferences and be willing to learn and grow. I’m still learning and I hope I always continue to do so.