What better way could there be to experiment with fitness and wellness than by starting with oneself? That is exactly what Sami Bossert thought when she decided to take on a personal training side gig during nursing school at The Ohio State University.
Sami grew up in Northeast Ohio as the daughter of an orthopedic surgeon. In 2001, her father was involved in a motorcycle accident. During his recovery, she became fascinated by the body’s ability to recover and knew she would travel down a professional path toward a health and wellness career.
While in nursing school at OSU, Sami found that lots of women wanted to change their bodies. She used her own body to experiment with wellness training and came to realize that she could gain control of the direction her body was going with a commitment to her wellness training. As her personal training increased, she began competing in fitness shows along with her boyfriend, Scott (who is now her husband) as a way of pushing her body to the next level.
Upon graduating from OSU with a nursing degree in 2013, Sami already had a strong following on Instagram where she grew her personal training for women. While working full-time as a nurse, she was able to maintain her fitness training through Instagram, allowing her to enjoy the benefits of both professions.
Sami noticed an interesting difference in her two passions. While she was taking care of patients, in some cases they weren’t interested in following the steps to recovery or in challenging themselves to get better. At the same time, women were coming to her from all over through Instagram to get stronger, healthier and to feel better about themselves. “It was so fulfilling. Women would check in and it was motivating,” say Sami. “They were being proactive with their health, and that was so inspiring to me.”
This motivated Sami. She wanted women to feel even more empowered. “Starting the day with exercise gives you confidence for the rest of the day,” adds Sami. Taking her fitness and wellness passion to another level, Sami created a line of soft, comfortable, great-fitting, high-quality athletic wear called P’Tula. P’Tula stands for Passion To Unite and Live Active.
“I wanted to give women a greater sense of confidence in their physical appearance even before they got to the gym,” says Sami. In December of 2016, she started with a small, 15-piece line of athletic wear items that were delivered to her apartment. The line sold out quickly, and 100% of the promotion was through her social media following.
With the growth of her Instagram wellness program and her line of athletic wear, Sami decided to take a break from nursing to concentrate on growing her business.
This was not just a fitness page on Instagram or a line of athletic wear; it became a community. “Sami created a circle of support for women to be part of — an active community where other women in the group could support each other,” says Scott.
“I wasn’t expecting it to grow. I did not have a background in business or fashion,” adds Sami. She just knew what she liked and what looked good and gave her self-confidence.
The stories of the women in this community inspired Sami. Each woman stood out with a story that would reflect the feelings of a lot of women in the community. As her following grew, so did her athletic wear line. Each new piece was named after a woman in the community who shared a story that was inspirational. “All of the pieces in my collection are named after women in my program,” says Sami.
The plan going forward is to grow quickly but cautiously. Scott has become an active partner in the expanding business. “We are growing and learning with manufacturing and sales,” adds Scott. “We strive for the best and continue to look for new and better ways to deliver the line of clothing.”
With a baby on the way in late fall, Sami and Scott have set out to expand their line of athletic wear to maternity athletic wear and men’s athletic wear. They are also focusing on accessories and a line of nutritional wellness products. The passion for the P’Tula company is Mind. Body. Soul.
What has become the P’Tula family is a community that is genuine, accountable and supportive to all its members. “We want people to be healthy,” says Sami. “We are trying to continue our growth in a way that is true to our community and makes them proud.”
P’Tula is now housed in a 4,000-square-foot warehouse space with 10 employees. Sami and Scott are also hoping to create a foundation that can give back to people in need, people who might be connected to the loyal members of their community. They want to continue to see firsthand what the true basis of their community can do for someone else.
“It brings me so much joy that my purpose in life is giving women a healthy direction early in life rather than helping them through a health struggle,” says Sami.