Meet Gabby Pavelko, Sweat Republic Founder

Something I’ve wanted to do on AGIT is feature cool people doing cool entrepreneurial things. This is hopefully the first part in a continuing series as I have some other people lined up as well (and if you know anyone, send them my way, too!).

I was lucky enough to meet Gabby Pavelko, Sweat Republic Founder, last month. For those of you who don’t know, Sweat Republic is a gym in my neighborhood in San Francisco, The Marina.

The Marina is known for being kind of yuppie (I live here for a reason, after all!) and the stereotypes are girls and guys who always wear workout clothes (I’m so guilty of #bayareachic moments, even at home) and are leaving or headed to SoulCycle, yoga or Equinox. Sweat Republic bills its self as “Not Just Another Marina Gym” and they certainly are an amazing, boutique out of the box chain option for fitness in the city.

I happened upon Sweat Republic my first or second weekend in San Francisco when I took a Surfset class. I loved the feeling of community the gym had and that everyone working was inviting and welcoming. They also have a lot of great events so you get to know the people you’re working out with every day instead of just being a stranger!

gabby pavelko sweat republic | almost getting it together

Gabby in crow pose on a Surfset board.

How do you balance your 9-5 job, your passion, and day-to-day life?
I have a habit of keeping myself busy! It’s funny – a lot of people ask me why I work two jobs but I do not see it that way. I am a strong believer in loving what I do and when you do that, it does not feel like work. I am extremely lucky that I live in SF, and am able to do not one, but two things that I love and have a supportive friend and family base that understand and support my passions!

Do you set a schedule for when you work on your day job vs the Sweat Republic?
I would say that I am a natural multi-tasker. At any given time, I am probably thinking about and working on something for my day job and Sweat Republic at the same time. I am not organized enough where I have a set schedule, but there is a method to my madness and everything seems to not only get done but I am still able to find time to sleep at night! I try to keep track of everything through to-do lists, and I love the gratifying check mark of knocking something off the list when it is complete.

How do you determine which out of the hundreds of projects that need completing is the most important to begin?
Usually the most important projects find me! I am fortunate to have an amazing team at Sweat Republic who not only help me check things off that crazy long to-do list but are also extremely creative and resourceful. Together, we prioritize and decide on which projects to tackle and when, and we work together to complete them. Since Sweat Republic is centered on our community, our top priority projects usually involve our amazing trainers and members (we call them Sweaties) and making sure they are feeling supported and excited about coming to Sweat Republic for fitness classes or our events.

gabby pavelko sweat republic | almost getting it together

Gabby has balance [pun intended] on and off the board.

What was your biggest challenge and how did you work to overcome it?
Sweat Republic has been growing each month which is really exciting, but we just recently had to put everything on hold when we had some flooding downstairs in our TRX studio with the rain. Our community has been extremely understanding and we have received many offers for people to help with cleanup, which we are enormously grateful for. We have not been able to complete the construction just yet, but we are planning to not only have the studio finished in time for the new year, but we are also planning a member appreciation party for our one year anniversary and a re-vamped schedule as well!

What are the biggest rewards of having your own gym?
Being a part of creating something that is not only a place where people come to work out but also meet new people who enrich our lives. We have a couple of members who are really good friends who have even travelled together. When I asked them how they met and they laughed and said Sweat Republic, it was a special moment for me to realize how important this little gym could be.

gabby pavelko sweat republic | almost getting it together

Gabby at Sweat Republic.

What about beginning your own business is the most surprising?
How many amazing new people will come into your life so quickly! I knew San Francisco was a special place but the fitness industry here is truly amazing – there are so many individuals, businesses and all-around rock stars! Some of my close friends today I did not even know before I started Sweat Republic, and they have definitely been motivation for us to continue what we set out to accomplish. It is tough when you are a small business up against the big guys, but we are honored to have achieved everything we have so far and beyond excited to see what this next year holds!

What advice would you give yourself two or three years ago before founding Sweat Republic?
Every day is going to be a rollercoaster, so hold on and make sure to surround yourself with an amazing support system. My dad is very entrepreneurial, and through him, I was lucky enough to get a preview into the life of a business owner, and it is definitely not for everyone. Not one day passes where you do not have a highest high and a lowest low, and you have to remain the brave and smiling face among all of the chaos. You will likely have to miss out on a lot of things (cue FOMO) but there is absolutely nothing else in the world like being your own boss and watching something that you created grow before your very own eyes. And when you have a support network of friends and family to help you and keep you motivated, then anything feels possible!

Sweat Republic is currently in the running for “Best Gym in the Bay Area” by Bay Area A-List so head over there and cast your vote!

Chat with me:
Do you have an entrepreneurial spirit? If you could do anything as your own business, what would it be? Do you want to see more of these features?

19 comments on “Meet Gabby Pavelko, Sweat Republic Founder

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Susie @ SuzLyfe on January 13, 2015 7:24 am

Wow. This girl makes me feel even more like a lazy bum that before! Kudos to her for knowing what she wants, and making it happen!
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Heather @Fit n Cookies on January 13, 2015 8:23 am

What a fun gym. I wish I lived there to take classes with her. You can tell she has a real passion for helping others and I love that she understands how busy people are, too, since she has two jobs herself!
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Briton on January 13, 2015 10:02 am

What a fun interview! That surfset board looks like a crazy good workout! Thanks for sharing Gabby and Sweat Republic :)
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jess meddows on January 13, 2015 10:06 am

This looks like so much fun! I wish there were cool classes like this where I live. :)
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Dietitian Jess on January 13, 2015 10:40 am

This type of class sounds awesome, I’m visiting San Fran in a few months, definitely going to check it out!
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Erin @ The Almond Eater on January 13, 2015 11:14 am

SF=way cooler than Pittsburgh as far as being fit/gyms go. YES more of these features please and thank you! :)

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Cassie on January 14, 2015 9:24 am

I would move back but no SoulCycle in SF….

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Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine on January 13, 2015 11:22 am

So inspiring to start you own business and have it be a gym! Something I know I may love to do one day!
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Cassie on January 14, 2015 9:24 am

Me too!

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Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on January 13, 2015 11:27 am

Hi Cassie! You know, I’ve yet to make it to Sweat Republic or to any of the events they have hosted, and I know I am missing out on great classes and people. I definitely love the growing fitness industry here in the Bay Area and the fact that studios like this offer something to the people who don’t want to go to a big box gym. Gabby sounds fabulous. Thanks for sharing! :)
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Cassie on January 14, 2015 9:24 am

You should definitely go check out a class there, you two would be kindred spirits! Let me know and I’ll come meet up with you!

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Kay @ Kay Bueno on January 13, 2015 11:57 am

This is so cool. Did we have her as our instructor for Surf Set?

I’m not risk averse enough to be too entrepreneurial, but I love supporting and working with people who are.
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Cassie on January 14, 2015 9:04 am

We did!!!

Girl, you do trapeze… how are you not risk averse? haha

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Diana @sosmallsostrong on January 13, 2015 8:45 pm

Looks like so much fun!! I need Gabby by me!! I have the spirit but haven’t quite found that time ti pursue it… or bravery…yikes!

I love this post btw, WOULD LIKE MORE!!
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Anna on January 13, 2015 11:06 pm

Inspiring. I love reading about entrepreneurial people and hearing about how they structure their day when there’s so much work to do. Thanks for sharing!
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Cassie on January 14, 2015 9:02 am

Me too!! I hope to channel her organization/time-management skills!

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Erin Sian @ Athletish on January 13, 2015 11:12 pm

Keep this features coming! I always love reading about cool women doing what they love. Thanks for sharing!
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Cassie on January 14, 2015 8:59 am

Awesome, thanks Erin!

[…] doing cool things” series (this really needs a name, doesn’t it?) I first featured Gabby Pavelko who owns a gym in The Marina. Today, I’m so stoked to introduce you to one of my favorite […]

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