20 Years of Austin Fit Magazine

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1997: Austin Fit Magazine debuts as Austin’s first local health and fitness publication

2002: The Swimsuit Issue is published—the  longest recurring issue.

2007: The first year of the Fittest Dogs Issue

2012: AFM creates its own event for the first time: “AFM FITTEST”

2014: The Fit Crawl takes place for the first time. 

2015: Whole Lotta Yoga makes its debut, becoming the first co-partner event for Austin Fit Magazine. The event is produced twice a year with Onnit and Whole Foods Market, and benefits Flatwater Foundation.

2016: Over 13,000 readers respond to the “Best of” survey.

In the last 15 years, Austin Fit Magazine has gone from reaching 18,000 to over 180,000 readers.

Austin Fit Magazine is older than Austin City Limits Music Festival

Whole Foods is the largest distributor of AFM, with over 3,500 copies each month.

Central Market is also a large distributor, receiving 1,000 copies each month.

22,000 COPIES ARE PRINTED EACH MONTH

In just 10 years, Austin Fit has grown from just under 50 distribution sites to now 650+

This is issue #231 to be printed.

AFM has also published custom magazine and guides for triathlons, races, and CrossFit competitions.

30,000 social media followers 

Facebook: 16,500+

Instagram: 9,300+

Twitter: 13,400+

Keep reading for more about Austin Fit!

 

Former Editors of Austin Fit Magazine

Georgia Beth Ridenhour

1997—January 2004

What’s the story behind Austin Fit Magazine’s beginning?

Well, I was very ambitious when I got out of journalism school and I got married right out of college. With my husband’s job we were here, and my mother and sister were both living in Manhattan, so I had a really hard time not being able to do my job search in New York. Austin isn’t really the publishing hub you might need when you graduate. I had about two years of work under my belt. I was managing a magazine that had multiple locations, and I was working as the editor for three of them. But one day I got a wild hair and went to New York because I needed to see what was there. I ultimately decided I had to come back to Austin to make my marriage work. I was in this slump trying to figure out what to do next. 

Why focus on health and fitness?

When I was in college, I interned for a health and fitness magazine in Dallas and it always puzzled me why Austin didn’t have something like that. I felt so strongly that there was a need for that here. My main motivation was doing something for myself, as well as loving the health and wellness industry—and I wanted it to be well-rounded.

What challenges did you face in the early stages?

The first issue was 28 pages, and getting advertisers was challenging. But ad costs were low, and enough people in the community also saw the need for it, so they got behind it early on. Sun & Ski, RunTex, and Yoga Vida are just a few who come to mind when I think about who was there from the beginning.

I had somebody say to me what I’m sure many others were thinking. This man said, “I hope your husband has deep pockets.” I told him, “You know, my husband isn’t backing any of this.” A lot of people always thought that my husband was behind it. For me, failing was not an option. I would drive by places to see if they had magazines, and I always carried extras in my car. It was so exciting when people ran out of magazines—it was the best feeling. 

Do you have any regrets from your time running the magazine?

My regret is that I didn’t make it bi-monthly. I think that was one of the main reasons I wanted to sell. I started it when I was really young, and I think when you start something at the age of 27 you don’t expect to do it your whole life. Looking back, I’m realizing what a feat it was to get it off the ground. In the seven years of running it, I took only one week of vacation. Had I gone bi-monthly, I would’ve taken the time to make it sharper and more modern and stepped up the design. I felt burnt out and I wanted the option of not being in Austin. I thought I would sell it, and then once the dust settled I’d have an epiphany that would lead me to my next business idea.

How did the sale happen?

A broker told me the Earle family was interested in buying it, and I was ready to sell, so negotiations started shortly thereafter. Once the purchase was made, I stayed on for six months to help with the transition. I love seeing what they’ve done with it. 

How do you feel when you see the magazine now?

Very proud of it! I think it looks beautiful and professional. I try to pick up every issue—it never looks stale to me.


Drex Earle

February 2004—June 2011

What did you learn during your time as editor for AFM?

I’d say AFM made me realize how vibrant and connected the health and fitness community is in Austin. Everyone who owns a business or works as a trainer in this city is enthusiastic and seems to love their jobs. Their work ethic is integrated into taking care of their bodies and minds, and that was a great concept to work with.

How has that helped in your current position?

My time as an editor for AFM was more than a decade ago, but I still use a lot of the connections I made during that time. Austin was different back then—smaller and more connected—and a majority of the people I met are still thriving here. It’s nice to be a decent-sized fish in the pond in the community. 

What was your favorite issue to put together?

My favorite would probably be the Swimsuit Issue because it’s so fun to spend the day on the lake and get those shots. It’s a fun and ridiculous time. The Fittest Dogs Issue also started when I was there, and I loved that one. The connection between the owners and the dogs, the personality of the dogs, even doing a professional photo shoot with dogs… it was a blast. 

What was your vision for the magazine while you were here?

My vision was twofold. Overall, I wanted the magazine to grow successfully, and provide a platform for our advertisers to make a return investment. Editorially, I wanted AFM to be a legitimate resource for people to lead healthier lives. They could read everything in a tongue-in-cheek way, and grow with the magazine in the health and fitness community.


Melanie Moore

August 2011—November 2012 

What did you learn during your time as editor for AFM?

It was an interim period for me, and for the magazine, and I learned a lot about myself during that time. In addition to writing and editing for the magazine, I journaled madly. Writing has always been the way that I move through the world—it helps me make sense of things.  Throughout that year, writing proved to be a lifeline as I traversed some unexpectedly difficult terrain.

How has that helped you in your current position?

Prior to my time at Austin Fit Magazine, I had been the founder and executive director of a literary nonprofit organization. At a certain stage in one’s career, it is important to separate personal identity from professional identity. In other words, you have the chance to step back and realize that you have merit as a person, for just being. At work it is easy to think—and I’ve been in sales where it’s true—that you’re only as good as your last quarter. So that separation of personal identity from professional role is critical for finding peace. In my current role, as at AFM, I am not the founder but a leader in someone else’s organization, which can put a finer point on that distinction. At the foundation where I work now, I have the privilege of working with an exceptional board and a truly visionary founder. It is a gift to execute their philanthropic vision in an organization that has external esteem and internal operational precision.

What was your favorite issue to put together?

Gosh, there were so many that were fun. I think I’m most proud of the issues related to the AFM FITTEST event because we took that topic from a community-wide vote to a contest using empirical evidence to quantify Austin’s fittest people. Our publisher Lou Earle championed the idea of “healthspan” (as opposed to just a lifespan where health often declines). Guided by that idea, as well as the intent to avoid ending up with exclusively younger winners, we segmented the contest by age to prove—as our contestants and winners did—that fitness is a lifelong endeavor where you can succeed at every level. We featured champions in each age group.  That issue, and that contest, reflected total team collaboration to pull off successfully. It’s still my favorite issue each year; I am thrilled that the contest continues.

What was your vision for the magazine while you were here?

Fitness is a wonderful lens through which to view the world. We all look at the world from inside our bodies—our physicality shapes our worldview—so fitness is a topic that crosscuts the population in ways that are not possible for most affinity publications. We had some amazing interviews with local icons, from Willie Nelson to John Mackey, to Luci Baines Johnson, to John Paul DeJoria, to Marion Jones. I was in the role during an interim period and my primary goal was to serve the owner family’s interest by maintaining continuity during the transitions. As a former journalist and editor it was important to adhere to principles of editorial integrity. As a leader, I endeavored to create a production process that allowed all departments to align their inputs and outputs to produce the highest-quality magazine possible.


Leah Fisher Nyfeler

November 2011—December 2014

What did you learn during your time as editor for AFM?

I learned so much… I had worked in newsletters, and I had been a professional editor, and I had done freelance writing, but I had never put all of those things together in a print and digital magazine publication. So when I came on with Melanie Moore (thank goodness), she really taught me the ropes and mechanics behind how a print publication should work. It was extremely helpful for me to learn that process.

How has that helped in your current position?

It’s helped me a lot. Right now, one of the things I’m doing is working as a freelance editor for Greenleaf Book Group, LLC, so I’m working with authors editing their publications. I have an understanding of layout and visual from working at the magazine that I think a lot of straight up editors don’t have. When I’m editing those manuscripts I’m looking beyond punctuation, usage, formatting, Chicago Manual of Style, to ‘how does this fit on the page?’ So that’s something my authors really benefit from. The other thing that’s really helped is having been editor-in-chief, I have a good grasp on how to pitch a story. I see it, I know what editors want, and it’s also allowed me to write pieces for different people on the publication end. 

What was your favorite issue to put together?

Well, I can honestly say I have a handful of favorites—it’s really hard to pick just one. There are favorite stories I have as a writer, and then there are the favorite issues I have as an editor-in-chief, where I’m looking at them as an overall picture. I would say my top three favorite stories would be the F1 Issue, the X Games Issue, and the Mind Body Issue focused on boxing and dance. The F1 story I got to do purely as a writer, and I wrote 90 percent of that issue because I was an assistant. It was a favorite for me because I got to introduce F1 to Austin, I got to meet a lifelong hero in Michael Johnson, and I got to learn about F1 and fall in love with it. The same thing happened with X Games, because I was editor-in-chief at that time, so I got to lay out how we introduced it. I love the story on Morgan Wade and going to his hometown, interviewing his parents and sitting in his house, and tying that all in with X Games and Austin. I think one of the best issues we ever did was the Mind Body Issue that married boxing and dance. We had Ann Wolfe on the cover of that, and she is a treasure, a boxing legend. It’s exciting to see that we tapped into something Austin had, that maybe not everybody in the fitness community knew about yet. And we made that really cool connection between what’s involved in boxing and what’s involved in dance, which are surprisingly similar. 

What was your vision for the magazine while you were here?

My vision for the magazine was always to be an inclusive place for all types of fitness. I think so often we get wrapped up into thinking fitness looks a certain way or is a certain way, and the reality is that there are many different types and definitions of fitness as there are people. The beauty is in finding the thing that works for you. In the Beauty and the Beast issue, we had readers send in their quirky sports, and that was so fun because you see all of these different people doing all of these different sports at different ages with different body types. I always wanted the magazine to be a place where anybody could come play and be active. We— meaning my managing editors Natalie England, Courtenay Verret, and myself—took it all over the place because fitness in Austin is such a broad and wonderful thing.


April Cumming

December 2014—August 2015

What did you learn during your time as editor for AFM?

I learned that growth exists outside of your comfort zone and that challenges—be they in your career or personal life—are just opportunities in disguise. Also that it takes teamwork (and a lot of iced coffee from Quack’s) to make the dream work. 

How has that helped you in your current position?

In my current role at Austin Woman, I always have my eyes peeled for the next assignment that will push me to challenge my writing skills and make my reporting skills stronger. After all, to be a good editor means you must first be a good writer, yes? 

What was your favorite issue to put together?

Oh goodness. Probably the Feb. 2015 Love + Fitness Issue. Sitting down to speak with Los Angeles Angels pitcher, Huston Street, will be one interview I’ll always remember. The life of a professional athlete—especially one that has to balance raising a family with a relentless travel schedule—is incredibly fascinating. Side note: Only god knows how much I had to brush up on my baseball jargon in preparation for that day. 

What was your vision for the magazine while you were here?

To be the go-to fitness and health resource for athletes in Austin and to educate and inspire all readers to get out and explore this awesome city we get to call home. 

Keep reading for more about Austin Fit!

 

Contributors of Austin Fit Magazine

In the magazine biz, it’s typical to have a rotation of contributors in the editorial arsenal. A few, however, prove to be exceptional and passionate enough to provide recurring content. Thanks to these columnists and longtime partnerships, Austin Fit Magazine readers had a tried-and-true training plan or fitness journey to follow every month.

Coach Carrie Barrett

Carrie Barrett specializes in stories about fitness culture, profiles, and event training.

What’s the story of you getting involved with AFM and becoming a columnist?

In 2006, I started a blog called “Tri To Be Funny.” Former Editor-in-Chief, Leah Fisher Nyfeler, was a reader and we had connected a few times along the way through sporting events, triathlons, bike rides, and trail runs. In 2013, she was looking for a columnist with a human, average, relatable and humorous perspective on the fit journey and my exploits seemed to fit the bill! You see, when you go from being overweight as a young adult to attempting to become a fit athlete-type, a lot of funny things happen along the way. I wasn’t (and still am not) afraid to write about those things. I don’t keep up my blog like I used to, but let’s make it a 2017 resolution to do so! 

What’s been your favorite story you’ve written?

I love writing stories about the triumphs of others. One of my favorite pieces was a “Fit After 40” story on marathon-swimmer extraordinaire, Katy Dooley. She’s been a friend for a while, but she’s so very humble about the fact that she swam 20 miles from Catalina Island to California, braved the rough cold waters of the English Channel from England to France for 21 Miles, and swam 28 miles around Manhattan Island! I just had to promote and highlight these amazing world-renowned accomplishments from a normal Austinite.

How do you stay up-to-date on what’s relevant in Austin’s fitness scene? Who or what inspires your articles?

I’m mostly active in the triathlon and running scene in Austin as those are the events that I participate in as an active coach and athlete. In 2016, I ran a few distance road races, ultra trail races and even my sixth full distance Ironman. It’s easy to keep up-to-date when you’re coaching and training alongside dozens of athletes. I’m inspired by these people daily. Like me, many of them are average joes who, through the course of training for endurance events, find themselves becoming better friends, spouses, and parents along their journey. It’s inspiring and motivating to say the least! Their stories are always packed with nuggets of wisdom and lessons to write about daily.


Monica Brant

Kick Mo’s Butt was a column in which fitness icon Monica Brant took on workout challenges in Austin.

How did you get involved and how long did you write “Kick Mo’s Butt”?

I met Lou Earle through the Mayor’s Fitness Council. I had just moved to Austin from Los Angeles and I was trying to get involved in the fitness community. Once I got to know the magazine and the owners, I pitched this idea to them. They eventually came up with the name “Kick Mo’s Butt” and all the trainers took that seriously for the two years I had the column. It’s hard to learn new things all the time and be involved with the latest, greatest fitness trends, but this was an opportunity for me to acquire different tools for my own training.

Was there a workout that stood out the most?

There are a few that come to mind:

I went out to sCULPture Nutrition & Fitness for an outdoor workout with Yancy Culp, who is still a part of my life today. After the piece came out, he invited me out to do some track workouts (because he knew that was my background) and I ended up going back and doing some training with him, which then turned into me running Master’s track for three years—and even competing at the United States Olympic Trials. Since then, he’s gotten me involved with obstacle course racing and American Ninja Warrior stuff.

There was also a Pilates session I did that was very intense. The workout had been going on for over an hour and 15 minutes, and I was so tired I couldn’t help but ask the trainer, “How long are your sessions!?” She didn’t give me any leeway to be wimpy.

There was another instance when Alex really wanted me to do a swimming workout. I balked at the idea because I didn’t like putting my face in the water. I spent my whole life swimming for fun but always avoided swimming with a purpose. I finally agreed to do it and actually really enjoyed it. I ended up working through some of the mental blocks I had with swimming in that workout.


Diane Vives, MS, CSCS*D, NSCA-CPT, FMS

Diane Vives is a strength and conditioning specialist who trains all levels of athletes and mentors emerging leaders in the fitness and sports performance industry. She serves as the Director of Education for Functional Movement Systems as well as test director for our annual event, AFM FITTEST.

What’s the story of you getting involved with AFM and becoming a regular contributor and test director of the AFM FITTEST?
Melanie Moore was the editor of AFM at the time and she became my training client and good friend. She learned about my involvement in education, writing, and presenting in the fitness industry. We started collaborating on ideas for “elevating the Austin fitness community and helping people move better.” Popular exercise and training helps motivate our fitness community, but we were aiming to also add some education to help them understand how and why they are doing certain exercises. She asked me to contribute a couple articles that then turned into regular monthly contributions to the magazine. Then, we as a team at AFM took on the challenge of creating the AFM FITTEST which has continued to be a fun and challenging project that connects us to the Austin fitness community.  

What's been your favorite piece you’ve written?

Each one of my columns has allowed me to connect with gyms, trainers and fitness models that are part of the Austin fitness community. Creating the circuits for the column and sharing them with each group is what I enjoyed the most.  As fitness professionals, we have to continue to learn and elevate ourselves, and connecting with people consistently each month allowed me to do just that.  

How did you stay up-to-date on what’s relevant in Austin’s fitness scene? Who or what serves as inspiration for your content?

One of the things that my company does is provide strength and conditioning education worldwide. This allows me to be at conferences around the world to see, learn, and experience what other professionals, educators, researchers and true fitness industry influencers are doing to move change in the fitness industry. And that inspires me to bring that home to the Austin fitness community. I believe that Austin has the potential to be the best fitness community of professionals and enthusiasts in the U.S. 


Matt Knifton—Texas Rowing Center

Matt Knifton is the owner and president of Texas Rowing Center. TRC has been an advertiser in Austin Fit Magazine for nearly 14 years.

Have you been with TRC for the full 30 years it's been around? If not, when did you take over?  

I used to work at TRC as an employee back in the 1980s when I was a student at The University of Texas. Then I became a partner in TRC with my former employer, Anne Marie Heilman, in 1999. In 2002, I purchased TRC outright from Anne Marie and became the sole owner, which I have remained to this day. 

Austin Fit has seen many changes since our debut 20 years ago. What kind of changes have you experienced as a local business owner in Austin?  

The biggest single change has been the rise in popularity of the stand-up paddleboards (aka SUPs). In 2010, there were only a handful of SUPs on Lady Bird Lake. Today, TRC alone has over 350 boards and on some summer days do over 1,000 SUP rentals! Austin has been called the SUP Capital of the World for good reason.   

Can you describe an AFM article that stood out to you? Maybe one you wrote, one that Texas Rowing Center was featured in, or perhaps something you read that really resonated with your life?  

Several years ago, AFM ran an article on TRC that focused on our program for people with disabilities. The article highlighted our Wounded Warriors rowing program for returning soldiers with physical disabilities. The article was instrumental in bringing focus to the program and the special people participating in it.  

In what ways has living a fit and active lifestyle helped you maintain success as a business owner?  

As you know, a healthy body supports a healthy mind, and vice versa. I workout ten times weekly—six rows and four weight workouts. My workout routine keeps my body fit, my mind clear, and allows me to deal with the stress that can comes with running a business. In truth, owning TRC is not that stressful. Owning a business that centers around my passion for rowing is a dream come true!


Brian Fitzsimmons

Brian Fitzsimmons is our primary photographer who is responsible for all of Austin Fit Magazine’s cover shoots and many other departmental photography needs. He has worked with us since 2008.

What's the story of you getting involved with AFM and becoming the resident photographer?

I had been an assistant photographer for about six years, and I decided to quit and go out on my own. I did that for about three months and ran out of money, and started making poker tables in my garage—just because I could. Then I’d put them in my truck and start selling them on the side of the road. Monica Brant’s husband, Scott, stopped by, and I gave him my business card and it said photographer on it. He said his wife needed a photographer, and that’s how he linked me up with Monica. She had just moved here from L.A. and didn’t know anybody. We did this little Oxygen Magazine shoot, then we did the Austin Fit cover shoot right after that. It was definitely a lucky chance to link up with her and get involved with Austin Fit.

Has your work with Austin Fit led you to other fitness projects—like doing photography for Nulo and Lululemon?

Definitely, because I wasn’t really doing fitness-type photography. When I met Monica and got into Austin Fit I just kind of gravitated to it. Before that, I was doing weddings on the side and I wasn’t really sure where I was heading as far as what direction I wanted to go in photography. That definitely steered me in the right direction.

What have been some of your favorite photo shoots?

The Ricky Williams shoot was very memorable. He was really cool to begin with, but he was doing yoga on the rooftop of The Austonian, and fell over and hit the railing. That was very memorable because in the moment I was thinking that I didn’t want to be the person who killed Ricky. The Willie Nelson shoot, too, because he was very welcoming. Also, the one at Monahans Sandhills for the most recent Swimsuit Issue. It was a crazy drive all the way up there, but that was the coolest location I’ve shot at, by far. It was worth it. I like shooting the AFM FITTEST winners every year, also.

Keep reading for more AFM history!

 

Headliners of Austin Fit Magazine

An update on former cover stars and outstanding members of the community since their stories ran in Austin Fit Magazine.

Natasha Hastings—January 2016 

Discover!: Olympian Profiles

One year ago, AFM did a one-page profile on Olympic hopeful Natasha Hastings. She already had a sponsorship contract with Under Armour and a gold medal from the 4x400M relay team's victory at the 2008 Beijing games, but still had more to show on the world stage. After missing the 2012 Olympics entirely, Hastings devoted her training to debuting an epic comeback at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Not only did she win another gold medal with the relay team, but she also competed individually, in which she placed fourth. The “400M Diva” still resides in Round Rock, TX where she continues to train for upcoming races. Hastings also keeps busy blogging about makeup, shopping trips, practice, and everything else in between on her YouTube channel. She publishes product promotions on her “Like A Pro” webpage, which is where most of her fans can keep up with her day-to-day. (Oh, and she’s still looking for Mr. Right!)


Tim Scott—July 2015

The Business of Fitness: Working On It

Tim Scott recognized that in addition to food and water, the homeless population would greatly benefit from the warmth provided by a pair of socks. This inspired a crowdfunding campaign, and the eventual launch of his company, Mitscoots. The model is similar to that of Tom’s Shoes; for every pair of socks purchased, a pair is given to someone in need. AFM’s Business of Fitness Issue profiled the growing venture, which emphasized Scott’s goal to help others get into permanent living situations. Since then, Mitscoots has added new products, grown its team, opened a storefront on Sixth Street, and given over 20,000 items (including scarves, gloves, beanies, and socks) to the homeless all over the country. Mitscoots Outfitters’ next line of products includes The Cause Cap, to give shade and heat protection from the sun. “We’re hungry to make more impact and get more people off the street. The foundation has been set and 2017 looks like the best year yet,” said Scott. “The long term goal is to be able to outfit the homeless from head to toe.” Mitscoots has also assisted in getting a few people into permanent living situations, and is still working to change the lives of many more.


Whitney Miller—June 2014

The Swimsuit Issue

Former Miss United States Whitney Miller graced the cover of our most popular annual issue in a skin-baring bikini that showed off her fit physique. When asked about her workout regimen, she said the secret to her toned figure was lots of tabata. In that same interview, Miller revealed her intention to make the switch from beauty queen to MMA fighter. Naturally, she made some tweaks to her training in preparation for her first fight. “I still have a strong love/hate relationship with tabatas! I love how my body responds to them and hate how slow the seconds tick by on the clock. Outside of that, I’ve started including mobility, cycling, and of course martial arts,” she said. Miller dedicated herself to months of training under the instruction of Olympic bronze medalist Tony Jeffries, and ultimately decided to make her debut in a boxing match rather than MMA against fight veteran River Fuller. Now that she’s got her first fight under her belt, she’s still deciding when or if she’ll get back in the ring. “2017 is all about rehabbing my body and doing the things that will keep it performing at its peak without any sort of injury or pain.” 


MapMyFitness—December 2013

Two Men, One App, and a Revolution

In 2013, Kevin Callahan and Robin Thurston shared the history of MapMyFitness, shortly after announcing their sale to Under Armour. The co-founders stayed with the company for some time after the transition, but ultimately decided to embark on new projects of their own. Callahan now partners with his wife, Maggie, who launched Maggie Louise Confections, a designer chocolatier, in 2013. In nearly no time, their new venture took off, with exposure on The Today Show and a feature as one of Oprah’s “favorite things.”  Thurston now holds the position of CEO for Helix, a DNA-based app based in California. Although their careers have strayed somewhat from the fitness community, they both strive to remain active—and connected. “I now have 8,134 miles logged on MapyMyFitness,” Callahan said. “Not as intense as it used to be, but I still love to run.”  


Trey Hardee—January 2012

Austin’s Trey Hardee Reigns as World's Greatest Athlete

Life since Trey Hardee’s 2012 cover feature has been nothing short of eventful, both personally and professionally. Coming off of a silver medal victory at the London Olympics, Hardee was optimistic about returning to the 2016 Games in Rio. As one of the few Americans to win multiple world championship decathlon titles, his chances of bringing home another medal were good. But in 2015, a back injury at the World Championships chances posed a threat to his Olympic hopes. No stranger to injury, Hardee recovered like a champion and qualified for the 2016 Olympic Trials. On the first day of Trials, Hardee aggravated a hamstring injury and was forced onto the sidelines. He did make it to Rio Games, though, serving as a guest analyst for NBC. He married his longtime girlfriend Chelsea in 2014, and the couple welcomed their first child in December 2016. Olympic medalist, world champion, and now…dad.


John Paul and Eloise DeJoria—December 2011

Deck the Halls with Boughs of Harley

John Paul DeJoria might be most well-known for his hair care and product empire, Paul Mitchell Systems, and his billionaire status (if you’ve picked up a copy of Forbes in the last decade). But what many don’t know is that his greatest value stems from philanthropic efforts, and the love he and his wife Eloise share. Our 2011 interview with the couple focused less on business profits, and more on a different kind of wealth. “Success unshared is failure,” he often says, serving as inspiration for him and Eloise to give back to the community. In addition to their Peace, Love and Happiness Foundation, the newer organizations the DeJorias support are Food 4 Africa, Sea Shepherd, and Mobile Loaves & Fishes in Austin.  

In 2013, John Paul served as a guest investor on the television show Shark Tank. A deal DeJoria made with a humble farmer, Johnny Georges and his Tree-T-Pee, went viral soon after it aired, and gave viewers a firsthand look at how big of a heart the investor has.  


Keith Bell—September 2010

Swimming in the Fountain of Youth

If you heard that someone swam every single day for 10,000 consecutive days, you might call them crazy. But, instead, most people just call him Dr. Keith Bell. In his 2010 cover story, Olympic performance psychologist Dr. Bell spoke to the benefits of his quotidian fitness routine, and revealed his secret to youthful energy at the age of 62. He stuck with his regimen and finally, this past year, celebrated his 10,000 consecutive day of swimming. The accomplishment was recognized by Mayor Steve Adler, who proclaimed Sept. 3, 2016 "Keith Bell’s Celebrate Swimming Day.” Admittedly, he says that’s not all swimming is about. “I certainly don’t go to swim to keep up my streak. To me, swimming is a wonderful part of my day. Swimming every day is just me being me. I swim for fun, fitness, health (physical and mental), weight control and cosmetic reasons.” You still can find Dr. Bell out in the water getting his daily fix—often at Deep Eddy pool, or in Lake Travis for open water swims—striving to get faster with every stroke. 


Paul Carrozza—October 2009

25 Local Health and Fitness Entrepreneurs

For over two decades, RunTex ruled the roost in the fitness community and Paul Carrozza was a household name. It was Austin’s first and only store devoted exclusively to running, eventually becoming one of the most widely known homegrown brands in the city. Things were going well—so it seemed. Although the popularity of RunTex pushed Carrozza to expand to additional locations around Austin, it was this move that led to the company’s ultimate demise. In 2013, RunTex shuttered and forced Carrozza to start something new. He hasn’t strayed from the running world entirely—just changed his stride. “Mostly I’m involved through development for companies who are trying to get established in Austin. I’m also coaching. I like to focus on coaching kids in middle school and high school and then people that are middle-aged, the 40 and up crowd,” Carrozza said. 


Tyson Cole—November 2007

The Dining Issue: Austin’s Top Restaurateurs

In 2007, Tyson Cole made Austin Fit Magazine’s list of top ten restaurateurs, and was selected as the face of the cover for that issue. His famed flagship restaurant Uchi was the only one he had at the time, where he was growing accustomed to balancing the role of sushi chef and businessman. Unsurprisingly, Cole’s success skyrocketed, earning him a James Beard award, a cameo on “Top Chef” supporting his mentee (and subsequent champion) Paul Qui, and a steadfast expansion to five total restaurants under his group Hai Hospitality. Despite working in such a challenging industry, Cole credits his culinary achievements to a few factors. “Mostly though, it is due to our partners and a leadership team that never settles,” he said. Lucky timing has also helped, as well as prime location. “As Austin has blossomed over the past decade, growing from a quiet town to a nationally recognized city, all the talent and people moving here have become our staff and guests. Austin is the key to Uchi’s success.” Cole is still committed to serving, teaching, and helping people—and of course, serving some of the city’s most innovative and favored food.

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