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10 9Round Owners Share Their Stories for National Women’s Small Business Month

It’s no secret that our 9Round ladies are strong, but perhaps the strongest of the pack are those who decided to open their own 9Round studio to help others work toward their fitness goals. We’re proud to empower women in small businesses with our franchise opportunity to help them pursue their passion for helping others while also providing them the freedom to balance work and family. In honor of National Women’s Small Business Month, we’re celebrating our fabulous female owners and sharing their stories of how owning a 9Round has changed their lives.


#1 — Melissa “No Mercy Mel” Vettel from Manhattan, KS


With her first studio opening in Manhattan, KS, on October 12, 2017, Melissa Vettel became a female small business owner through 9Round. Together with her family, she has expanded her 9Round empire to include five locations across Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado. Graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, Vettel has always had a passion for fitness, but what she didn’t know was how rewarding it would be to become a 9Round owner.

“We truly get to make a positive impact on people’s lives every single day. We get to help them gain strength both physically and mentally. As a 9Round instructor/owner, I can build community, be a positive light for someone, and help them leave feeling strong and empowered,” she says.

“Owning a 9Round has its challenges at times but it also helps keep my cup feeling full-on daily basis. I have been able to grow as a leader in the industry and with our team.  I have been gifted the opportunity to make an impact on hundreds of people. And mostly, I love that it gives me the flexibility to be with my three children daily when I need to and also allows me to work the daily grind of owning a business. I am so thankful we were approved 4 years ago to be a part of this amazing brand.”

Melissa’s Studios:

  • 9Round Manhattan, KS – Fort Riley Blvd.
  • 9Round Lincoln, NE – 27th & Old Cheney
  • 9Round Lincoln, NE – 84th St. & Adams
  • 9Round Papillon, NE – Olsen Dr.
  • 9Round Fort Collins, CO – Council Tree Ave.


#2 — Jen “The Jet” Hoeger from Coralville, IA

Jen began her 9Round journey like many others, as a member at her local studio where she fell in love with the workout. She then began the process of opening her own studio to start helping others find their own strength. Read more about her thoughts on the experience of opening her studio below.

“I had always wanted to own my own business, as I have a degree in entrepreneurship that I was using to help other people, but knew I needed to use it for myself. I started the process of owning a 9Round in 2019 after my second child was born. I loved the workouts, but the 9Round business model, home office support, and available opportunities really helped me to get where I am now. I opened the doors to my studio on June 1, 2021, and it's been an incredible experience! Being a woman and a mom in this field has been challenging, but also full of opportunities and being one of the few women-owned fitness centers in town is something I am really proud of.”

Jen’s Studio:

  • 9Round Coralville, IA – 1st Ave.


#3 — Johanna “Raptor” Rich from Minnesota


Johanna Rich loves helping her members regain their confidence and personal value that may have been lost. She especially enjoys seeing moms who feel they have no time for themselves come in and spend 30 minutes getting fit and having fun at her studio. “So many ladies spend so much time helping everyone else in their lives they neglect themselves. At 9Round, we really help them see how important they are. I am truly blessed to be a woman heading this team,” says Rich.

“Kickboxing at 9Round has been the only type of fitness I have been able to enjoy and stick with! Having a 9Round franchise opportunity seemed like the perfect fit and I am now a proud owner of three 9Round gyms. I make a point to spend time in all my gyms and train with my trainers, where two out of our three managers are women!”

Johanna’s Studios:

  • 9Round Duluth, MN - W. Arrowhead Rd.
  • 9Round Golden Valley, MN – Hwy 55
  • 9Round Apple Valley, MN – Cedar Ave.


#4 — Kayla "The Rose" Bushman from Orlando, FL

Kayla Bushman became a 9Round owner when her first studio opened on Phillips Blvd. in Orlando, FL, on June 22, 2020. As a small business owner, she wanted to make a difference in her community by helping others achieve better help while making fitness fun. But ultimately, she wanted to set an example for her children that women can be great at many things.

“In business, many women feel we are treated as second rate, not as strong, smart, or valued. From a young age we are taught to be pretty and sweet, quiet and reserved. Being loud, strong, and opinionated is often received with a crossed arm, defensive, off-put response. We share social hour tips and tricks with each other about how to remain safe at bars or walking to our cars alone at night. We carry mace and have 911 on speed dial afraid that we might be taken advantage of by someone who thinks they are more powerful than us.”

“We are loud and feminine, kind and self-assured, mothers and business owners, flashy and reserved, opinionated and ready to learn, valued and worthy, strong and capable. A contributor, a mover, a shaker, and a difference maker, but most of all, a woman is what she chooses to be, and I choose to be great at many things.”

Kayla’s Studio:

  • 9Round Orlando, FL – Phillips Blvd.


#5 — Kari “The Killer” Carlson from Bettendorf, IA

When Kari Carlson became a member at her local 9Round, she discovered how working out and taking care of herself helped her feel stronger and more confident. She began to get more involved and more active with her life, and eventually, she decided it was time to help others become the best version of themselves too. So, she decided to open a 9Round studio of her own where she could give her members the same KILLER workout experience she was given.

Carlson says, “Nothing gives me greater joy than watching a member’s progress from their very first workout to their 500th workout and witnessing their joy and excitement. Additionally, I enjoy providing a fun and team-oriented atmosphere and workplace for my kickboxing instructors. Watching them progress and grow in their positions as they motivate and encourage our members daily makes me smile every time I walk through the door. I recognize that as I provide opportunities for my kickboxing instructors to make a difference in our members lives, I too am making a difference in their lives. In the end, it all comes full circle and it all started with the difference 9Round made in my life the day I first walked through the door.”

Kari’s Studio:

  • 9Round Bettendorf, IA – Middle Rd.


#6 — Allie “Al Q” Granchelli from East Amherst, NY

Allie Granchelli believes you know when you are destined for an opportunity if the long hours and frustrating aspects are instantly forgotten when you walk through the doors of your business. That’s how she feels every day working at her own 9Round studio. 

“I proudly state — as a mama of one with two on the way, the sole owner of my gym, and as a woman — that we rule the world. Being in a male-dominated industry, where other franchisees have mistaken me as the daughter of other owners, I have learned to be 3 punches quicker, smarter, and more resilient than the rest. I am very proud to be the owner of 9Round East Amherst, NY, and thankful for the opportunities this career has provided me. Girls forever rule the world.”

Allie’s Studio:

  • 9Round East Amherst, NY – 8586 Transit Rd.  


#7 — Sabrina “Spitfire” Carroll from Washington, MO

Sabrina Carroll started out in corporate America helping other business owners live out their dreams. Eventually, she decided it was time for her to do what she loves and open her own business, a 9Round studio. Six years ago, she became the proud owner of 9Round Washington, MO, and was able to pursue her passion for fitness and helping others. Through her business, she’s helped hundreds of people lose weight and regain their health.

“I love seeing women gain confidence after they've been with us, and I love seeing them care about their health again! I always remember the first time members walk through the door compared to the way they are after they've been with 9Round for a while — they gain confidence after they start working on their health. It's like night and day. I might not be able to save the whole world with a healthy lifestyle, but I sure do love helping the ones I touch.”

Sabrina’s Studio:

  • 9Round Washington, MO – Washington Crossing


#8 — Amy “The Boss” Morgan from Charlotte, NC

After becoming a member and falling in love with our winning concept at another location, Amy Morgan decided to leave her job in the nonprofit sector to open her own 9Round studio. Tired of sitting at a desk all day, she was excited for a change and to have greater control over her own schedule as a small business owner.

“I was a single, working mom, and although, I loved working out around people, it was hard for me to make it to a class time. I also hated using machines at the gym. Being active was important for me though — even more so for my mental health than physical. The no-class time concept was perfect for me. I could go after work and get a great workout in just 30 minutes before picking up my son from daycare. Plus, it was fun to punch things. I wanted to be a role model for my son, and now, also my stepson, to show them what it takes to run a business. I also love the fact that I can still give back to the community through 9Round events.”

Amy’s Studio:

  • 9Round Noda in Charlotte, NC – E. 36th St.


#9 — Kelly “K-Rex” McGill from Dacula, GA

Kelly McGill has been a 9Rounder since nearly 10 years ago, when she became a member at her local studio. From then on, she continued working out at two other locations, even selecting her new home based on the proximity to her local 9Round. In January 2020, she decided it was time to become an owner herself and reached out to the owner of her local studio for help. Coincidentally, that owner was looking to sell his location. She immediately started the process to transfer ownership.

“Through 9Round, I’ve been able to make a positive impact on the community. We have members from all fitness levels that had not had success with other gyms. With us, they’ve been able to make significant progress and really make big changes in their lives. It’s wonderful to see people grow and change on their fitness journey. 9Round isn’t just a gym to us; it’s 30 minutes of escapism where people can come to forget everything else for a while. Even through the pandemic, we’ve been able to form and build on those bonds we’ve made to help keep our community healthy and happy.”

Kelly’s Studio:

  • 9Round Dacula, GA – 831 Auburn Rd.   


#10 – Wanda “The Boss Lady” Brisco from Waldorf, MD 

In 2006, Wanda Brisco experienced a health scare that reinvigorated her passion for fitness. She was suddenly faced with the decision of living off medication or making the necessary lifestyle changes to better her health. In the end, she chose the “fit” life. After working with a personal trainer to lose over 87 lbs. in just a year and a half, she finally remembered how much she loved being active and fit.

Recounting her story, Brisco says, “I got my ACE certification and started FIT-4-LIFE PT by Wanda in 2008. I trained clients out of a homemade gym in my garage and conducted boot camps at community parks where I lived. When my clientele started to grow, I envisioned reaching more people and making my community a healthier place. I started researching franchise opportunities and was introduced to 9Round by a friend who was already going through the process of opening one. After doing my research and going through what was called “Discovery Day,” I found 9Round to be a perfect fit. I was hooked!”

Wanda’s Studio:

  • 9Round Waldorf, MD – Crain Highway


We’re incredibly proud to offer a fitness franchising opportunity that empowers women all over the world to become small business owners. If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a 9Round franchisee, then head over to our Own a Franchise page and fill out the form that follows to be contacted about our franchise opportunity. We can’t wait to see if you’re our next 9Round owner.