A former child carer who left school barely able to write has shared the extraordinary story of how she became an award-winning international business owner in the hope it will inspire ‘fellow underdogs’ to seek out their dreams.
Dominique Parlatt, from Alfreton, ditched ‘dead-end’ jobs flipping burgers and cleaning trains to launch Warriors – a body positive fitness firm that attracts thousands of clients a week both in the UK and abroad.
It’s been a long road for the 32-year-old, who became carer to her disabled parents at the tender age of seven, missing out on a crucial chunk of her education and leaving school without one GCSE to her name.
“I was working on burger vans, picking up cleaning work,” said Dominque, a mum-of-three. “When I got pregnant, I resigned myself to the fact I had no prospects. At one point, I was suicidal.
“But I had this idea that wouldn’t go away.
“Well, I’ve never been a skinny girl. And it didn’t use to bother me all that much- until social media took over.
“With the rise of Instagram, women are scrambling to meet impossible standards.
“I’d always thought women looked so carefree when dancing with friends in clubs, and I wanted to bring that into the fitness studio, minus the alcohol.
“Get rid of the mirrors, no expectations – music, flashing lights and fun.”
With the ‘clean clubbing’ model in mind, Dominique applied to the Prince’s Trust, even though she struggled to fill in the application forms, and passed her GCSE’s while pregnant with her third child before completing her Level Fitness 2.
She began holding classes at a studio in Somercotes, teaching around nine women a week.
But she quickly became the target of cruel internet trolls who berated her for her weight.
“It only spurred me on,” said Dominique. “I put a post on my Facebook page, hitting out at the bullies and ensuring followers that weight is not a measure of fitness level.
“At my next class, there were around 40 new clients waiting for me. Warriors was born.”
Fast forward to the present day, and Dominique is the proud recepient of a national award, Fitness Instructor of the Year, as well as a life coach and motivational speaker.
Warriors has now gone international – launching in 32 locations including, most recently, New York.
“It’s the age of the underdog,” added Dominique. “The opportunities available to us are out there.
“If I can be successful, anyone can.
“So to anyone reading this thinking they’ll never amount to anything- know that the future is bright.”
TO FIND OUT MORE:
Follow Dominique on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dominique.azzopardi.5
Like the Warriors Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/warriorsthermovibe/
Visit the website: https://www.thermovibefitness.com
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