During his practice as a child psychologist, Elliott Cortez often found himself advising patients to include gymnastics in their therapy program to build social and behavioral skills. Eventually, he established Elliot’s Gymnastics, your Totally Awesome pick for NYC’S best kids sports classes. Founded on the belief that children’s movement classes can be a fun way to have a meaningful impact on a child’s physical, cognitive and emotional development, Elliot’s Gymnastics offers gymnastics, dance, art and even a preschool alternative program. Elliot recently chatted with us about his newly-crowned, Totally Awesome community, balancing entrepreneurship with parenthood, and more.
Red Tricycle: Congratulations on being voted “Most Awesome” by your community! What do you think your customers value most about your business?
Elliott Cortez: Our grassroots feel. We’ve been a part of our community for almost 25 years and we feel vested in the interests of each individual child. Our customers also appreciate our flexible policies and schedule.
RT: What inspired you to start your business?
EC: I had a vision of the specific type of class I wanted to teach. We developed a “success-based” program rather than a “skills-based” program. We applaud everyone just for trying.
RT: Any advice for new business owners just getting started?
EC: Know who you are. You can’t make everyone happy. Believe in what you do and how you do it and stick with it. You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can commit to running the best business you can.
RT: Can you give us one tip for balancing entrepreneurship with parenthood?
EC: Being a parent should come first. Then surround yourself with great stuff. Try integrating your family with your work. Some of my favorite moments with my dad were when he took my siblings and me to work with him. Most of the time we just sat and watched, but we were with him and he was our role model.
RT: What is your proudest moment as a business owner or parent?
EC: After being around for so many years I’ve had quite a few. My most recent moment as a business owner has been having my former students return with their children, the next generation. I am so grateful to still be doing this.
RT: Is there a special offer you’d like to include for Red Tricycle readers?
EC: We’re offering a $100 discount for enrollment in our dance or sports program.
Want to know more about Elliot’s Classes? Follow this Totally Awesome business on Facebook!