Approximately a dozen people flood into the doors of Simply Wright Fitness, eager to escape the chill of a front coming through in the February air.
What used to be an old dance studio is now a bustling boxing gym, founded by Herman and Josh Wright.
The Bellville brothers are the epitome of building upon each others’ strengths — the brains and the brawn, developing a business that has not seen a growth rate of 10 times its original membership since it first opened on Feb. 26, 2019, but a partner of the Brenham community.
“That’s how we make it happen,” Herman Wright told The Banner-Press. “We build off each others’ strengths.”
Before opening Simply Wright Fitness, located in downtown Brenham, the Wright brothers spent months doing their research.
What they found was a demand.
“Boxing was not available for the local residents of Brenham unless they wanted to travel 45 minutes minimum one way,” Herman said. “We knew there was a market.”
What they didn’t know what the demographics of that market. Typically, boxing is a male-dominated sport by an 8-1 ratio.
That’s not the case in this community.
“It’s inverse,” Josh said. “What ended up happening here is this barrier — these walls of intimidation and fear literally crumbled. They were torn down. We were kind of shocked by how many women wanted to try this out.
“Because it wasn’t readily available here, when it became something new, it gave a new twist to people’s workout regimens. What’s the most revealing thing is that it’s a physical sport, but you’ll find it’s more mental. Once these bright and smart women started coming in here, it allowed them to learn something new, but it’s also a full-body workout. We were able to show people they can come in and have fun and be engaged.”
The Wright brothers put an enormous emphasis on that word — engaged. It applies to everything and everyone they approach, no matter the situation or the person.
Their newest initiative is outreach to senior living centers, particularly Argent Court, hoping to break down barriers.
“When it comes to boxing there is a two-park stigma— that people can’t learn and develop talent and people think they’re too old,” Herman said, noting that some members were administrators at the assisted living facility and through a co-initiative, they were able to take their gym to the residents.
Their latest class turned out 40 residents, with the oldest being 99 years old — a fact the brothers take great pride in.
“The way we approach everything, and I think this has been the underlying reason for our success, is that we really want to care, you know? And our members aren’t just numbers in a database. We know their families, their children, husbands, wives, moms, dads, we know what activities they’re into, all that kind of stuff,” Josh said. “When you’re looking at the residents that are in these assisted living programs, these are the people that were our guidance and leaders and mentors, so it gave us an opportunity to say, ‘We haven’t forgotten about you. Let us give back to you, too.’ That was how we established those bonds with those people.
“It felt so good, it felt so good to see them catch onto it. They felt so accomplished and we weren’t even out the door and they were already waiting for us to come back. We felt just as good. We didn’t even want to leave. It was a new experience for us all and it’s a great one to build on.”
The brothers attribute their first year of continued success to both the community and to god.
“We’re blessed. That’s the same concept, the same vibes we want to take to Kruse Center, we want to take right around the bend at Brenham Nursing and Rehabilitation,” Josh said, adding that Simply Wright Fitness also partnered with Bosom Buddies for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, as well as first responders for a 9/11 memorial, all in their first year.
“That’s what happens when you put community first, you get to see how many important things are going on in your community and no matter what you do, you can be creative enough to still connect. Who would have thought that a boxing gym could connect with someone suffering from breast cancer? But we were able to impact that.”
Looking to the future, the duo would like to see their dreams become reality. The vision is to expand to other locations and eventually franchise.
“What we’re hoping and praying is that this particular facility will always remain the flagship; we want 216 Main Street to still look the same,” Herman said, encouraging the community to turn out for a unique experience at Simply Wright Fitness.
There are no contracts. The gym does offer unlimited monthly access that most members do take advantage of.
“If you walk through this door and get in one workout with us, you’re family,” Josh said. You are a member and that’s a key thing that’s allowed us to grow our members. Come box with us.”
For more information about Simply Wright Fitness, visit www.facebook.com/SimplyWrightFitness/.