cbuzz Episode 06: Gretchen Dusseau & Keri Croft, System of Strength

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Bringing you the best stories from Columbus business owners, cbuzz is presented by the Columbus Chamber in collaboration with the Columbus Dispatch and CD1025. Our host, local comedian Dan Swartwout, talks with entrepreneurs every other week in Columbus’ first business-focused podcast.



Trading suits for sweats,’ Gretchen Dusseau and Keri Croft are a prime example of how following your passion can turn into your dream reality. Founder of fitness company, System of Strength, Keri and Gretchen have created a lifestyle around their business.

“With System of Strength, the fitness studio is part of the bigger picture,” Keri shares on cbuzz. “It’s a community. It’s like you feed off each other in a positive way.”

Experiencing exponential growth since opening its first studio in Grandview in 2012, System of Strength has thrived under the passionate direction of its co-founders.

“You have to look inside yourself and say ‘what am I good at, what is my passion?’ because when your passion overlaps into your job, it doesn’t become your job,” Gretchen said.

In addition to two studios in Columbus (one in Grandview and one in Dublin), System of Strength also operates as an online apparel brand and corporate wellness operation.

Beginning in rental garages and training centers, Gretchen and Keri have successfully converted from ‘corporate America’ into running their own growing business.

As Keri graduated from Ohio State and spent nearly a decade in the sales industry prior to developing SOS, Gretchen, a graduate of Ohio University, spent some time in marketing sales.

With both teaching exercise classes on the side, the two Columbus natives would run into each other as Keri found herself attending one of Gretchen’s sessions.

From there, System of Strength was off and running.

As each co-owner had a substantial following in the Columbus area prior to launching their own studio, System of Strength was in great hands from the beginning.

“With us, it’s like, look, we work really hard, and we care about every single person that walks through this door. Let’s work out,” Keri shares on cbuzz.

Recently launching the non-profit company Keep Moving, Gretchen and Keri have been instrumental in expanding the SOS brand.

With more than 40 employees on the System of Strength payroll, the company has seen tremendous growth in the last three years.

“The goal is to really elevate this into something that everyone can enjoy,” Keri said. “Our hearts are pretty big, we’re all about the right things here.”

Owners of one of the city’s hottest fitness studio, Gretchen and Keri have helped put the quads. biceps, and triceps of Columbus on fire with System of Strength.


Published on:
August 20, 2015

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