Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Liz Hilliard, Owner of Hilliard Studio Method, located in Charlotte, NC, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Followers worldwide have changed how they look and feel with Hilliard Studio Method. Using our unique, proven, unparalleled, award-winning Method, I help women at any age and stage of life sculpt strong, healthy, beautiful bodies and minds. As a business owner, personal and group trainer, author, podcast co-host, and motivational speaker, I aim to share the inspiration of “Be Powerful,” my mantra and the philosophy that sets Hilliard Studio Method apart.

Described as “Pilates on steroids,” Hilliard Studio Method is our proprietary core-centric, total-body workout that is safe and effective. With a supportive and positive approach to our challenging workout, we will push you out of your comfort zone to find your edge, not only in your body but also in your mind.

I am proud to have grown the HSM brand with a flagship studio of live classes in Charlotte, NC, a video subscription service of over 8,000 minutes of video and live streaming footage, a product line of branded apparel, partnerships with local and internationally-known lifestyle products, as well as my own HSM Signature Smoothie. A walking testament to the Method and mantra, I reach deep into the souls of my audience with great passion and energy to help them achieve their fitness, overall wellness, and lifestyle goals.

Tell us about yourself

The Method started in 2007 with a request from my daughter, Clary, hoping to get in the best shape of her life for her wedding. I took the challenge to heart and our passion, combined with science-based research, led to amazing results for both mother and daughter. We realized that the physical results from HSM were unequivocal at any age.

As an author, my first book, Be Powerful: Find Your Strength at Any Age, is not only the story of how I created my signature Method but also how I found the strength to overcome challenging life events and inspire others to find their authentic and most powerful selves.

In 2018, my husband and I separated, and I began a relationship with a woman and the director of training for HSM, Lee Kennelly. As a power couple, we now co-host a podcast, Be Powerful with Liz & Lee, and I am incredibly proud of our “modern family.” I relish the ability to live authentically in all aspects of my life, which has brought me to my happiest and healthiest self.

I thoroughly enjoy sharing my mantra “Be Powerful” during my book tour and speaking engagements at corporate executive events hosted by Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Neiman Marcus Charlotte.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is starting a boutique fitness business at age 53 among far younger, well-established, and franchised businesses. It can be intimidating to stay strong through all the ups and downs that come with being an older business owner, but all the hard work has paid off.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

One of the hardest things that came with being a business owner was growing my business through the COVID-19 pandemic when our studio was physically shut down. We only have one in-person studio because the energy in that room cannot be matched in another physical location, so it was hard not being in that powerful space doing what I love. We had to learn how to send that energy out to the world regardless of the circumstances, and I’m very proud that we made it happen.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Use competition as a springboard for success.
  2. You have your own unique energy, passion, and talent. Stay true to your Method, style, or trends, and don’t be distracted by trends.
  3. Embrace failure. It will teach you your best lessons and the secret to your success.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Shameless plug alert! For entrepreneurs and business owners looking for other resources, I highly recommend checking out my podcast with my partner Lee called ‘Be Powerful with Liz & Lee’ for business tips and real-life stories of love, business, family, and more. You can find it on all podcast platforms!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.