A Profile Piece: Noel Descalzi Owner/Creator of WiO

written by: Cara Schweikert

Not all Jersey girls make their claim to fame with an enormous whopping “poof” some call a hairstyle, aspirations of a tanning membership that extends the decade, or exhibiting a façade of a walking, talking bimbo just for attentions sake.  She doesn’t just “Tawk” the talk.  Noel Descalzi, owner and creator of Work it Out fitness studio walks-the-walk of an up-and-coming, female entrepreneur.  Successes of illustrious power-women including Donna Karan, Arianna Huffington and Bethenny Frankel are added motivation to her present and future career ambitions.  Her target: women, health, beauty, fitness and the lifestyle that comes with it. “As a woman you have to learn how to maintain your body, it comes with the territory of being a female, staying fit and caring about yourself”.  Fame is but only a word in the dictionary of this unperturbed 25 year-old’s budding agenda.   The spotlight is centered on the educating the fun in staying fit, hip and healthy.

Standing just 5’3, a petite, athletic frame for her tough, go-getter Italian personality, Noel describes herself as, smart, motivated and determined adding, “I’m true jersey girl at heart, I went to high school in Jersey City. Growing up around Hoboken made me tough and opinionated."  There’s also no shortage of a good-ol’ down-to-earth vibe as she tells me, (with laughter) her proudest accomplishment of the gym thus far, “That we’re still open."   I questioned how she feels others would describe her-being that she is a young, driven and accomplished female in a competitive market.  Without hesitation she states, “Aggressive. Pretty. Lucky." Was luck the lady that’s led to her business triumphs? For opening her venture in the midst of a recession, looks will only get you so far.

 Noel’s passion for athletics, health and life is the driving platform behind Work it Out.  On a scale of 1-10, for how passionately she feels about everything, she tells me, "15”.  “I wanted to start young, 23, so by the time I was 30, I would feel established.  I’m building the foundation for that right now and this industry is changing, whether people want to believe it or not. With purpose, persistence and pursuit, this fitness guru has developed a keen awareness of the bigger picture and future fitness prospects.

The beginning

The oldest of three sisters, Noel grew up in Secaucus, NJ in an average, middle class family.  Her mother a nurse and father the owner of a local hair salon, she was an only child up until the age of six which, “allowed me to be the boss in my early childhood." Her parents recognized her attention to detail and extremely active personality, which ultimately led to her enrollment in gymnastics by the age of five.  At six she was placed on a competitive team and excelled in the sport.  It was a solid commitment for her and her family, both parents making the drive an hour each way, five days a week, including competitions on weekends.  For a strong willed, hard-headed six year old, pure dedication early on may have assisted in paving the way for future goals. 

Gymnastics came to a sudden halt when she turned 17, after a career ending ankle injury.  Cheerleading took center stage becoming the forefront of Noel’s life beginning on a local Hoboken squad known as, 'Cheer Dynamics.'  (She would later cheer professionally for the New Jersey Nets, ‘Team Hype’ in 2001).  The majority of her teen years were spent in Hoboken, becoming a city that held sentimental value, “I grew up in Hoboken, I have so many memories here. In high school we used to do flips and cartwheels up and down Washington Street! We would flip for tips!”

Girl.. . you better Work it Out! 

Noel Descalzi, Creator of WiONoel's vision for WiO came into play early on in her college years, “I would go all over the city-Soul Cycle, Physique, Exhale, Barre Method- they were all an inspiration to me.  I saw these studios as the future in fitness and felt they may eventually take the lead over impersonal gyms." Noel’s idea never strayed from acquiring a “pretty, intimate, comfortable setting”, deviating from the “big box” image of a gym.  Work it Out or WiO officially opened on November 15th of 2010 “I just imagined a positive, serene, inviting, friendly setting, where people could feel comfortable. I DID NOT want a pretentious feeling”.  WiO offers various different classes including, CandyBarre, Go Mommy, Riding High & Youth Gymnastics classes. Class sizes hold anywhere from 8 to 15 people depending on the class.  “If you know how to work out by yourself it’s wonderful but I think it’s great to switch it up. At WiO you get that personal attention you would get with a trainer for a much cheaper cost."

 WiO's Social Media pages actively supply its followers with health, beauty and fitness tips throughout the day.   The company’s Facebook Fan Page currently has over 950 'Likes' and Twitter Followers in the 700's.   The launch of this blog also initiates WiO's efforts in keeping their fans 'in the know.' The goal for WiO is not only to develop and execute great classes but also to, “Educate women, make them feel inspired and help them break out of their comfort zones.  The gym doesn’t have to be so serious. Lighten up and have fun with it.  This is an attribute in my own personality that I take seriously, giving overall positive advice on lifestyle”.

Getting into a fitness routine and sticking with it can be a daunting task for many women, especially those that have put their physical needs on the backburner for an extended period.  Noels advice: “Get into a class and then leave your insecurities at the front door. Nobody is looking at you, everyone is there with their own purpose, whether it’s an escape from their busy day, or improving their bodies, developing confidence, whatever it is- let go of the voice inside your head that’s telling you, “I look silly!”or you don’t feel comfortable.  With Zumba for example, a Latin inspired dance workout, she exclaims "Who cares if you look like a fool?! Eventually you’ll get the hang of it!”

The measure of success Work it Out fitness studio has accomplished serving over 1000 members, may be just the beginning of its prospective potential.  However one thing’s for sure, Noel has taken her love of fitness and her zealous drive, branching out and building both a successful business and brand. “The fact that our clients are seeing results in themselves is an added bonus, people losing 30 lbs. is success, watching the kids grow in the Go-Mommy & Gymnastics program, is success.  There are lots of things that measure success. Hoboken’s the perfect fit.  WiO is your gym, it’s your community-your friend.  I’ve had people come up to me and say, 'I feel like this place is a part of my family.'  In gymnastics or any sport for that matter, you are a part of a team and you owe it to your team. I hope WiO has that effect, we’re your family and your team.  I love the camaraderie”.