Feb. 25, 2019
As a #ByWomenForWomen company, we love celebrating brands that are led by fellow female founders. Our new series, Founder Friday, is a chance to get to know some of these standout women, including our very own Heidi Zak!
After years of running, Erika Rayman found herself with blown out knees and sciatica. She still loved fitness, and was looking for a way to get inspired with a new routine. She met with a trainer, and the transformation was (literally and figuratively) life-changing. She knew she had to get the form and technique she had learned into the lives of thousands of other fitness enthusiasts, so she started DB Method. We caught up with Erika to learn more about how she pitched the “butt machine” to mostly male investors, and what is bringing her joy these days.
Why did you start your company?
Fitness has always been a part of my life. Even in my early teens, I would have my mom drive me to the gym before I had my license. I loved to run, but lifting weights was intimidating and I really had no interest in it.
Years later, I found myself in a workout rut. All of the running landed me with blown out knees and sciatica. A friend of mine suggested that I work with his trainer to get inspired. The specific techniques and form I learned transformed my body; the results were no joke. I believed there was a huge opportunity in sharing this method with others and I was inspired to create the device. Once I got the idea I felt completely compelled to bring it to life. I wanted to create a workout that would achieve my ‘dream butt’ without ever compromising the form I had worked so hard to perfect through personal training.
What was one challenge you overcame during the early days of your company?
Funding! Imagine pitching a “butt machine” to potential investors. The DB Method was a brand new product and the machine was not yet proven. I believed in the machine and believed people would want it. I think my passion and commitment always came through in my pitches.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Assertive, resilient, adventurous.
What’s something most people might not assume about you at first glance?
I spent most of my career selling gas turbines for power plants and commercial aircrafts. I never envisioned a career in fitness or wellness, but I wanted to share my vision and bring it to life.
What quality do you love most about yourself?
My loyalty; to myself and my vision, my family, and to my business.
When and where are you happiest?
I’m happiest at home with my family and our delicious Golden Retriever puppy, Charli.
What’s the top song on your playlist right now?
Dancing with a Stranger, Sam Smith
What is your motto?
Fake it ‘til you make it. Throughout this entire process, I have always acted confident and optimistic even if I didn’t truly feel that way. It is important to acknowledge negative emotions but you can’t let them suffocate you.
Do you think founders should take time to reflect on the pros, even if they’re constantly putting out fires?
Absolutely. When you start your own company, it becomes your life. Sometimes it can be hard to keep sight of why you started in the first place. Acknowledging the positives, even the smallest achievements, helps to remind me of how far I’ve come and motivates me to keep going!
What motivates you to keep going in the toughest of times?
My family! I know the life that I want to be able to provide for my family and staying focused on that helps me through some of those tough times.
What are your favorite ways to practice self-care?
Face masks, foot massages in Chinatown, mindful indulgences once in a while, like nachos and french fries 🙂
What’s the most fulfilling part of your job?
The abundance of messages from customers thanking me for inventing the machine makes it all worth it. It feels great to be able to help others improve their health and life.