Create & Cultivate 100: Health & Wellness: Karena Dawn & Katrina Scott

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Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott met a Manhattan Beach gym, and then they built their empire.

Their intention was simple: They wanted women to have a place where they could connect through fitness and find their best friends-- just as the co-founders did. Conceptualized in 2009, Tone it Up is now a multi-million dollar business that inspires millions of women. Sure, they didn't set out to start a business, but with meet-ups, an app, and a girlfriend-to-girlfriend workout system, they not only have a bustling biz, but a badass community of like-minded women. 

Whether you're on the hunt for a fab smoothie recipe, a fun new workout, or perhaps some inspiration to help jumpstart your journey, Karena and Katrina have got you covered. 

Names: Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott

More from the fitness founders below. 

Names: Karena Dawn + Katrina Scott 

Instagram Handles: @KarenaDawn and @KatrinaaScott

Business Instagram Handle: @toneitup

You met at a gym. Invested 3k of your own money and have built a now successful and inspiring community. Was it scary investing those first dollars?

Karena: It was a big risk and yes it was scary, but we knew in our hearts that this was the right path for us. We knew that this was what we were meant to do. We always say that if you're not a little bit scared, you're probably not pushing yourself to your full potential. So we dove in and never looked back!

And now that you have reached ultimate success, how do you ensure that you're staying true to the mission of the brand?

Katrina: We always come back to why we started Tone It Up. We created Tone It Up because we wanted women to have a place where they could connect through fitness and find their best friends, just like we did! We wanted to create a community where women support, motivate, and uplift each other. That's our passion and our purpose and we return to that in every decision we make.

Where do your drive and passion come from?

Karena: Our drive comes from our community. They inspire us to work hard every day!

It's hard enough to motivate yourself. How do you find the strength to motivate millions of other women?

Katrina: Our community gives us strength! Whenever we need an extra boost of motivation, we scroll through the #TIUteam check-ins on Instagram. Seeing so many strong, beautiful, and dedicated women brings us so much inspiration!

"Seeing so many strong, beautiful, and dedicated women brings us so much inspiration!"

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How did the discipline of healthy living and "toning it up" help you when launching a biz?

Karena: We make sure to get our own workout in first thing every morning. That way, we feel focused, balanced, and centered no matter what comes our way that day. We kept that routine and mentality while launching Tone It Up and through today. And we encourage all women to prioritize themselves and their health first thing in the morning too. That's why we provide a Daily Workout on and our Studio Tone It Up app. It lays out exactly what to do so you can focus on your health even on your busiest days!

What's the most rewarding part of running Tone It Up?

Katrina: It is so rewarding that we get to be a part of so many women's lives and play a part in their health journeys. We have the amazing opportunity to meet and connect with so many women around the world. We have to pinch ourselves every day that this is our lives.

Karena: It's also incredibly rewarding that we get to do this together. It's so special to be able to experience everything with your best friend and grow together.

What's something you'd like people to know about your titles that they probably don’t?

Katrina: That we have desk jobs too! Sometimes people think we get to exercise all day. We actually sit at our desks writing and creating most of the day just like you! We're inspired to create simple recipes and make workouts quick and accessible for everyone because we know how busy you are and how important it is to balance it all.

What about your respective careers make you feel the most complete?

Karena: When we hear from a girl in our community about how she feels the healthiest, happiest, and most confident she ever has!

What's the best advice you've ever been given?

Katrina: My mom growing up would tell me to find my passion and what makes me excited and make that my career. My dad always said "trust but verify". These are things I've lived by!

"My dad always said 'trust but verify.'"

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What song do you each sing in the shower when you’ve had a bad day?

Katrina: Something funky - anything James Brown.

Photo Credit: @davisfactor

Hair & Makeup: @SmashboxCosmetics @TheGlamApp @TheOuai