The Tone It Up cofounders on why collaboration is key in community building

Courtesy PopSugar

Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott built a female fitness empire from that has also turned into a flourishing community of health-focused women. The Tone It Up community started very similarly to the way that the Karena and Katrina duo was born: through shared aspirations to stay (or get) fit and the desire to have a partner in that journey. The future cofounders and CEOs met in the gym, of course, when they were both working out on a Friday night. While their own collaboration led to a blossoming community, they quickly realized that they needed to be in touch with that community in order to keep the brand growing.


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Tone It Up on collaboration in the office

The co-founders started the company as a two-women team and remain that way in their brand.

“Our work is very collaborative,” Dawn wrote to Ladders. “Katrina and I are in constant communication to dream up what’s next for our community.”

To this day, they both act as CEOs of the company, although they’ve added a few members since 2009.

“We have an incredible team at our HQ that helps bring these visions to life, and we work closely with everyone on our team,” Dawn wrote.

Tone It Up on collaboration with the community

While the cofounders rely heavily on each other and their employees, the largest source of inspiration actually comes from outside the office.

“We also look to the Tone It Up community for inspiration, so we ask them what they want and need to succeed and then we deliver it,” Dawn wrote.

“We survey to see what they’re looking for, their favorite flavors, and what types of workouts work for them, and we’re always listening to their feedback,” the co-founders wrote. “We’re also constantly learning, researching the latest science and trends, and innovating, so we can provide women with all the insight and tools they need to succeed. Every decision comes down to this: will it help women live their healthiest, happiest, and most confident lives?”

Tone It Up’s goal is to provide everything that a woman needs to live a healthy lifestyle: from workout videos to nutrition plans to exercise equipment. Tone It Up even makes updates and adjustments on their apps based on community suggestions.

Dawn and Scott’s partnership began as a friendship between people with similar interests, interacting with the community allows them to meet even more women with passions for fitness and health. Tone It Up participates in events like POPSUGAR Play/Ground on June 22 and 23 as a way to meet more members of their community.

“The women of the TIU community lift each other up and cheer each other on,” Dawn said. “They are brilliant, beautiful, strong, and inspiring! We are so excited to bring our community to POPSUGAR Play/Ground so we can all connect with even more like-minded women.”