Brit Rettig Wold: Empowering with GRIT

Story by Jennie Trejo.

Photos provided by Grit Fitness. Black Girl Boss Pop-Up Photos taken by jennie Trejo and Carrie Alvarez.

GRIT Fitness is a concept born from founder Brit Rettig Wold’s desire to create a high-end boutique fitness studio experience that is accessible, empowering, and, most importantly, inclusive of women from all backgrounds– fitness and otherwise. 

“My big conviction to start GRIT as opposed to just teaching fitness was in response to the lack of representation of powerful, strong, successful women of color leading in the fitness industry,” Brit says.

Brit, who was born and raised in Mesquite, Texas, got her start in fitness by playing volleyball and basketball competitively throughout high school. She then went on to play Division I basketball at Cornell University, where she was the captain all four years.

After Cornell, Brit returned to Dallas and began working her first corporate job. Still, she says she missed the sweat and camaraderie of playing sports, so she discovered group fitness at her local 24-Hour Fitness. Eventually, she got her instructor certification and started teaching.

During that time, Brit taught various classes, which ultimately inspired GRIT’s model. After a brief stint in Boston for a Harvard MBA, Brit returned and founded GRIT in 2015. Most boutique studios specialize in one form of exercise, like pilates or yoga, but GRIT offers over 15 concepts, including cycle, kickboxing, yoga, and dance cardio.

“From my background as an athlete and training for sports, we had to do cardio running days, strength days, and stretching days,” Brit says. “I just really wanted women to have that well-balanced fitness regimen.”

Regardless of her background, Brit emphasizes that you certainly do not need to be a Division I athlete, or fit into any particular box, to be a part of the GRIT fam.

“We try to show that fitness does not have a size; it does not have a shape. Everyone can be strong, fit, and full of energy and positivity, and it’s on you to step into your best self.”

Brit has intentionally recruited, developed, and retained a diverse group of fitness instructors. She says that if you look around the city of Dallas, it is filled with Black, Latina, and Asian women interested in finding community through fitness, but they weren’t in the studios.

“I just felt like society’s standards for beauty, wellness, and fitness were never synonymous with women of color. I used to always be the only Black girl in class, and I knew it wasn’t right.” 

Brit also knows that it’s inspiring to see someone who looks like you doing something you aspire to do. It makes you believe that the best version of yourself is achievable for you, too. 

GRIT has two locations: its flagship location is in the Design District, and its second is on SMU Boulevard. Aside from offering diverse fitness classes, Brit also uses her space to uplift and empower other women. 

“We have a coworking space in the studio because GRIT was made by boss women, for boss women,” Brit says. “If you want to pull out your laptop, work on a deal, talk business with other women– that’s what this space is for.” 

This past weekend, on Saturday, Feb. 27, GRIT hosted a Black Girl Boss Pop-Up Shop at its Design District location to commemorate the end of Black History Month. Nine small business owners set up a table for the morning, free of charge.

Chantaya Adams from Strawberry Kitchen Designs was one of the small business owners present. She says it meant the world to her that Brit allowed them to use GRIT’s space because you typically have to pay to have a table at every event. 

“I feel like we’re not taken seriously enough as businesswomen,” Chantaya says. “And so, the fact that she took time to make sure that this event was possible to support Black women, and women in general– I think it’s amazing. It’s a great space, and we’ve had a great turnout, so I’m just so appreciative.”

That sentiment was also echoed by the other women that participated in the event. The complete list of shops that were featured includes: Keeping it Posh Boutique, Goddess Glow Holistic Care, Neitly Vegan Sweets, Vera Forever, So So Good Cooking, Baylyn’s Closet, PQ Naturals, Fluid Flexion, and Strawberry Kitchen Designs.

It’s clear that Brit’s dream of creating a space that is empowering for women of color has come true, but she’s not done there. In the last three years alone, she survived a global pandemic, restructured her company, got married, and even had her first baby.

“It’s just so crazy because when I started GRIT, I was turning 30, and now here we are ten years later, and I’m thinking about what the next ten years look like. I want my priorities to still be mentoring and empowering women.”

Looking forward, Brit plans on expanding and franchising GRIT so that more people interested in being small business owners can have the opportunity to do so. She also has a YouTube channel and a blog discussing everything from dating, to building self-confidence, and even tips for starting your own business.

“GRIT educates you on holistic fitness and wellness,” Brit says. “Not just your physical strength, but also growing as a woman mentally and spiritually. We work on internal strength in addition to, you know, building your biceps. We do it all.”

If you want to take a class at GRIT, you can see their full schedule and class list on their website. You can also read more about Brit and hear her advice on her blog.