“I love Vancouver,” says McMillan. “Perhaps because it’s a smaller community, I find so much support from other business owners. It seems so easy to do business in Vancouver. The community also appreciates a locally owned and operated business.”
McMillan’s love for the local community led to her decision late last year to sell Northwest Women’s Fitness club, a Portland-based studio that she purchased in 2005.
“I needed to simplify life,” she explains. “I live in Vancouver, my kids go to school here, I shop here, eat out here and am heavily involved with the business community here. I just felt that I needed to focus my energy on this side of the river.”
While McMillan has nothing but positive things to say about Southwest Washington and its business atmosphere, she admits that wasn’t always the case. When she first moved to Clark County from Canada, McMillan says she refused to bring her children to downtown Vancouver at night. That changed, however, with the area’s restoration.
“There were pawn shops on every corner, transients everywhere and it was creepy,” she recalls. “Now, my kids and I head downtown all the time. We’ll go climb at the Source Rock climbing center, head to the library, hang out at Ester Short Park, walk through Farmer’s Market, eat out at Tommy O’s or Main Event or go to the movies. I don’t feel afraid anymore when we’re downtown. I feel like downtown Vancouver is going to be the next Pearl District; it’s so quaint and welcoming. I love it and am so proud to be a part of it.”
With an eye on future growth, McMillan says she is now focused on purchasing a new building and expanding the business. After that, she notes, an east side or North Vancouver location is a possibility.
“I want our studio to be bigger and better,” McMillan says. “I want to be able to offer services and classes that we aren’t able to right now because we are busting out at the seams.”
Northwest Personal Training – 1011 Broadway St., Vancouver - Founded: 2000 - Employees: 15 - www.nwpersonaltraining.com