VANESSA CHECCHIO – THE BEAUTY & BRAINS BEHIND BACHATA & BARBELLS
You all know her as the creator, owner and driving force behind bachata & barbells. But how well do you really know her? Here’s the spark notes version of the b&b mamma herself:
Nickname: Ness, V-Dawg, V-Nice, Oger when I’m walking through my apartment.
Hometown: NP and GB what!? I grew up in North Plainfield, NJ then moved when I was 12 to Green Brook, so I kind of consider both of them my hometown.
Eye color: Blue
Ethnicity: 100% Italiano
Favorite color: Yellow
Favorite body part: My booty
Favorite thing to do with that favorite body part: SQUAT…duhhhh
Girl crush: God, I fall in love with a different one every day! But I have to say it’s a three way tie between Jessica Biel, Olivia Munn, and my
bachata & barbells Ambassador, Britta!
Favorite food: This is an evil questions because ALL OF IT, but if I had to pick I’d say my mom’s eggplant parm.
Favorite alcoholic beverage: Extra, extra, EXTRA dirty Martini.
Favorite movement: I’m going to pretend I can do a backflip but since I can’t, I have to say handstands or muscle ups!
Favorite pump-up song: As of today Mercy-Kaskade. Gets me GOING.
Now, onto the juicy stuff. Vanessa has been writing all about the women who inspire her throughout the month of September. On behalf of all of the women who she inspires everyday, It’s now her turn to be featured. Never one to brag, the humblest of sorts, it’s about time the boss lady got the spotlight and we’re about to give it to her.
When have you been most satisfied in your life?
After I ate dinner last night, just kidding. When I walked out on my corporate job and realized I’d never have to feel that type of stress or pressure ever again in my life if I didn’t want to.
Your hair – it’s wild and free, just like you – what is your inspiration behind it?
It’s hard to believe I once hated it! When I was younger I always wanted straight hair like everyone else, but then when I got sick I lost it. I guess it was one of those you don’t realize you miss it until it’s gone kind of things. One day a few years ago I just had this urge to shave a part of it and that’s when I met my girl Ashley and my hair’s life changed FOREVER. Now, sometimes when I go to see her, I literally tell her dye it whatever color she wants and I let her have a field day with it (because she’s DOPE at what she does). Your hair should be played with, It’ll eventually grow back if you don’t like it at first.
b&b, we know the origin, now what’s the big picture? Future plans?
This question both excites me and terrifies me at the same time. Of course PT and teaching fitness classes will always be part of the equation, but I’d also like to start to teach how those two are done the bachata & barbells way. I’d love to help other trainers who are just starting out and not really sure how the business end of the jobs works and pretty much give them guidance from what I’ve learned through the journey so far. I also plan on expanding the bangle line and the apparel line as well.
Favorite activity outside of a gym setting?
Sunday Funday for football season at Wicked Wolf.
Best advice anyone has ever given you?
From a business perspective, If you want to be taken seriously, you must take yourself seriously first. When it comes to life, pretty much always pay it forward. You never know when it’s going to come back around.
If you could have lunch with any celebrity, who would it be?
Okay first, I’d have lunch with Aaron Rodgers, then we’d rescue a Pit Bull with Tia Maria Torres, meet Mark Wahlberg at the gym and get our swole on, then end the night getting drinks and making dudes feel awkward at a bar with Amy Schumer.
Thigh gaps – why are they out of style and why are you proud that you don’t have one?
They’re out of style because unless you’re born with one and that’s what your natural, physical build is, they’re unrealistic to strive for. If you’re a woman with bigger thighs, embrace that shit! It’s sexy. Besides, pants looks better when they’re filled out because apparently it’s unacceptable to go pant-less in public.
Corporate America – do you miss it?
Are you happy you had that experience before you branched out to build your own empire?
Sometimes, but only because it made me realize a lot about myself and the type of person I am in a positive way.
Would you have done anything differently in terms of your career?
Nope, I believe that everything is connected and that one thing happens so the next can take place.
Pick one and explain – ‘Who you are is what you do.’ or ‘What you do is who you are.’ – in other words, does your career define you, or do you define your career?
Who you are is what you do. Something I learned in my whole corporate America stint was that your job does not define who you are. If you’re lucky enough to do what you absolutely love every day (like I am now), that’s rare. Your true self doesn’t come out in a 9-5 job where you punch in and punch out, your true self comes out when you’re around the people you love doing what you love.
You bleed green & yellow – explain yourself!
I grew up watching the Packers with my dad and Brett Favre as my first man crush. Need I say more?
As a fitness professional, what is the best advice that you can offer to someone who is also on their fitness journey?
Take something away from every fellow instructor, trainer, manager you have even if it’s negative. Being successful in this industry doesn’t come from sitting on your ass and watching it happen, it comes from getting out there and in the words of Rick Ross, hustle, hustle HARD.
Talk a little bit about the support system you’ve had since starting b&b and how important that is to you.
The support system I have is a HUGE reason why I even took the jump to begin with. I’m super close with my family and at first my parents were a little skeptical about me leaving my good job, with a steady paycheck, and sweet benefits (as any parent would be), so that was really tough for me, but now they can’t tell me enough how proud of me they are. I can honestly say everyone, my boyfriend, friends, clients, gym owners, EVERYONE has supported me whether it’s simply asking how business is going or listening to me vent at 6am, having those people surround and support me makes the pressure seem not as bad.
The boss lady has spoken, and there will be no silencing her. With big plans for bachata & barbells, there’s actually nothing that can stop Vanessa. That dream that she was once chasing has turned into a growing reality that isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Follow @bachataandbarbells on instagram, and bachata & barbells on Facebook. For business inquiries, visit www.bachataandbarbells.com. And be sure to check out the fall b&b accessories and apparel lines. In the meantime, catch our the boss out and about this fall on Sundays sporting her green & yellow attire – GO PACK GO!
Interview and blog post written by Britta Winans.