A Visit With Laurie Austin, Owner of CrossFit Ortus in Cottonwood, Arizona

Apr 1, 2022 | All, Cottonwood, Interview, SBDC


Ms. Austin was a finalist in the Moonshot Pioneer Pitch Verde Valley event held in October of 2021. Her CrossFit gym opened shortly after the competition, with a first launch in January of 2022. Now with additional equipment, a functional workout space, and additional resources, Laurie has been expanding into new services and offerings at her Cottonwood location, 960 South Main Street, Suite H. We are excited to share her story!

Laurie Austin, Owner of CrossFit Ortus, supporting and training her clients.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your background:
I started getting interested in fitness to combat health problems. It started with just walking every day. As I started feeling better, I wanted to push myself a little more, so I got a membership at a local gym. I didn’t know what to do so I began taking group classes and eventually working with a personal trainer. Seeing how physical activity changed things for me, I wanted to be able to help others benefit from physical training.
I found CrossFit through my youngest son. He was too young to work out with our family at the gym, but I wanted him to start young and enjoy the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. I found the local CrossFit gym and started him in classes. He loved it! Soon one of the coaches asked if I would like to try the adult class after the kids class. I tried it, and had so much fun, I was hooked. Eventually I decided that was the avenue of fitness I wanted to train others in.
More recently I have expanded my training to encompass working with people dealing with anxiety, depression, and injuries. This is what I am most passionate about, as at a young age we are seeing more and more cases of anxiety and depression. I want people to have options of a holistic approach and know that medication is not the only answer.

Describe your product? What do you do?
I own and coach at CrossFit Ortus. We are a CrossFit gym dedicated to helping people live with optimal health. With that in mind we have designed our programs to address more than just movement. We offer Group classes as well as nutritional counseling, personal training, small group training, injury recovery, kids and teens classes. All of our programs are designed to help you to thrive, not just survive. We equip you
with the skills you need to make changes in your life in order to optimize your health.

CrossFit Ortus Clients working out in the gym.

What inspired you to start this business?
I wanted to be able to help people. I have been focused on helping with anxiety and depression in a holistic way. Using specific types of movement training while paying attention to nutrition, sleep, and emotional well being. This is something lacking in the fitness space, and so I wanted to share this type of training with others.

What was the biggest challenge you faced in getting your business started?
I am an avid learner and love helping people so this part comes naturally. But where I struggled was the book work and back end part of starting a business, making sure I was doing everything legally and in the proper way was important to me. There is so much that goes into setting up a business, I had to make sure I set up a time aside to work on the less enjoyable parts.

How has the SBDC been a support to you?
The SBDC helped me every step of the way with understanding how to structure my business. They gave me support in each area from how to legally structure my business, how to approach getting funding to start my business, and then help when it came to understanding signing a lease.
It’s also kept me on track and motivated to accomplish the work that wasn’t as exciting to work on. The process of working on my business plan with the help of the SBDC has really honed in on what I really want to focus on and understand the direction I want to go in my business.

Where can people find you and purchase your product?
I am in my new gym space, CrossFit Ortus at 960 South Main Street, Suite H, Cottonwood, Arizona. Follow this locally owned gym on instagram and facebook at @crossfitortus and check out class times or schedule a free trial class at www.crossfitortus.com

What are your next goal as a business owner?
I am designing programs that deal specifically with training the nervous system to know how to respond to anxiety or depression. I would love this to be available to as many people as possible.

Testimonials:

My experience has been extremely positive with her caring, custom approach that really

works…plus you get Laurie’s smiling, bubbly personality to hang out with.

– Cathy B.

Laurie is AMAZING. Since working with her I feel stronger and more confident than ever

before. We’ve worked on not just strength and endurance, but also, nutrition, sleep,

mental health, and muscle imbalances. She approaches fitness from all angles, unlike

any other coach/trainer I’ve worked with. I always feel like our workouts are safe,

challenging, and fun!

Amy M.

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“Jeri Denniston is a remarkable business counselor, mentor, and friend. She has not only changed the way I see the world of business but how I see myself, which was the crucial change I needed to succeed in my business endeavors. Jeri began teaching me the skills needed to implement and market my business. More importantly she has taught me how to believe in myself. She helped me shift from limiting beliefs built around an 11-year career serving a community with scarce resources, to believing that I can offer my valuable Trainings and be financially successful.” – Ouro KKC: Maria McGonigal

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