Health & Fitness

North Dade woman buys schoolbus and turns it into kids’ traveling fitness center

Crystal Williams owns a repurposed schoolbus that travels the tri-county area and focuses on day-care, elementary school and corporate events.
Crystal Williams owns a repurposed schoolbus that travels the tri-county area and focuses on day-care, elementary school and corporate events. Photo provided by Crystal Williams

Staying fit can be difficult when you’re on the go. But one company has made it that easier for South Florida children to maintain a healthy lifestyle with a gym that’s also on the go — a full-size schoolbus repurposed as a fitness center.

“Once I graduated, my goal was to come here and purchase a kids gym,” said Crystal Williams, Northeast Miami-Dade owner of AET Kids Fit & Fun Bus. “I love kids, I have a passion for kids. Once I moved down here, I could not afford a gym so I said ‘How can I not be stationary, but then be mobile and reach as many kids as I possibly can?’”

The company has one bus that travels the tri-county area and focuses on day-care, elementary school and corporate events. Bus rental begins at $100 per hour with a minimum of two hours, and most rentals last three hours, Williams said.

Williams, 28 and a University of North Florida grad, purchased the bus in 2015 for $7,300 and spent about $26,000 to convert it into a traveling children’s fitness center. She gutted the original bus and added rubber flooring, wall padding and spent thousands of dollars on electrical work.

“It took me a year to remodel the bus,” she said. “Not just the physical part of remodeling the bus, but the financial part of remodeling the bus. The hardest part of remodeling the bus was ripping the seats out. … My brother and my dad actually helped me rip the seats out.”

Williams opened for business with the bus in October.

A lot of her business is built on marketing, including social media and events, said Williams, who is looking to partner with local gyms for what she calls, “Bring your child to gym day.”

“I just spent the first couple of months trying to get the word out and let people know we exist,” she said. “A lot of people do not even know what a Fit & Fun bus is. I have to actually show them pictures so they can see it.”

One mom whose 6-year-old son has experienced the bus said that she likes Williams’ concept.

“I think this is a fantastic idea,” said Lisa Perry-Moses of Miami Beach. “My apartment complex does not have an area for my son to be active. This idea is something that I think is very convenient and different.”

Her son, Kevin, agrees.

“I like it a lot,” he said. “It was a lot of fun.”

While Williams’ business is still very young, she has big dreams for the future of her mobile gym.

“I want to have a bus in every major city,” she said. “There are so many cities that are so big on [fighting] childhood obesity and that is the main thing that we are focusing on. So just touching those cities first and then, you know, working my way down. If I am able to get at least a bus or two in every major city then I would be happy.”

For more information

To learn more about AET Kids Fit & Fun Bus, visit www.facebook.com/aetkidsfitfunbus or call 305-469-8320.

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