Imagine turning two things you love doing into a brand worth millions of dollars. That’s exactly what thirty-four-year-old Cassey Ho has done with designing clothes and teaching Pilates, and that’s why I admire her. She runs the YouTube channel Blogilates, which is now one of the top female fitness channels on YouTube with more than five million subscribers. She also designs clothing for her active wear brand, PopFlex Active, realizing her lifelong dream of being a fashion designer.
Cassey didn’t start building these brands right away as a young adult. First, she went to college to study biology, an attempt to fulfill her parents’ ambitions for her to become a doctor. However, she became increasingly dissatisfied with trying “to live out someone else’s dream while I sacrificed my own.” So in her junior year, she dropped out of organic chemistry, preventing her from taking the MCAT and getting into medical school. This led to a huge falling-out with her parents, and they barely spoke to her for the next few years.
Cassey didn’t give in though. In college, she had already started teaching Pilates, later combining it with pop music and dance to create her own fun twist called Pop Pilates (which is now taught nationwide by certified instructors). She got a summer internship in fashion design, and then moved across the country to take a job as a fashion buyer. When she moved away, she posted a workout video online for the students she was leaving behind, and Blogilates was born.
While at her job as a fashion buyer, she found out that Shape magazine had featured a gym bag she had designed. She then decided to “go all in.” She quit her job and flew to a trade show in China to find a manufacturer for her designs. She kept teaching fitness classes and making Blogilates videos, building her online fan base and her activewear line simultaneously.
Cassey has learned many life lessons throughout this journey, and she shares what she’s learned in some vlogs and in some of her workout videos. Here’s a sample of some of her best advice:
- Don’t hate your body, but work to improve it and “build the best version of you”
- Live for yourself
- Surround yourself with people who inspire and encourage you
- Do more things that make you smile, and less things that don’t
- Turn failures into lessons
- Take charge of your own life (don’t play the victim)
- If you’re going to bet on anyone, bet on yourself
Cassey learned to live for herself and created a successful career that combines things she loves. Alongside creating fun, challenging at-home workout videos and continuing to design activewear, she has grown her brand recognition and profits. Her entrepreneurship and determination to be happy with her career make her someone well worth emulating.
Check out her uplifting speech, “5 Things I Wish I Could Tell My 22-Year Old Self,” that Cassey gave at Whittier College’s 2018 commencement ceremony: