We are having a conversation between Mark Baratto, Michelle Spottswood and Jessica Spottswood.
MARK: This is the Backyards of Key West Podcast and my name is Mark Baratto, and I am at FYT Gym with the two owners, Jessica and Micelle Spottswood. Ladies, welcome to the show.
BOTH: Hi guys! Hi, we’re happy to be on and we’re excited.
MARK: One of the things I wanted to do first is just, introduce yourselves, meaning how you met, how you got involved with wanting to do this. We notice you both have the same last names, but you’re sisters from another mister, so if you can get into how you guys met and all that.
MICHELLE: Okay, so I’m Michelle.
JESS: And, I’m Jess.
MICHELLE: We are sisters-in-law and our husbands are brothers. So, they were born and raised in Key West and our babies are eighth generation so we both came from, well Jess came from ______________ and I came from Tampa. We moved down here for; I don’t know, five years?
JESS: Let’s see, 2012 and I think you came a year later.
MICHELLE: So yeah! That’s how we’re family.
MARK: Were you friends beforehand or this happened after.
JESS: No, we met you know, via our husbands.
MARK: When you guys met, did you decide, hey we want to start a business together. Tell me about your fitness journey, how you got into fitness.
JESS: It wasn’t until, let’s see Michelle you know, we got married to our husbands and Michelle moved down here I think 2013 and I was already here in 2012. We definitely both saw a need for a gym. And, we both kinda just, she started getting really into yoga post-baby. And I got very into fitness post-baby and we kinda put our heads together and realized that we can make, you know something out of it.
MICHELLE: I think for us to be both, we love a variety of different things. I love yoga, but I love strength training, and I love kick training and running and all different things. From the big cities we’re from you can find that in different areas, but down here there wasn’t one location that offered all of them. We wanted to be able to do this variety of training but under one roof so you weren’t having to get three different memberships to do you know a strength training class, then a yoga class, and then a barre class it was all at the same place. So that’s kinda where this concept started to evolve where we started to see the need for all of these different things, but at one place.
MARK: Tell me about and I like to go into the origin story of it, so you two sitting together and you went to different gyms or something in you’re like, listen we should open our own thing. Tell that conversation and how that first started.
MICHELLE: So, it’s funny because Jess and I first, she was going to open a gym and I was going to open a yoga studio. We both were getting certified around the same time and then that’s when it kind of hit us that wait, how amazing could this be if we collaborate together. And, how incredible and then from there it really just started spinning and it started getting bigger and bigger and…
JESS: This was also around that same time where these circuit training style classes were becoming so, so popular and that’s what people were doing. They were kind of ditching just the regular gym and they were doing circuit training all these you know, all these different classes.
MARK: Right, like pay per class like Barry’s and stuff like that where there’s no membership.
JESS: Yes, exactly.
MARK: And how long ago did you guys say, all right we’re going to do this.
JESS: Gosh, three years now because…
MICHELLE: About three years, yeah.
JESS: It took us a while with Irma and everything… the concept and we were already building at that point, so that took a huge pause for us. Like I said, the concept started really small and like, we just kept adding ideas like timing and both of us are moms and the two of us have five, so we realized wow, there’s a demand for that and we have to add that. You know personal trainers, demand for that and we have to add that. So, it kinda just but why?
MARK: You’re scratching your own itch. Yeah.
MICHELLE: So, it kept growing and evolving over the three years and this is where we ended up.
MARK: When you were in school, when you were in college, is this what you thought you’d want to do? Were you? What were your dreams?
JESS: I was going to school to become an elementary school teacher, that’s what I wanted to do. So, I guess teaching was always something I wanted to do. I wasn’t expecting it to be fitness in that it just kinda fell in my lap and then I ran with it.
MICHELLE: Yeah, I was a political science major so no, that was not my plan. And like Jess said, we kinda fell in love with fitness after babies, it’s something that was so amazing for me both mentally and physically. Then through that I just realized wanting to teach and wanting to have a space where other people could come in and feel the same thing.
MARK: Right, were you guys into fitness before like pre-baby?
JESS: So, I was an athlete my whole life so yes, fitness was always a huge component of my life because it’s demanded from you. But never something where I felt like I was going to be in that teaching role.
MICHELLE: Yeah, same here. I was like, well I had a gym membership since you know, early high school and I always went to the gym but it was never something that I thought was going to become my occupation.
MARK: You’re like okay, we’re doing this, we are starting this gym. Why Stock Island over mainland or even further out?
MICHELLE: Well, I think Stock Island is growing as you all can see. There’s so much going on here and I think, I love it. I love Stock Island, it’s funky, it’s cool, it’s different and there’s also nothing out this way and a lot of people live out this way. And, a lot of people don’t want to go into downtown area, or head into town and this is just kind of off the beaten path.
MARK: I love it, I mean I just interviewed everyone over there at the Perry and it’s like, everything here is up and coming, growing it’s like Wynwood a little bit. What’s happening the changes, I also did the Art Shack which is like super cool and like all these hip things that are kinda growing over here for the locals, especially. Now granted the tourists can come in and obviously they are coming in and out over on Stock Island but for us, the people that live here full time it’s a great place.
JESS: It really is, it’s amazing.
MARK: What percentage of people do you think are local? All local?
MICHELLE: We are probably 90% local.
JESS: We are definitely local focused and we do, we get a lot of vacationers but I’d say mainly, like 90%?
MICHELLE: Yeah, I’d say we are about 90% local.
MARK: You decide we’re doing this, we found the location, we are setting this up, we kinda know that we’re gonna have a yoga studio, and then the tiny tribe and all these different things, when do you go like, holy shit how do we run a business?
JESS: Ha ha! We are still learning, man.
MICHELLE: We are learning and there’s something new every day. I mean, we have close to 25 employees, so you know learning how to manage employees, and manage the business, and you know if it was up to Jess and I, we’d give everything away for free. We want everyone to come in the doors and enjoy and love it and so it’s 100% it’s learning the business side of it, too. And hey, what do you need to do to operate and grow so that we can continue to provide this product and service to more and more people.
MARK: Right, right.
JESS: That’s something you learn new every day.
MARK: Tell me about the tribe concept because I work out here so that all the people know, I’m a member, my wife’s a member, and the thing that we found before we even joined was your personalities were exactly that. Not that you wanted to give everything away for free but you cared about the people. Right? And that comes through in the social, and I see you guys going out and doing all the things with members and with the staff and stuff like that, so where did you adopt that concept from?
MICHELLE: That concept is a whole, is the most important thing to us from the very beginning, before we even knew like, what it was going to be. Jess and I wanted a place where every single person who walked through the doors felt at home. Felt like I want to come back and I want to be here. I get goosebumps talking about it because the fact that that was so important to us and it really has come to fruition in this space. But that was our absolute #1 thing, it’s the thing we told every employee we hired from the second we hired them was that this has to be welcoming. This has to be like come one come all, arms open, and we want them to feel a part of it. Like they are family.
MARK: I could also see it with the members that are here because if you pay attention to how they act, how they interact with one another, it’s like me coming from Miami Beach and you guys coming from mainland, it’s like the normal gyms especially in South Florida, it’s very much like, oh this is how I look and it’s all superficial. Here I see so many people that care about one another, they really want to connect with one another that are doing things to feel better about themselves, and are really hustling. I see a lot of the men and women in here working their asses off to try to get in shape but also, it’s more like a health thing too than it is about wanting my body to be a 10 kind of a thing.
JESS: Exactly. I think fitness in general is not only physical it’s also mental and that’s how we tried to create a space like you’re saying, it’s a family. We want people and I know that when I’ve walked into gyms in the past and I feel really nervous and anxious and that’s something that we wanted to completely avoid and we wanted people to come in, feel like family, feel like this is where they want to be when they’re not home. Their second home. It’s been fun for Michelle and I to watch so many friendships form, I mean there’s people that I know that have never been friends that are now friends. I made awesome friendships here. So, it’s really, really cool and it’s very rewarding to see that.
MARK: What about pricing? How did you guys come up with membership pricing and all that?
JESS: We wanted to be competitive within the market. So that was a big point for us and we wanted to make sure we looked at all the gyms around, what they’re offering, what we are offering, and what the quality of the service was and that’s kind of where we came up on those. We wanted to make sure we offered discounts for you know, the different groups like the military, the teachers, corporate sponsorships, that type of things, so we tried to provide a type of membership to every type of demographic.
MARK: Because the quality of the gym, the way it looks, the classes you have, the equipment, all of that speaks expensive. And the prices are very very reasonable. If you want to come out here and just workout just in the gym for instance, what’s the cost of that?
JESS: It’s 69, so if you just want to do the gym, it’s $69 a month on autopay. We also have a special going on where it’s for 6 months you get for $250.
MICHELLE: Yeah, $41 a month.
JESS: So that’s around $40 to 41 per month. And then we have our studio. We have our three tiers, it’s like gym only, studio only, then we have what we call the all access and that is where you get everything for one price of $129.
MARK: Right, which typically just the gym would be like $129, in most places.
JESS: Yup, for sure. If you go to a bigger city, too. If you want to get all of this, you’re going to probably be paying at least $150, so we’ve definitely made our prices affordable for everybody.
MICHELLE: And that’s why we do the intro specials, too. So, for the gym it’s $25 for the first month, so you can come in and check it out. For the classes it’s $30 for 30 days, same thing, we want you to be able to come and try it and see hey, is this a fit, and if it’s not then we don’t bind you to a contract. That’s what’s important to us, too is that we want you to be able to come and try it out and if you really believe that this is the place you want to be, awesome – stay.
MARK: Now tell me about the fun-ness that’s always happening around here because I walk in and right now we are sitting in a lobby area and you look and you wouldn’t normally typically see just energy drinks and water, which you do, but then you look lower and it’s like ¼ of the entire fridge is like wine, and booze and I always see on Instagram like the cartwheels out, like my grandfather’s cart with the glass and the glasses on there and the wine and women and men are coming out and they’re like drinking wine, tell me about that. How do you incorporate that because it’s so much fun?
JESS: Well something that we always try to put out there and let our members know is that we are about balance. We are about having fun, yes, it is important to obviously be strict to reach your fitness goals, but there’s always time for fun and that’s where we have some specialty classes. Meet me at the barre has been a hit since day one. It is and it’s a little play on words there that they come, they take a barre class and then afterwards you hang out and have a glass of wine with your friends, maybe two, and everyone just hangs out and once again that fun environment where you can hang out with your friends, meet new friends, meet up with old friends, it’s just something that we see very important to us.
MARK: No, you’re building and that’s the community part of the building. It’s not like you’re in and you’re out, you don’t speak to anybody next to you.
MICHELLE: Yeah, you come, you stay, you hang out.
MARK: I see that. I see that very much on social so speaking of that, how are you going about doing your marketing and stuff like that? Is it all word of mouth? I know you’re putting a lot of stuff on social, but are you doing paid social, what about all that?
JESS: We do a mixture, Instagram obviously and social media is huge. That’s a big component to our business that’s, well we started getting a following before we opened by social media. Just by putting what we are offering, what it’s going to be, just hyping it there. But then we also do advertising around the community with different corporate sponsorships, we do an Ad in some of the newspapers as well. Mostly we really focus on word of mouth, too. We want people to come in and try it out and say, hey that place is awesome, have you been there? Come with me. We are actually starting to do for all of our monthly memberships they can bring a friend, one friend for free every single month to try it out.
JESS: Yeah, that way people can come in who haven’t…
MARK: I call it the crack technique. You give them a little crack and then they just keep smokin’ it.
MICHELLE: Get them addicted. Yes.
JESS: So, we are just wanting people to come in and try it out because… MICHELLE: I think a lot of that is, and we’ve said from the beginning is that it’s just getting people to come through the doors. It has been difficult, but once they come in, we are fully confident that they’ll feel at home here and they’ll want to stay.
MARK: How’s business been going? How long have you been open?
MICHELLE: Since January 2nd.
MARK: Wow, so coming on a year, not even a year yet. And how’s it been?
MICHELLE: It flew by. It’s been amazing, we are growing every single month and it’s, well it’s been really really good.
MARK: Now, is this like an every month thing that you’re looking at the accounting and you’re going, okay we need to have this many memberships to hit this goal? Or, is this more of like, okay where we want to be in years from now?
MICHELLE: I think it’s both, I think for us we really have so many growth plans for FYT, like this is literally just the beginning. We have plans to go up and out and as many places as we can offer as much as we can. For us it’s about the long goal and continuing to grow the membership. The growing, the opportunity in the different things that you can do here at FYT is what it’s about.
MARK: That’s a good segway. Are you looking to create a brand in multiple cities? Or, expand in Key West? Or, can you not say?
JESS: No, we can say.
MICHELLE: I mean, I would…
JESS: Me and Michelle are always looking at the bigger picture you know? I’d love to have another location, like I said, we are learning the business as we go, so until obviously we fully grasp that and have that in place, then we can kind of…
MICHELLE: But we do the whole brand, like you said with the brand, I mean gosh I have friends from California wanting to buy our brand, the logo, they love the logo and we really tried to create a brand using our logo. That’s really worked out well for us.
JESS: Like we said, the biggest thing is that people and the feeling so we want to make sure we know exactly how that’s going to be somewhere else. Because you can’t replicate that, you have to create that. I think it’s important for us to continue to grow this to the size that we want it and the space and all of that, and then absolutely brand out.
MARK: Yeah, you said something that’s super important and it is taking that time. There’s a balance between when do we move onto the next location? And, when do we keep growing this? We think it’s a huge tree but it’s a tiny little sapling still so we need to nurture that thing so that you’re ready because there hasn’t been any economic downturns, there hasn’t been huge explosions and these are things that you work through. But the good news about that is, through both of those things when your customer isn’t a number and is a person, they keep coming back and that’s a huge benefit in what you’re creating here, that I see.
JESS: Well thank you.
MARK: Tell me and let’s go way back now. Michelle you first, way back, what kind of girl were you? Like a little girl when you were growing up?
MICHELLE: Well, if you’ve met my daughter Brantley, that’s exactly how I was. I was a total sass pot, you know, I am a middle child so I say I have middle child syndrome for sure. Yeah, I would say I was a little sass pot, a little bossy, knew what she wanted, super bubbly obviously, we are always butterflies and rainbows.
MARK: Did you know what you wanted to do? When you were young, were you like I want to be a veterinarian! Or, anything like that?
MICHELLE: No, when I was younger, I was definitely one of those “I want to be a professional cheerleader or a gymnast” that was really what I always dreamed about. I did cheer professionally, so I can mark that off, but outside of that, yeah that’s where I was when I was my daughter’s age.
MARK: Cool. Go.
JESS: So as for me, I was actually super quiet. Very shy kid, that’s surprising because I’m actually super super outgoing with everybody I meet, but yeah, I was super quiet, low key, opposite of Michelle apparently! But I did really know what I wanted to be for the longest time and I’m far from it, was that I wanted to own a hair salon and I must have said that since I was a little girl up until like, high school. Then that, well I don’t know what happened with that one.
MARK: Were you like going to friends and going, okay for $5 I’ll cut your hair.
JESS: Oh yeah, I was a hustler. I once sold potpourri to all of my neighbors for $5 and I took literally grass and leaves and mulch, and they all bought it. I made like $20! And I would also go around asking if people wanted to hear me sing? Which you have a good voice, I do not, so they would pay!
MARK: Did you think you had a good voice back then?
JESS: 100%, I thought I was the next Bette Midler! Which a lot of people probably don’t know her.
MICHELLE: Yeah, I had a little entrepreneurial side as well. I would put on camps with my cousin and we would charge the neighborhood young girls to come to our drama camps. That was kind of like my, I guess that was my passion for teaching shining through right there, but we would put on plays at my cousin’s house and we would actually make money doing it so it was kinda cool.
MICHELLE: We did that a few summers.
MARK: So, you learned, and that was the beginning seeds of this journey of where you are right now.
MICHELLE: Yeah, Jess and I both, we both were working since we were 14. We always had a job.
JESS: Always had a job, and I think that definitely instilled a good work ethic in both of us. Just knowing what’s expected out of someone and what you need to come in every single day, you need to be on it.
MARK: What’s the hardest lesson you’re learning? Or, have learned so far in doing this venture?
JESS: That’s a good question, I’ve gotta think about that one.
MICHELLE: The biggest lesson, or that’s been hardest is that we have to continue to evolve. That’s why we started is the most important, but we have to be open and starting with there’s so many things that we were so hard on, like this has to go this way. Or, this has to go this way, but that both of us have to stay open minded as things continue to get thrown at us, or evolve and remember the reason why we started but also be willing to backtrack and bend at some of those things so that we can continue to grow.
MARK: What are some of those things that you felt you can bend them?
JESS: I think just about the types of classes people want to see, or the times that people want to see, or different things with scheduling, or even employees. Being super specific about when to say, okay like we have 25 employees but some of them only work once a day. WE would love to have three employees and we thought at first let’s have three employees and they’ll work all the time. But we love that we have this mixture of 25 and they can only work one shift here and there but it’s what makes it work. So, I think switching on those things and like I said, scheduling, we were so dead set on this many classes at this many times and we are continuing to throw that out the window and say NO! Let’s start over.
MARK: So, your customers changed that for you. Yeah, it’s super important to listen because the ego can’t get involved on, I know what’s best because clearly you know somewhat what’s best, but people come here.
JESS: It’s a learning process and we are adding and subtracting classes all the time.
MARK: I see it all the time! You are always posting who wants this? Look what we just added, which is important.
MICHELLE: Yes, and we love doing market research with Instagram.
MICHELLE: It’s so important to and we always have said from the beginning that you’re always a student. We try to take that business mindset of like I said, being able to bend and listening to people, like what do you want? And it might not be what Jess and I want, or what we envisioned, but if that’s what they want, we are going to do everything we can to give it to them. So, I think just staying connected with that.
MARK: In starting the process, was there ever a moment which we all have in any business we’re doing, where you’re like wake up at 2 in the morning and you’re like, I don’t want to do this.
JESS: Oh my god.
MICHELLE: I think there were lots of tears, 100% during the building process, like hair falling out, this is the end, it was super stressful.
MARK: It’s a different mindset to work with somebody especially when they are family, than it is to go at this alone. So, was it comfort to have one another during those shedding the tears times? Or, did you find it like you would go alone during that time?
MICHELLE: I think it’s a mixture but for the most I found comfort in having, because we were both going through the same, you know…
JESS: We are constantly venting to each other.
MARK: You’re sharing the same Kleenex box.
MICHELLE: Yes, for sure. And I think having someone to do that with, and Jess and I have always been close since the minute we met. We just had an instant bond and so I think doing this together has been really amazing. Absolutely.
MARK: Biggest success so far here at the gym?
JESS: Biggest success, wow, let’s see?
MICHELLE: To me it’s just the vision coming to fruition. Like the people loving it, like that to me is our biggest success. We love seeing those people that literally have come to us and say, we’ve had people come and say, “This place has changed my life, I used to never go to a gym and I finally started coming to a gym for the first time in my life and I’m never going to stop coming.” Just seeing those changes in people.
JESS: I do think that’s a huge success. I think seeing people a huge amount of our members have not even gone to a gym for their entire life, so it’s cool to see that.
MICHELLE: It definitely is a huge success to see so many people that were not into fitness are now like, I can’t miss a day of FYT!
MARK: Biggest successes that have been coming has been watching people grow and change and I understand that because when you have a tech company or something like that it’s even harder, they call that an Avatar because you have to envision what your idea of customer looks like without ever seeing them. Sometimes you’re a couple of nerds in a closet doing all this work but you actually see the faces of your people. And not only do you see them all the time because you’re not a restaurant or you’re not a bar, you are seeing a transformation in people so you’ll see somebody who’s in their 20’s, 30’s or 40’s who’s never worked out a day in their life and maybe 30-40 pounds overweight and start and one year later a massive transformation. So, goosebumps for that, how does that make you two feel?
JESS: It’s the best. Absolutely.
MICHELLE: It is and I think just the mental change we see in people. We’ll have people that first come to a class that are shy and timid and they are by themselves and they stick to themselves and then within a month they have a whole group now in their class that they come 20 minutes early to socialize with and you know, they are doing outings outside with what we call their FYT family. Their group of friends that they created and I think that part is just as rewarding seeing those people totally blossom.
MARK: Well, hats off to you two because the way I see it is, I’ve worked with a number of different fitness type organizations before and I always say that the people that are part of your organization stem from the alphas. They stem from the leaders. If the leaders are assholes, they populate a bunch of little assholes. But you two are the people you see are a product of you, being bubbly, being fun, being open, starting a business, having them be a part of that world, letting them see the behind the scenes because a lot of times with social media it’s like everything perfect. Instead of here’s the behind the scenes, here’s the wine we’re drinking, we are at the pool, we are doing all these different things that people can see the real that comes out and you’re doing a great job doing that.
JESS: Thank you.
MICHELLE: Thank you.
MARK: What keeps you passionate about this business? And business?
JESS: What keeps us passionate? I keep wanting to say the same answer and I don’t want to get boring.
MICHELLE: That’s what’s hard.
MARK: It’s not, it’s important because sometimes people need to hear it.
JESS: We just finished discussing it and it’s seeing our members.
MICHELLE: The people, yeah 100%
JESS: The change in people. The success. That’s just something that really continues to keep us passionate.
MICHELLE: I thought the most rewarding thing, like not the number of members we have, not the bank account number, not the whatever it is – it’s 100% seeing the people change and seeing them love being here. It’s every time we teach a class and we walk out and someone was like, “Hey that was my first time and I’m so glad I’m here and loved it.” All of our instructors, there’s nothing better for us to hear.
MARK: You don’t have to be worried about, oh my God, I’m saying the same thing all the time, or I’m thinking the same thing about the business because that is the core. Taking care of your client, customers and the person that is now part of the family, that’s what is the most important and it’s even more so when people listen to podcasts like this and I’ve interviewed 20 people and most of them who are successful say the same thing.
MARK: You know, I just interviewed a couple of people before who are super successful, run super successful businesses and I’m like, “what keeps you going?” and he’s like the only thing that keeps me going is the people that – not even his customers – the people that work with him. And, it was so inspiring to hear that because he doesn’t need to do any more work, he doesn’t even need to care about all those people, but he’s like don’t ever call me boss. We work together. You don’t work for me, we work together. So, having that thought and that mindset you always want to keep that because then that keeps you humble to the business that you’re doing for sure.
MICHELLE: That’s kinda of where our name tribe came from. It’s wanting that feeling of it being about the people, about the tribe.
MARK: Name something that you guys do and Michelle you can go first, here at the gym that all of the people that come here don’t think that you do? Like hey I clean the toilets, or?
MICHELLE: We do that for sure, we do it all! Yes. There’s, well we do everything.
MARK: Name something that you do that you secretly like to do, like rolling the towels as an example.
MICHELLE: So, it’s tagging the merchandise. It’s one of the most, I mean, glorious things for me because you don’t have to think about anything and you have to do hundreds of them and you do tag- tag – tag.
MARK: The monotonous?
MICHELLE: The monotony of it, I love it. Rolling towels would probably be one of them, cooling towels, I’d say those are probably my favorites.
JESS: Geez, what? Rolling towels and tagging merchandise is not something that I’m excited about, that’s for sure.
MARK: It’s a secret thing, it could be anything. Like smelling the towels when they come out of the drier.
JESS: Oh god, everybody knows me around here, I smell everything, it’s weird. I have to think about this one. Something I secretly like doing?
MICHELLE: You obsessively do.
MARK: Do you secretly want to go in and be with the kids? All the time?
JESS: Oh gosh!
MICHELLE: She does!
JESS: I scare the kids for some reason that’s why.
MARK: It’s the teacher commenting on this.
JESS: That’s actually a good one because I do love, and there’s usually a baby in there crying and I’m the queen of going in there and taking them out and like, making sure they’re okay.
MICHELLE: You and Harrison.
JESS: I do do that a lot and people probably don’t know I do that? Sometimes I’m in there when parents come out and I’m like playing on the floor with their kids and they’re like, oh.
MARK: So, you’re like tiny tribe mom.
JESS: So, I definitely do that a lot and of course enjoy it. I just love kids and yeah that’s definitely something for sure.
MARK: I know I keep asking these maybe further out there questions but, what legacy do you want to leave behind? Not personal, for the business.
JESS: For me, for the business I would say because I say this all the time is just the importance that it comes to the tribe aspect and sharing love and light and just always being open to people and giving them your all and wanting them – giving them a little bit of happiness and hoping that that spreads. So, I say that for me is such a big thing at FYT is wanting to have that atmosphere and that atmosphere continue to grow outside of it.
MICHELLE: Yeah, that’s a great answer.
MARK: She gave me a thumbs up on that one. Okay good. We have come to the end of the business questions and now we come to the very important personal questions. The deep, secret, personal ones.
JESS: Now I’m sweating.
MARK: The great personal ones and they’re not that deep. What’s your favorite event to go to?
MICHELLE: Oh! Ours is both the same. Songwriter’s Festival.
JESS: Yes, in Key West! I tell everybody that that is the best thing that ever happens in Key West. Songwriter’s Fest.
MICHELLE: Yes, it was so fun.
MARK: No, I love it. I’ve been doing some work with Nadene who’s over at We Got the Keys, and you know, she’s been with them almost from the beginning and a lot of the stories she’ll tell is that there are so many musicians that will come here and they don’t just come and play and leave. They show up and this bar, and this bar, and watch other musicians so they kinda like live it themselves.
MICHELLE: Yeah, it’s so cool.
JESS: Our first one was two years ago and this year, we were like we need to clear our schedules a month in advance – we were ready.
MARK: You’re all ready for it. What about favorite restaurant to go to?
JESS: Oooh, I have a lot. I love Prime, I love Santiago’s, I love all the sushi spots like Miso Happy and the new one, what’s that other new one?
MARK: I don’t know that one.
MICHELLE: Sushi Song.
JESS: Yeah, Sushi Song, I love that, that’s a great place very welcoming. Family environment, not family – sorry didn’t mean to say family – but it’s definitely like us they make you feel at home.
MICHELLE: Yeah, I love those places, those are probably my top two.
MARK: What about hidden local spot that most tourists don’t know about?
JESS: Oh, hidden local spot?
MICHELLE: I feel like General Horseplay, but I also…
JESS: It’s not super-hidden but it’s definitely like a lot of…
MICHELLE: I feel like every time I go it’s all locals.
JESS: Every time I go there, I see tons of people I know, locals. Pretty much all locals.
MICHELLE: It’s not really hidden, but yeah.
MARK: What about best place for happy hour?
JESS: I really love…
MICHELLE: Key West!
JESS: Yeah! It’s free so you can’t really beat it.
MICHELLE: What’s that place, I think it’s called Boat House?
MARK: I think it’s Boat House.
JESS: I’ve never been there.
MICHELLE: I always want to call it different things, Boat Yard because there’s like a boatyard in Fort Lauderdale. Boat House has a phenomenal happy hour because the drinks and the food are super cheap.
MICHELLE: For me, anywhere that has Blue Moon is the best happy hour.
MARK: So, every bar on the island is the best.
MICHELLE: I swear it’s a unique one.
MARK: Where could people find you guys if you want to get personal, Instagram or anything that’s fine, or if you just want to do regular FYT ones. I’ll put all this in the show notes so you fire away. Website.
MICHELLE: Oh, our website, we are www.FYTKeyWest.com and then our Instagram is FYTKeyWest.
MARK: No Twitter?
JESS and MICHELLE: No Twitter!
MICHELLE: We don’t do Twitter, that still confuses me.
MICHELLE: SnapChat, too. I want to get on it, but it’s like…
JESS: My six-year-old shows me every time but I still can’t…
MARK: Any LinkedIn?
JESS and MICHELLE: No.
MARK: Any Facebook?
JESS and MICHELLE: Instagram and Facebook, all the way. Keep it simple.
MARK: Perfect. The last and most important question that I always end with, and I’m going to let you go first Jess because you’ve been going second a lot. So, you get to go first, with a tip of the day and this could be a new App you’re playing with, a weighted blanket you love, a new hair product, new toothpaste, it can be anything.
JESS: A tip of the day, and every day, drink your H2O. Is that a good tip?
MARK: I like it, that’s a great one!
MICHELLE: Can I take that one? Because that’s a good one.
MARK: No. You cannot. You have to have your own. It’s the last one.
MICHELLE: Mine would be to find balance, so drink your H2O and have a glass of wine.
JESS: There we go!
MARK: I like it, so it’s hydration from both of you just in a different way.
JESS: Balance and dehydration.
MARK: Awesome ladies, this was great thank you so much!
JESS and MICHELLE: Thank you so much, Mark!
MARK: You’re welcome. Okay, bye, everybody.