The Founder of TRILLFIT Is on a Mission to Be the Most Inclusive Wellness Brand in America

The 34-year-old CEO started the company in 2015 as a one-time pop-up dance class.
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Heather White, CEO of TRILLFIT, is motivated to make space for the traditionally marginalized in fitness. When she landed a marketing job at Puma in 2013, she gained access to a fancy gym for the first time and recognized the disparity.

“That’s the first time I had access to a corporate membership at a really incredible luxury gym,” the Boston College graduate said. “Once I started going there, I realized that the only people of color that I saw in this space were the facility staff, and they were cleaning the floor. I was like, Black people need a place to work out — what does that look like?”

She’s now on a mission to increase accessibility to fitness and health opportunities for LGBTQ and POC communities.

“We want to diversify the wellness industry and show people that there’s a different way,” White told People about her company, TRILLFIT. “ We want to be united with public health and extend the lives of people of color.”

The 34-year-old knows that accessibility starts with expanding equity.

“We’re all too familiar with the reality that wellness isn’t delivered equally in black and brown neighborhoods, and in places where wellness services are abundant, people of color are often invisible and excluded,” she continued. “Mission TRILL is our pledge to promote health outcomes in communities of color by providing increased access to our programming, supporting the initiatives of local organizations that focus on achieving health equity, and fostering collaboration with public and private sectors to redefine what wellness experiences look like and feel like.”

Heather White, Founder of TRILLFIT.

Heather White, Founder of TRILLFIT.

TRILLFIT started as a one-time hip hop-inspired workout pop up. People were pleased, and White brought back (and sold-out) the event a second, and third, and fourth time. The hip-hop term “trill,” meaning genuine and authentic, is a combination of the words “true” and “real.”

“I feel like hip hop is a great democratizer in terms of culture, style, music, everything," White added, drawing parallels to the vibes of each class. "Hip hop, R&B, and music from the islands make up the soundtrack to our classes, which include cardio dance, sculpt, cardio boxing and yoga.”

When White started the business in 2015, she had no fitness knowledge or background — she studied English and Poetry in college.

That’s how TRILLFIT began, and White admits she had a lot of doubts in the beginning about if she was the right person for the job.

“For the first two years of TRILLFIT when we were doing pop-ups, in the back of my mind I was like, ‘Do we have the credibility to do this?’” she asked herself. “It’s already hard enough to feel like you are credible to do a thing being a Black young woman in America.”

But her persistence paid off, and in 2019, she opened her first official studio in Boston’s Mission Hill neighborhood. When COVID-19 hit a year later, White and her team transitioned to online workouts and kept them free. After all, accessibility is the main pillar of their work. They started to see people in Singapore, Uganda and other places around the world and it was rewarding to see the growth.

White is a New York native, so her next big goal is to open a studio in her home state.

“We came across a really incredible deal for a beautiful space that’s like five times the size of Boston. So it’s a really, really big extension,” she said about the new Brooklyn studio, set to open next year. “We’re chugging on this train and now that we’re working to raise capital, we’re on this plan to open 18 studios across the next 10 years.”

Ananya Panchal


Ananya Panchal is a NYC-based Lifestyle & Trending News writer at SI Swimsuit. Before joining the Swim team, the Boston University Alum worked for culture & entertainment beats at Bustle, The San Francisco Chronicle and the TODAY Show. When Ananya is not writing or doom-scrolling on social media, she can be found playing sudoku, rewatching One Tree Hill or trying new restaurants. She's also a coffee and chocolate (separately) enthusiast.