Founders of Fit with Finesse, CaCera & Shawnie, discuss their fitness journey, why they started the blog, and the moment they became friends.



How did you first get in to fitness?
In 2011, I made a big move. I packed up my truck and headed from Mississippi to Los Angeles to begin working at a PR agency. I knew one person when I moved to LA and would spend most of my time after work in front of the television. I began going to the gym simply to have something else to do. I started out taking Zumba classes, which then turned into taking any class that sounded interesting to me. Now, my motto is, "I'll try any work out at least once."

Why did you want to start blogging?
We are wired to share and talk about the things we love, right? As I begun to share the workouts I tried, weight changes, and journey into building muscle, I began to get a lot of the same questions from friends and family. As I paid attention more to the community I was building, the faces I saw in class, and the images portrayed by fitness studios, I realized I was missing. There are amazing women of color making huge strides in the fitness community, but we are still largely unrepresented in mainstream media and advertising. I wanted to blog as a way to share my journey, be a voice for those who look like me, and help build a real community.

When did you know Shawnie was your #swolemate?
It wasn’t just one moment. It was a series of moments. There was a point in time where we were both working toward different fitness and career goals. Once a week, we would go workout at different places, and then meet at Starbucks in Marina del Rey. Over coffee (or tea, if you were training for your first fitness competition) we had so many real conversations about our goals, our frustrations, not seeing other people that looked like us in whatever recent class we’d tried, and would often plan out the next studio to visit. It was over that time period when I was like, “This is my ride-or-die chick! She understands me!”

What is your favorite workout?
Circuit training. I’m a true Leo, meaning I am forever bored and “over it.” Through circuit- and interval-style workouts, I can still work on building muscle while constantly incorporating new moves, new equipment and various ways to move my body.

What do you want to get out of this journey?
More than anything, I hope to be a voice and small source of inspiration for women of color. Whether it’s through promoting balance, finding new ways to push yourself, or a fitness tip someone adopts here or there, I hope Fit with Finesse becomes its own strong community.

When I’m not picking up weights, I am…
Packing a bag! I love to travel, read everything I can get my hands on, eat pizza, and watch reruns of A Different World. 



How did you first get in to fitness?

I first took full control of my health and wellness journey in college. It was the first time I had access to a full gym and could make healthy decisions on my own. Dreading the Freshman 15, I was determined to take advantage of the resources. I was doing two-a-days before I knew what two-a-days were, and eating salads every day that first semester. Looking back, it was a little crazy, but I felt great!           

After graduating from college, I spent years trying out different workouts. I cannot count how many things I tried from training for a half-marathon to performing at a burlesque pole-dancing show. Working out makes me feel like the most powerful being in the universe, and that I can take on anything life has to throw at me.  This empowering feeling is what I strive for every day. And I love when I get to share that feeling with others.

Why did you want to start blogging?
When I trained for my first bikini competition, it opened my eyes to a new world of health and wellness. I already loved working out and eating healthy, but getting on stage required me to be next-level fit. I started sharing little parts of my journey on social media to help me build confidence. As my body transformed for the stage, I started getting a lot of questions about my workouts, meal plans, and general questions about health. I am excited to provide a space to share things that I have learned over the years and build a community of like-minded women of color.

When did you know CaCera was your #swolemate?
For a long time, I felt like people did not understand my passion for health and wellness. As crazy as it sounds, I was doing things alone for years until I met CaCera. Every fitness event, workout class, and hike created a space for in-depth conversations, random dancing in the street, and loud laughs.  One day I looked up, and she was my best friend, my partner in crime, and the other brown girl in the room! Lol! I’m so excited to be on this journey with her! I mean, she saved my life from a whole snake!

What is your favorite workout?
Boxing. Nothing makes me feel more like a beast than wrapping up and hitting a bag.  I also love getting back to roots through African Dance class with live drums. Now if only I could find a way to combine the two, that would be amazing.  

What do you want to get out of this journey?

I want Fit with Finesse to be a fun resource for women to explore all things fitness, healthy eating, and wellness, with a little bit of culture!

When I’m not picking up weights, I’m...
A total nerd! I love sitting in my local bookstore, listening to podcasts, watching anime, and traveling.