Hakika DuBose ’06 proved herself to be a woman to watch after being recognized as the youngest female franchisor in the United States. When DuBose graduated from Montclair State majoring in dance, she went on to pursue a professional career within the industry. Feeling constricted by the cookie-cutter roles that she had to force herself into to succeed, she realized just how important her individuality truly was to her. DuBose stated, “I wanted to create my own new thing, I just didn’t know what that was yet.” It was time for a change of pace.
Now at a crossroads, DuBose had two choices laid out in front of her; either return to school for a masters in Nutrition, or start her own business. While in the process of making her decision, a family member reminded her that most businesses fail within the first five years, and for DuBose that was the tipping point. Laughing, DuBose mused, “Now, just because you think I can’t do it, I’m going to prove you wrong.” And prove them wrong she did. With just five hundred dollars in her pocket, DuBose, founded Hakika Stretch Studios, an entirely unique business of her own. Using her knowledge of stretching and education in dance she coined the Kika Method, a form of passive stretching. At Kika Stretch Studios, clients are able to purchase private, one-on-one sessions with trained specialists who help guide them through a series of 35 interconnected stretches. Pulling from past instruction she received at Montclair State, she was able to perfect a stretch routine that is guided by the client’s breathing pattern, making it unique to every individual.
Founded in 2011, Kika Stretch Studios is a trailblazer in the ongoing pursuit of physical well being. After intense planning and preparation, DuBose collaborated with a team of developers in order to expand her business and create a franchise. Now as the youngest female franchisor in the United States, she has been able to pull from her experiences over the last seven years to help train others in daily operations and sell her services across the country. DuBose has recently developed a new product line, flexibilitybykika, a 100% natural spray that clients can use to maintain flexibility in the comfort of their own home. The product will be launching online next week.
One fear DuBose faced when opening her business up to franchising, was losing the personal relationships and close environment she had developed in the workplace. Within her studios, her coworkers are family and she makes it her job to engage with colleagues and clients alike. To DuBose, this is not a numbers game, “if you truly care about your business, you won’t sell to just anyone,” and only those who understand her mission are allowed on board.
She left us with quite a lot of advice to those who are looking to manifest their own success. DuBose consistently stressed the importance of pursuing your passion, “major in what you love, not just something you want a job in.” She understands the necessity of believing in yourself and not allowing fear to stand in your way leaving us with an inspiring statement, “Don’t allow obstacles to stop you from achieving success. People are afraid of the unknown, but you can’t always let that stop you from pursuing your dreams.”