THE FACE BEHIND THE BUSINESS: Tonya Vidito

Chicago NPC Bikini designer

Tonya Vidito (bikini designer, personal trainer, model, gym owner)

There are some people, when we meet them, we are instantly intrigued. That’s exactly what happened when I met Tonya Vidito. In the Spring of 2014, we were on the same bodybuilding team competing together at a local NPC show. I remember getting ready the day of the show and having my coach literally tape me into my bikini, fix my make up and fluff my hair (believe me, a lot goes on behind the scenes for those 20 seconds on stage). Meanwhile, Tonya walks in looking perfect from head to toe without any assistance. Imagine a blonde Jessica Rabbit and you have Tonya.

Besides her obvious outward beauty, she’s also an intelligent businesswoman. Not only is she a bikini competitor, she’s also a model, personal trainer, gym owner, fitness instructor, bootcamp leader, and she owns and designs her very own custom bikini line. Pretty much, this girl has her hands in everything while making it all look so simple.

Thankfully, Tonya is giving us a glimpse into what it takes to be a female business owner in an industry that’s littered with men and as a bonus – she’s even supplied us with a few workouts (girls – we can trust her… she pretty much lives in a bikini)…

Dumbbell Blonde: It seems like you live and breath fitness. How did you get started in the industry?
Tonya: I have always been active but didn’t start getting serious until I started working with a personal trainer and fell in love.  You can say it basically changed my life.  In return, I wanted to do the same thing for others.  I started personal training at the gym I now own!!!!  Great story, right!?

DBB: That is a good story! What do you love about fitness?
T: The people I meet – I have been blessed with amazing and supportive training clients.  There is not a day where I don’t go to work and just gut laugh!  Not many people can say they LOVE their job.  I often get clients and boot campers that come up to me and say, “thank you” – It gets me every time!  I say the same thing back because with out them I wouldn’t be where I’m at today.

DBB: Speaking of your success, how did you start your bikini line – Fantasy Girl Bikini’s?
T: Someone didn’t get a be-dazzler as a kid so I’m making up for it now 🙂  My husband (Nick) actually bought me my first expensive bikini and I was hooked.  I wanted every color so it made sense for me to start making them.  I had never even used a sewing machine and I went straight into making suits – THE HARDEST fabric you could work with right off the bat.  I laugh at my first bikini because it looked like I made a suit for a toddler.

DBB: What type of bikinis do you make?
T: I only do NPC competitor suits right now.  My goal is to have a designer collection out by next spring.

DBB: Seeing that you practically live in a bikini, what advice can you give someone looking to get into swimsuit shape?
T: Stick to a plan and stay consistent.  For anyone getting ready for bikini season I recommend picking something that will help you stay on track and keep with your goals. For example, workout with a trainer, sign up for your favorite classes like bootcamp or yoga or enter a 5k.

DBB: Being so busy and having so much business diversity, what is the hardest part about being an entrepreneur?
T: All the mistakes!  I have a smile on my face when I say this.   This is the hardest part for owners that had a solid business plan and nothing goes as PLANNED.  This is also the best part of being a business owner.  Making mistakes isn’t always a bad thing  – it teaches you to learn from them and to grow for the better.

DBB: What advice would you give to someone looking to open up their very own business?
T: Don’t be afraid to make the mistakes.  Jump right in and give it your all and don’t be afraid to fail. Also its ok if you can’t do it all!  Delegate and have a good team of employees to back you.  For the longest time I alway wanted to do everything myself. As soon as I let go of that control and trusted other to help, I have been more successful!

teal npc bikini suit

Custom NPC Bikini by Fantasy Girl Bikinis

DBB: Ok final questions – what color do brunettes and blondes look best in when picking out swimsuits?
T: Blondes look beautiful in red and golds. I see a lot of brunettes wear blue on stage. I personally like a teal for darker hair although I think red looks good on everyone!

DBB: Thank you Tonya!

Luckily for us, Tonya has supplied some awesome recommendations to get bikini ready following a 3 day split which includes upper body, back, and legs (a workout she has titled “ouchy”, so it has to be awesome).

If you’re interested in having Tonya make your custom competition suit, you can order directly online or show her some love by visiting her company Facebook page. Don’t forget to check out her awesome workouts, too HERE!

Happy Friday!
-DBB