Daphne Mustafa, along with her husband Bernard, is a Co-Founder and COO of WB20 in Ashburn. WB EMS is fitness technology has been widely used outside of the U.S. for many years by celebrities and athletes such as Usain Bolt. Efficient, safe, and effective, the WB20 personal training experience offers a great alternative to the gym. Hear her entrepreneurial story in this next installment of the Loudoun Chamber’s Black History Month profiles of local Black business owners.
Where were born and raised and, if it was someplace else, when and why did you come to Loudoun?
I am a first generation American. My parents were immigrants, my mother from Cuba and my father from Honduras. They settled in New York City. I was born in the Bronx and grew up in uptown Manhattan, in Harlem.
I moved to Northern Virginia in 1995 after accepting a position with Sprint’s business division. When my husband and I began house hunting, we quickly realized Reston was out of our price range and considered Loudoun County. We found our Broadlands home and moved to Loudoun in 1999. We are still very happy about that decision!
How long have you been in business?
We started this business one and a half years ago. Once the FDA approved a wireless version of whole body electrical muscle stimulation (WB EMS), we made the decision to bring the technology to the US fitness industry. It’s widely used in Europe. The technology is designed to be used by personal trainers and the newly approved version meant it no longer was restricted by the length of a power cord. Trainers could use it outdoors, in clients’ homes or workplaces, and of course in the gym. WB20, our WB EMS powered personal training studio, opened in August 2020. It is a private, by appointment only fitness studio. There are typically no more than 2 clients in the studio at a time. This was the concept even before the COVID 19 situation.
How did you get into this line of work?
After Bernard sold his company, Pleasant Valley Business Solutions, in February 2018, we decided to start a family business and build something together with our kids. We realized our family’s collective experience and passion in the areas of tech, business, health information management, fitness and sports psychology could be used to deliver products and services that integrate technology with fitness to improve our client’s fitness and wellness. That is how the concept of BE FIT Technologies began. Our first technology is Whole Body Electro Muscle Stimulation. Our new fitness studio is branded WB20.
Have you had any special mentors or inspirations that guided your career?
I have had several. I guess the first and most powerful inspiration came from my parents. Moving to a strange land, with few resources seems unthinkable to me today, but they did it. Not only did they survive, but they managed to thrive here.
What is the best part of your job and why?
Even though restricted by the pandemic, in my mask, I get to meet lots of fabulous people who are each fascinating in their own way, and because my business is located in Ashburn they are also my neighbors. The thing that is rewarding is seeing how WB EMS training helps our clients become stronger, and more fit.
What is it like owning/running a business in Loudoun?
I am new to this, but there is something special about Loudoun. So far, it seems like the perfect place. We were able to find a great location for the studio in University Commerce Center working with Golston Real Estate. The build out of our space, including permitting went smoothly. No complaints.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
Black History Month is a time to celebrate the contributions of Black people in our country that are typically overlooked. It is a month to remind ourselves to look past stereotypes.
What are some of your favorite things to do when you are not working?
I love to eat out, and I love live music of all kinds. I will be very happy when we can all gather and enjoy those things together again. I am also a charter member of the new Loudoun County (VA) Chapter of the Links Incorporated. Our organization is dedicated to community service, and I work with a group of amazing women of color trying to make a difference in Loudoun.
Check out Daphne and Bernard Mustafa’s business, WB20 here!