Couple takes on new career challenges
Jomo and Courtney Legins share an affinity for many things: their three boys, their alma mater – UNC-Chapel Hill – music, and fitness among them.
“If we take care of our bodies, we can expect them to take care of us when we’re older,” said Courtney, a competitive body builder and certified personal trainer. “Jomo and I have a mantra, ‘the best gift we can give to each other is a healthy body.’”
This year, the couple, who married eight years ago, discovered they also shared an entrepreneurial spirit. Both of them are operating independent business ventures. She is offering community fitness classes several times a week through her company, C-More Legs, and he is the proud owner of Jomo’s Rhythm n’ Blues, a new club for the “grown and sexy” crowd that is slated to open next month.
As the owner of JLK Print Graphics and Screen-Printing Company for the last 12 years, Jomo, who played football at Carolina, is no stranger to self-employment, but it wasn’t until he was laid off from his longtime position at R.J. Reynolds in February that he turned his attention to the nightclub in earnest. He had acquired the building at 3301 North Liberty St. six years earlier with the intention of starting his own business but had abandoned the idea because of the demands of his full-time job. He had leased the building to a tenant, but it had been vacant for several months.
In recent months, he has spent time and energy renovating and redecorating the building to create just the right atmosphere for the classy adult crowd he hopes to attract
“Our focus is definitely on that romantic couples’ atmosphere,” explained the city native. “I wanted a place I could bring my wife and have a good time. I don’t feel comfortable taking my wife to a club.”
The private club will celebrate its grand opening with a weekend of activities beginning on Aug. 10, Jomo’s 37th birthday. Legins said he envisions it as a venue where a wide range of creative talents will take the stage and entertain guests in a relaxed, upscale atmosphere. Membership will range from $5 to $20 a month, Jomo said. Courtney, a singer and pianist, will be among those who grace the club’s stage, he added.
“The plan is to have as much live music as possible. We want to mix in poetry and karaoke,” he explained. “We want to be a place where everybody can come and have something different because I don’t see anything like this in Winston-Salem.”
Courtney, a banking executive, had taught fitness classes at the Fulton Family YMCA for the better part of the last eight years and said she was content in doing so, but said Jomo was constantly encouraging her to reach for higher heights.
“My husband used to say ‘You’re always giving away all this free advice – you could be making money.’ I did all this just to shut his mouth, really,” she joked. “…I wouldn’t have the business if it wasn’t for him.”
Though she founded C-More Legs – a play on her name (Courtney Moore Legins) – in 2008, Courtney said she hadn’t thought much about making a living through the fitness company until earlier this year, when her classes at the Y became so popular that she had to start holding them in the facility’s gymnasium to accommodate the crowd. Then she was asked to lead a Zumba event for WXII 12’s Transformation Nation community weight loss campaign; she began to realize she had a following.
“I just kept praying about it,” related the Winston-Salem First member. “I said, ‘Lord, if this is what You want me to do, the doors will open.’”
And open they did. In April, she was invited to host a Zumba benefit class at Forsyth Academy, a K-8 charter school at 5426 Shattalon Drive, and a partnership was born. She now teaches three classes a week at the school that draw between 50-75 participants. Fees for the program are $5 per class or $27 for a five-week session.
“(The school is) also starting a wellness program for the staff this year, so this has been phenomenal because it was exactly what they were looking for,” she remarked. “It’s a perfect partnership.”
The New Bern native says she has no plans to follow her husband into full-time self employment, but she’s learned a lot from watching him.
“I have so much respect for the entrepreneurial spirit in him because when he does something, he finishes it,” related the 35 year-old.
Coutney described her success as “surreal,” but it came as no surprise to her husband.
“She couldn’t believe it, but I could believe it,” said Jomo, 36, who hopes to become a consultant for startup companies someday. “I knew what she could do.”
Jomo’s Rhythm n’ Blues is currently looking for artists and musicians. For more information, visit www.jomoblues.com. For more information about C-More Legs, visit www.cmorelegs.com, and for more information about JKL Print, visit www.jklprint.com.