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‘When something of this magnitude happens, the first people you want to talk to are your kids.’

katherine rivera flip out
Owner of Flip Out, Katherine Rivera, flexes with staff and students for portraits in their gymnasium. (Photo by Khysir Carter)

Katherine Rivera

Owner of Flip Out Productions, a gymnastics center at 2757 Frankford Ave. 

Interviewed in July 2021

Editor’s note: The following responses have been edited for clarity and brevity.

1. How were things for you and your business in the beginning of the pandemic? How would you compare the state of your business from then to now?

So we ended up closing on Friday [before they shut the city down completely]. I brought my staff in on Saturday. And I was like, “Alright, well, what do we do now?” And we immediately started making content for the kids at home. When something of this magnitude happens, the first people you want to talk to are your kids. You want to keep them comfortable and able to say hello to friendly faces that they know. 

So we started making YouTube videos. We read stories to the kids. We created 10- to 15-minute preschool videos, made workout videos, and let our community know that we were still there for them in whatever way we could. 

Later on, we started to learn more about Zoom, and we offered free Zoom classes to the community during all of April, May, and June. And then we reopened the last week of June. 

2. Can you describe how the City of Philadelphia has supported business owners throughout the pandemic? Have you felt supported by the city?

I received a grant, which was extremely helpful during the time we were closed. It was very accessible to find that grant to apply for it. It helped keep my staff employed when we weren’t receiving any money. And it allowed us to do free classes for the community. 

3. Can you share your experience with managing safety in your business throughout the pandemic? (mask mandates, capacity restrictions, social distancing, etc.)

My experience was like, “What’s happening? How do I create the safest space possible?” So cleanliness, staggered appointments, wearing masks, social distancing, and having less people in the gym at a time. What’s great about the gym is you’re at a station here, you’re at a station there. It’s an independent sport. It’s not like you’re on top of each other. 

4. What is the best way for people to support your business?

Join a class, come and talk to us, post your pictures, and be involved. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook and like our photos, and bring your kids.


Editors: Khysir Carter, Jillian Bauer-Reese, Solmaira Valerio, Zari Tarazona / Designer: Henry Savage

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