Tatum Crews’ path into franchising was guided by a deep-seated love for sports and a fervent dedication to health and fitness during her formative years. Her passion led her to explore Orangetheory Fitness right after college, where she got her start in the franchising space. Witnessing the transformative effect of empowering individuals to achieve their wellness goals and guiding franchisees towards their professional and entrepreneurial aspirations became her calling. Over the course of more than a decade in the franchising industry, she has amassed a wealth of experience, further intensifying her commitment to personal and professional growth. 

“Throughout this journey, I’ve steadfastly adhered to the philosophy that one should work for the job they want, not the job they have,” shared Crews, CEO of The Covery. “It’s a mantra that’s guided me as I diligently honed my skills and expertise.” 

In 2022, Crews joined The Covery, a boutique Wellness Spa brand offering a diverse collection of non-invasive therapies that work to strengthen both the mind and body; joining with the goal of empowering individuals to reach their wellness objectives. Starting her journey with them as the Vice President of Franchise Development, she was able to put that goal into action by guiding franchisees towards both professional and entrepreneurial success, seamlessly blending her dual passions into one fulfilling role. 

After years of unwavering dedication and a relentless pursuit of excellence at The Covery, the opportunity to step up into the role of CEO presented itself. Tatum instinctively knew that it was the right path for her as she looked for the next step to propel her towards her personal career aspirations. 

“In this new role, I am determined to lead The Covery Wellness Spa to even greater heights and am committed to fostering a culture of achievement and empowerment, both for our valued members and our dedicated franchisees,” continued Tatum.


A Balancing Act: Work-Life Balance and Gender Bias in Franchising

Work-life balance plays an imperative role in Crews’ success as a leader and entrepreneur. Being a mom and a wife on top of being a business professional and first-time franchisee, having just announced her plans to open her own The Covery location in Jacksonville, can be challenging. Juggling all of her responsibilities and putting 100% effort into each of them is no easy task, and it requires a strong focus on prioritizing and setting boundaries. Despite these challenges, Tatum has achieved balance through careful prioritization, effective time management, and a commitment to maintaining clear boundaries between her professional and personal life.

In addition to managing the demands of her numerous goals, Tatum has confronted gender bias within the franchising industry, navigating challenges in a predominantly male-dominated field. Reflecting on these experiences Crews remarked, “I’ve encountered instances where my gender and age were barriers to being taken seriously. To overcome this, I consistently demonstrate my knowledge and dedication through hard work, letting my results speak louder than any preconceived notions.”

Navigating a predominantly male-dominated industry as a woman comes with its unique challenges. Success in this environment demands a combination of diligence, self-confidence, networking, mentorship, and a commitment to advocating for gender equality. Crews underscores the significance of women continuously pursuing their goals and actively participating in driving change from within, working towards a future that is more inclusive and equitable.


Fostering Diversity: A Vision for a More Inclusive Franchising Industry

Her role as CEO marked a significant stride toward fostering greater gender diversity in the wellness franchising space as she stands out as one of the few women in the industry ascending to a leadership position. Notably, Club Automation highlights that women make up around 70% of the global health and wellness workforce, but they hold only 25% of leadership roles. 

Tatum has noticed improvements in the opportunities and support available to women in franchising over the course of her career, specifically in increased awareness and diversity initiatives. There is a growing consciousness of the need for greater gender diversity and industry associations are actively promoting the inclusion of women in leadership and franchisee roles. In fact, many franchising companies have initiated diversity and inclusion programs to encourage women to take on franchise ownership and leadership roles, providing mentorship opportunities and financial incentives. Crews’ promotion to CEO accentuates The Covery’s commitment to becoming more diverse and leading the way in the industry by putting women in positions of power and implementing diversity in their hiring processes. 

“I hope to see a franchising industry that reflect the diversity of the wider population, with women playing a significant role at all levels,” said Crews. “This shift towards greater gender diversity and inclusivity in franchising is not only a reflection of societal process, but also a sound business strategy that can drive innovation and growth. By creating an environment where individuals of all backgrounds are empowered and encouraged to participate fully, the franchising industry can continue to thrive and evolve in positive ways.”


Transformative Leadership: Navigating Challenges and Leading The Covery to New Heights

Effective communication is essential for success in franchising. Crews’ experiences have highlighted the importance of clear and open conversations with everyone invested in The Covery brand, from employees to franchisees.

“I’ve developed a communication style that encourages collaboration, active listening, and transparency, which helps build trust and alignment,” said Crews. “This communication style has allowed me to set a productive and welcoming tone for the entire organization, where staff and partners feel comfortable sharing their concerns and ideas.” 

Since the franchising industry is constantly evolving, and her experiences have emphasized the need for continuous learning and adaptation, she encourages a culture of striving for knowledge within her organization and regularly seeks out opportunities to stay informed about industry trends and innovations. As a female CEO, she understands that she serves as a role model for others, especially women looking to advance in their careers. She takes this responsibility seriously and aims to set a positive example through her leadership style, work ethic, and commitment to gender equality in the workplace. These lessons have not only benefited her own leadership journey, but have also contributed to creating a more comprehensive and supportive business environment.