Landrum Wanderings: She’s walked the walk

Published 9:41 pm Monday, January 12, 2015

By Linda List

Over the past few months I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to visit with several women business owners. They’ve told their stories and filled me in on what led them to open a business. Often unfortunate circumstances led them down this path and many have credited God helping them find their way.

This week I visited Curves in Landrum to talk with Katie Freeman. She had a story I didn’t expect and it’s one I’m anxious to share with my readers. I think you will be as engrossed as I was.

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Katie is the present owner of Curves in Landrum, a workout program for women of all ages. As we sat down to talk, Katie delved right into her story. Her husband, Marine Lance Cpl. Ronald D. Freeman was killed in Afghanistan on April 28, 2011. This was also her daughter’s first birthday and her son was just 10 days old.

Her husband was sweeping for mines, but was unable to detect a plastic mine, the first plastic mine found in Afghanistan. When he stepped forward, it blew up. Katie and her family were living in Florida at the time and it was during her daughter’s first birthday party when the Marine Corps officials pulled up to the house bearing the news of her husband’s death.

Katie relates, “I’m not sure how, but I managed to remain calm, ushering them away from the party. I told them we could deal with all the details and paperwork tomorrow. Eventually I went outside and collapsed in the yard sobbing. All I could think was that my life was completely in God’s hands. I prayed and told Him I knew He had a masterpiece for my life. He has been there for me, every step of the way.”

Growing up, Katie’s father was a Marine and they seldom lived in any one place more than two years. She always spent her summers in Landrum visiting her aunt and uncle, Jim and Linda Clement.

“Landrum symbolized stability for me. I had fond memories of my summers here, so Landrum is where I came to feel some calm and figure out my future,” she reminisces. “I was here a very short time when I knew this was where I wanted to be. I knew it was part of God’s plan for me. I called my Mom and Dad and told them I needed them,” said Katie.

She continued, “They dropped everything, left their jobs, their home and came to Landrum. We formed a new family, me, my children, and my mother and father. A friend called and told me about a house in her neighborhood that was just becoming available. As soon as I walked in, I knew it was home. Again, I felt that God was leading me.”

Seeking comfort and solace, Katie found herself indulging in food, and all the wrong kinds, but food eased the pain.

“One day I realized this had to stop. I happened to run into Sonia Cuthbert, who owned Curves at that time. She told me about the program and I thought that would work for me. And it did. I was dedicated to my workouts and followed Curves weight management plan. I went from a size 22 to a 14,” she beams.

Sonia was thinking about selling Curves. She approached Katie about taking over the franchise.

“I thought about it,” Katie says. “And I knew it was right for me. It would help me stay on track. I would be a role model for my clients. Plus I could relate to their struggles. I’ve walked the walk. I have a truly wonderful staff. We all care about each other and our new motto is ‘Best Me 2015’.”

This month Curves is partnering with Miracle Hill Ministries. On January 17 at 12:30 p.m. at the Landrum Library, Lynsie Crespo, a stylist from Miracle Hill will present a program creating outfits from donations she finds at their eight thrift shops. Admission is simply a piece of clothing you want to discard and donate to the shops. The Curves staff will be modeling outfits.

I appreciate Katie sharing her story with me. It was a long and difficult road from her life as a wife and mother to becoming a business owner. For more information, contact or 864-457-2477.