With International Women’s Day just around the corner, we thought what better time to spend 5-minutes catching up with our leading lady and Studio Pilates co-founder Tanya Winter. Our clients might recognise the little blonde pocket rocket from our SPTV screens, and you would definitely recognise her voice from the audio system in the studio (keep going this is a really tough exercise – sound familiar?). We caught up with Tanya to chat about all things business, family and what it’s like working with a team of strong women!
Do you have a favourite quote that’s relative to IWD?
I have a few, but I think my favourite would have to be “behind every successful woman, is a tribe of other successful women who’ve got her back”, because it’s particularly relevant to the Studio Pilates team. I think that success is so much about the people you surround yourself with and I’m so grateful for ours!
How are you celebrating IWD this year?
I’m lucky enough to get to work with a team full of incredible women every single day – in fact I think our team is made up of 95% women! I grew up surrounded by a family full of strong women, which definitely had a positive impact on me and I’m so proud to have created a predominately female led company (big shout out to our amazing SP men too).
How do you juggle motherhood and family with career?
I really take my hat off to working mothers, because it’s such a tough gig. When we opened our very first studio, Jade and I were instructing between 60-90 hours each every single week and every waking minute outside of that we were writing manuals and education guides, so I’m not going to lie, we had zero work life balance for a good 10 years! When we were 23-years old, we completely devoted ourselves and put in so much time and hard work to build the business and a decade later, we were finally at the point that we could bring people in to help. I’ve always said how lucky I am that I get to work with my husband Jade, which I know isn’t for everyone but it really works for us and allows us to spend a lot of time together. The only tricky thing can be switching off from work sometimes when we’re at home, but luckily we have our 9-year-old son Chase who keeps us busy and acts as a good distraction and commands a lot of our time and attention. I think also having a team who we trust wholeheartedly makes it easier to be able to step away sometimes so we can go on family holidays without stressing about what’s happening in the office.
What has been the most empowering moment in your career?
There are honestly far too many to even count, but if I had to pick just one, I think it would have to be when we opened our first international studio. For as long as we’ve been instructing (over 20 years now – wow) Jade and I have always been so passionate about changing the way the world works out with our unique Studio Pilates approach, and seeing it loved by clients not only nationally, but globally was a true pinch yourself moment and for that matter – it still is!
Have you had a female mentor in your life?
I always looked up to my nana, who I didn’t realise was a mentor at the time, but still to this day she inspires me as a leader. She was the happiest, kindest and most positive woman who truly held our family together and always had time for everyone and that’s exactly the way I have always strived to lead my team. I count myself really lucky to have a team full of women, and my biggest priority is making sure that I foster a really caring, supportive and inclusive environment because I think that gives people confidence to grow and really come into their own professionally.
Who inspires you?
Honestly I think it’s the Studio Pilates community. Everyone from our staff and team right through to our clients is what inspires me every single day. I love seeing women in their 70’s working out alongside women in their 20’s and that’s the true magic of our Studio Pilates approach, it’s designed to be safe and effective for everyone and in turn it’s created the most inclusive and supportive community.
What’s one piece of advice that you’d give to other women that you wish you knew earlier:
Have fun and try not to worry too much! I think it’s so easy for so many of us – particularly women who tend to carry a heavy mental load – to get so caught up in the daily grind and our ‘to do’ lists that we forget to have fun and sweat small things that won’t matter in the future. I was so guilty of this when I was young but I have much more perspective on things now and I wish I hadn’t been such a worry wart!