20 July 2020
Studio Pilates

"We have absolutely blown the doors off!"

Kathy Abbot has recently opened her first studio in Louisville Kentucky, during what could be seen as the most challenging time possible, in the middle of the Covid-19 global pandemic. But her passion for pilates and her belief in the brand paid off with resounding launch success, and an amazingly warm welcome from her Louisville neighbours. We managed to pull her away from the studio for a while to ask her a few questions and find out how it’s all going. Watch the video edit, and read what she had to say below. Hear directly from Kathy Abbot, Studio Pilates franchisee, Louisville, Kentucky, USA   How have your first few weeks been since opening and how has the local community responded to the brand? Business performance has been absolutely amazing since the minute we opened. We have absolutely blown the doors off of any expectations that I had. Even though I put my business plan together before COVID, the response has been incredible,  both in terms of people attending class and the purchase of the packs. People are responding really well to the brand here in Louisville, but it's no surprise because Studio Pilates is an amazing product, and the people here in Louisville see it immediately. They feel it in their body when they work out, and they keep coming back because they love what they're doing. They love the surrounds. It's beautiful, and they love the instructors and the classes. It’s a difficult time to open a new business with the Covid-19 pandemic. How have you kept client’s safe in the studio? We've been following protocol according to the local area guidelines for fitness, and we social distance our reformers six feet apart from rail to rail, as well as wearing masks in our classes. We do hand sanitizer and temperature checks and questions about travel and exposure to people with COVID every time a person walks in the studio, and we're consistent with that every single time. So as difficult as it is at times to wear a mask during a tough workout, the consistency with it makes our clients feel safe; and to know that every time they come in, whether they're here or not, their studio is being kept safe with temperature checks and consistent safety precautions. What excites you about opening a Studio Pilates location? Oh gosh, there isn't anything that doesn't excite me about opening a Studio Pilates location. It's been a personal dream of mine to open up a Pilates studio. This time last year was when I signed on as a franchisee with Studio Pilates, I actually made a trip to Australia to feel the workout in my own body and fell in love immediately What attracted you to Studio Pilates and their franchise model? What most attracted me to the Studio Pilates model is that Studio Pilates does reformer-based Pilates, and they do it very, very well. They are customer-focused, and that focus on just one piece of apparatus in Pilates is unique. It helps us as studio owners and instructors to be our very best on the reformer with our clients. My goal and the goal of Studio Pilates is that Pilates is for everybody. It doesn't matter how old you are. It doesn't matter if you've never exercised before, or if you're an elite athlete. You are always going to have a great experience in Studio Pilates. When you walk in here, it's absolutely gorgeous surrounds with super-fun club-like music and a completely butt-kicking workout. All accomplished within 40 minutes. When I greet a customer in an orientation workout, usually the first thing that they say is their eyes just gaze around the room and say, "Wow, this place is so beautiful." That's even when the doors are still closed to the studio. So they're so taken aback by the beautiful surrounds when they first walk in and the smiling faces of staff here . Then once they step into the actual studio and experience the workout, they come out with this funny little smile on their face, and they line up at the front desk and say, "How can I do this more?" It's actually pretty cool. What were your goals in becoming a franchisee, and what do you think it takes to be successful? When I became a franchisee, my goal was to change my lifestyle and to be financially free. There is definitely a difference in my lifestyle, working for myself instead of somebody else. I feel like I have a stronger connection to how the studio works and how the clients feel about the studio because I can directly affect how they feel with my own decisions and the support of a great headquarters in Australia. To be successful owning a Studio Pilates I think you need to be the type of person who is adventurous, someone who loves to build relationships with their clients within the studio, and sometimes even beyond that. Also, you need to be someone that enjoys connecting with their local community, as well as other business owners in their community.   BOOK A CALL NOW How do you feel about being part of a network and the support you receive from HQ? Being a part of a network definitely makes me feel connected to the other studios around the world. And the best thing about the support that I received from Studio Pilates headquarters is that every single person that I've worked with in every department at headquarters is rock solid, on-point, with the way they support a franchisee. I actually look forward to meetings with the headquarters staff: I love working with marketing; I love working with operations, and I absolutely love working with the education department when we put together our training for my studio. The greatest thing about instructor training is that a student comes to the studio as a student; and within weeks of intensive training, they are on the floor, teaching, growing, and learning and earning money within weeks. What does success look like for you? What success looks like for me is when a client talks about Studio Pilates and tells people how much they absolutely love coming here and doing their workout. With that word of mouth, another client comes to me. That's pretty much the baseline of a successful business. What have you learned about the brand now that you’re a studio owner? The number one thing that has stood out about the brand has absolutely, undeniably how smart this business operates. It's intuitive, it's cost-effective, it's scalable, and it is customer client-centred, and done in a way that is both beneficial to the studio owner, the staff, the instructors, and the clients feel that. I also think the business embraces and uses technology really well. Not just in the running of the business systems but also in the studio. SBTV has actually allowed our instructors to better improve our clients' technique. They're able to pay attention to our clients more and give them more of the one-on-one class feel, even in a group reformer class. I can honestly say, that my experience as an owner has been above and beyond all expectations in terms of the clients that I work with, the staff that I work with at headquarters, and the staff and instructors that I have here in my studio. Thanks Kathy. Congratulations on your success and we look forward to your next studio opening!   own a studio pilates  
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