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Healthy lifestyle — what does that mean?

The phenomena of boutique fitness studios is really a subset of a larger macro trend:  in recent years there is clearly a heightened awareness and craving for a ‘healthy lifestyle’. Why do we crave a healthy lifestyle?  It’s simple.  We crave a healthy lifestyle because we often live unhealthy lifestyles physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.  It’s the…
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Row House rowing studio, notes from the founders

…Rowing has been around for millennia and is deep in our DNA.  People are generally aware that it is an amazing full-body workout, but it’s really only recently that the ‘secret sauce’ has been added to make it a powerful draw in boutique fitness… I spoke this week to the founders of the Row House…
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Opening a fitness or cycling studio – big mistakes

We’ve been directly involved in the opening of three studios we owned, and indirectly involved in over 200 openings of franchisees we work with. Opening a fitness or cycling studio is both frightening and exhilarating. Frightening because what if no one shows up?  Exhilarating because if they do, it’s an amazing business.  Basically you are…
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Why is boutique fitness so popular?

It’s easier and easier to commit to exercise these days. In 2005, I was working full time in a corporate job, and my sister Alex was a stay-at-home Mom. We had a crazy idea — we started an indoor cycling studio. What’s so crazy about that? Well in 2005 there were exactly zero indoor cycling…
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2018 options for starting an indoor cycling studio

Starting an indoor cycling studio in January of 2005, was very different from starting an indoor cycling studio today.  There were a few independent studios on the west coast, but nothing substantial.  Soul Cycle, Pure Barre, Orange Theory, and FlyWheel did not exist.  There was no Facebook, no smart phones, no online booking of classes…..instead of…
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Rowing studio franchise — Row House

In January of this year, Xponential Fitness announced the acquisition of NYC-based Row House to add to its portfolio of niche boutique fitness studios.  A number of independent rowing studios have found success in the past few years, and Row House is a prime example.  They become the very first rowing studio franchise, with three…
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Boutique fitness business: the more the merrier

The boutique fitness business is driven by volume.  The more people you can get coming to your studio, the better the business will be.  With this fundamental in mind, the more inclusive your concept, the more potential you have to grow……in theory.   The best concepts create a powerful “inclusivity” vibe that makes the highest number…
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Boutique fitness studio consultant….14 questions

As a boutique fitness studio consultant for the past 8 years, I’ve been asked a ton of questions.  Some are what you would expect, others might surprise you.  The challenges to opening a cycling studio, a bootcamp studio or other boutique fitness concept, depend on a variety of factors.  Here is a quick summary of…
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Boutique fitness studio locations – helped by the “Amazon Effect”

Traditional retail has suffered dramatically at the hands of online retailers like Amazon.  This is well documented and causing major upheaval in the retail real estate circles.  As a result, more and better boutique fitness studio locations are available.  In addition to “re-purposing” space once designated for apparel and other retail —-  many landlords are…
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More global activity in boutique fitness

Earlier this month, Space Cycle, a boutique fitness studio operator with locations in Taiwan and China, announced it has closed a RMB100 million Series B round led by Alibaba Taiwan Entrepreneurs Fund II, managed by WI Harper Group.   Space Cycle has what it calls “premium boutique fitness studios” that combine entertainment, fitness, music and innovative teaching.   Main…
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Boutique studio trend: The merging of entertainment and fitness

Soul Cycle recruits actors and models, not fitness experts.  CycleBar refers to their instructors as “CycleStars”.  Cult boutique fitness instructors have massive social media followings like celebrities.  Studios invest heavily in high quality music, video content and lighting.  In many boutique fitness studios, the leader/instructor performs from an actual stage.  What has clearly emerged in…
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What is a Franchise Development Company?

How do I franchise my fitness business?  If you own a successful fitness studio and are looking for a way to scale your business and grow, one option is franchising.  As noted in an earlier post, the other option, growing internally, carries different challenges and risks.  When exploring the franchise route, you can either ‘go…
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