Every day I show up to labarre and go through the same routine.
I walk through the original doors that still welcome people into the gorgeous historic building and I am faced with the custom sign that beams the namesake of the studio. Pride fills my heart as I start my day. I am greeted by talented and openhearted faces, bustling to help people achieve their own goals. The vision I had for a space that would be an oasis for so many unique people had come to life. Every day we try, as a team, to vastly improve it and not a moment goes by that we aren’t self-critical of what we are doing and how we run not only the physical studio but the philosophical thoughts of how labarre can truly serve to help its members design themselves.
Many who are close to me know that this mission was created from years of being a businesswoman and also a lover of dance and fitness as well as understanding the mechanics of the human body. What they may not know is that this vision came to fruition on this very day, 2 years ago.
The story, which I believe was shared with many, starts with me ultimately challenged to choose between being the owner of a chain barre franchise, or venturing into the scary waters of being a small business owner. That weekend, I recall, I had family in and there was the quiet and lovable hysteria of hustle and bustle when your home is invaded by loved ones. Noise, meals, movies and laughter were happening all around me, but inside, I was laser focused. I knew a decision had to be made and so I did what every true business owner must do… I didn’t sleep that weekend and plotted my plan on paper. Using my heart as my compass, I grabbed my oars and hopped in my small boat and ventured away from the safety of the shore into those scary waters.
How could we afford it?
Would it be what I expect – and others expect it to be?
And maybe the most valid question… would it succeed?
All of these questions were compounded with a subset of questions and a pros and cons list was created. If I were to choose a franchise operation I would have instant rocket fuel to launch the business – marketing tools, website, name recognition, etc. If I didn’t head in that direction, I would need to accomplish all of those things myself, however, I could do it my way.
That meant coloring outside the lines and working with other small businesses in the area to promote their livelihood (whether it was nutrition, merchandise or more.). That meant I could offer different disciplines in classes and class times so that when asked to promote diverse styles and the newest fitness routines, I would be delivering something unique and extraordinary without resistance. I could grow the business to offer skin care and classes on wellness promoting the mind, body and spirit of all who would be willing to be a part of it. I could, at a moment’s notice, shut the doors of the studio and offer classes to seniors or go Christmas caroling with members, delivering gifts to our neighbors who needed a little warmth in some colder times.
The decision was easy. Grab those oars.
Here I sit, typing at my kitchen table, albeit I did get a new table if I am being 100% truthful as the other one had grooves in it, and the food would get stuck there and it was hard to clean… but I digress…
Here I sit, reminiscing about the decisions I made and the course I charted. Still rowing, my heart as my compass and the members who have allowed me to bring them labarre as my Northstar.
Thanks to all who have been and will be a part of this journey. Happy October 22nd!
OUTDOOR CLASS LOCATIONS
HESTER SOCCER FIELD - 1460 The Alameda, San Jose 95126
ROSE GARDEN - 1649 Naglee Avenue, San Jose 95126
1445 The Alameda
San Jose, CA 95126