Four Bar Method Owners Share What Made Them Take the Leap to Open a Studio
November 16, 2020
“Owning a small business isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s for the brave, the patient, and for the persistent. It’s for the overcomers.”
Did you know that The Bar Method studios are independently owned and operated? That means behind every beautiful studio is a small business owner fighting and hustling tirelessly to bring the magic of The Bar Method to their members each and every time they walk through the doors.
As National Entrepreneur Day approaches, we want to applaud the fierce dedication and resilience of these studio owners. Their small business spirit exemplifies “where there’s a will, there’s a way” and their unwavering optimism has never been more apparent than it has this past year.
In today’s post, four of our Bar Method studio owners share the personal reasons behind their decision to take the leap into entrepreneurship.
Why did I take the leap to become a studio owner? Because the world needs more Bar Methods! Honestly, I just flat out love The Bar Method. Bar is powerful! As a client for over nine years, I have seen the physical effectiveness and amazing results of the Bar Method as a workout—whether it’s increased muscle, flexibility, an easier time bouncing back from pregnancy, or even just increased health and wellness.
I think the reason The Bar Method is so powerful is because it is a practice where you really only compete against yourself. It’s a mind thing. You dig deep and find more inside, you push past your previous limits and find yourself taking pride in what you can do and in that, you find you love yourself more.
All of us struggle at times to truly love ourselves and take care of ourselves, but I am thrilled to be able to create a space where clients can escape the craziness of life, at least for an hour, and leave feeling better about themselves, stronger, energized, and more confident.
You see, I love people and I want them to find this same magic I have found. My corner of the world needed its own Bar Method!
–Julie Burk, owner at The Bar Method Clayton Valley
I love answering this question because now that I’m a business owner, I can say the things I couldn’t say when I was living my corporate life! And what I mean by that is, corporate life is the pits.
Sometime in 2018, I became a Bar Method client and I fell in love with it instantly. Also in 2018, I landed a job that was so incredibly awful, I would start crying when my alarm went off in the morning. My boss was terrible. My drive was terrible. The work was terrible. And then it clicked: maybe I could buy a Bar Method franchise. One day as I was driving to the Terrible Job, I called Bar Method Corporate to ask what it would take to become an owner. Although a Bar Method franchise is less expensive than many other franchises, it still takes money to start a business, and I didn’t think we could swing it. But we found a way to make it work.
I stayed at the Terrible Job for a few months, and I was so desperate to get out that I moved on to another company and took an $11,000 pay cut. A pay cut! I was literally going backwards in life. After one year, I left that company so I could focus full time on building my Bar Method business.
Today I can say that I love being in charge of my life. The most rewarding part of being a business owner is that I’m in charge of my life. Finally! After all those years of some company telling me how to act and how to speak, I can conduct myself and my business the way I see fit. For me, that means treating my team well and being generous, helping in my community when I can, and creating a place for women not just to work out, but to feel safe, welcome, empowered, and cared for.
–Kimberly Marx-Steele, owner at The Bar Method Santa Clarita
I think I’ve been a “start-up junkie” all my life, I just didn’t know it until I was able to look back and see a pattern. I just love the excitement of starting something new and being able to do and learn something different every day. I’ve worked at start-ups, started my own company, and mentored entrepreneurs – I’m just not made for working at a large corporation. When my job at a start-up wasn’t working out and I was exploring different options, a friend suggested that I follow up on the idea to open my own Bar Method studio. I have loved The Bar Method since I became a client over eight years ago and appreciate the benefits the exercises and the community provide, so I loved the idea of being able to share my love of The Bar Method with others. I looked into it as I continued to pursue other career options, but The Bar Method door kept opening and I kept walking through.
My studio has been open for two years now and I can say that it is both the hardest and best thing I’ve ever done in my life. Hard in that I’ve never owned or managed a brick and mortar business, I knew nothing about retail and am not great at sales, I had never built or managed a team, I wasn’t even a Bar Method instructor when I first started down this path. There is a lot that I still don’t know and I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I also thought that everyone would love The Bar Method as much as I do, but every person has their own relationship with fitness. It’s the best because I planted the seed for the growth of an amazing and supportive community of people who value and respect their health and wellbeing and that of each other. I’ve seen people get stronger, no longer be in pain, and no longer have to take medication. I’ve seen a slowing or reversion of osteoporosis, and I’ve seen people reduce their blood pressure, and be able to get on the floor and play with their grandkids. I’ve also seen people become more confident, stand up taller with better posture, and try (and accomplish!) something they didn’t think possible. Those rewards make it worthwhile to me and I am committed to being available for my community as long as I can.
–Dana Abramovitz, owner at The Bar Method Houston-Memorial
What made me take the leap to become a Bar owner can now only be described as fortuitous. In my previous career, as I sat in the operating rooms of people getting surgeries to fortify their backs, hips, knees with metal screws and rods…I couldn’t help but wonder if there was another way. Then I discovered The Bar Method, which years later felt like discovering the fountain of youth. To understand that getting older doesn’t mean walkers and painful surgeries in order to maintain an independent lifestyle, that’s what I wanted to share to the world. Moving our bodies in the right way and making space for mindfulness is everything at the moment.
I would say the hardest part of owning a Bar Method studio has to be the fact that it’s so difficult to describe what Bar is to someone new. Mostly because once you start your journey, only you can understand the levels of change and where your life begins to bloom. It’s different for everybody, but much like our exercise modifications, it can look different for the person next to you but in the end, resulting in the same goal of becoming more yourself. If you know a good way to market that, let me know.
What we’ve learned from Covid is that nothing can replace IRL human interaction. Combine that with a beautifully crafted method, it’s magic. We get to teach the ability to keep going. There’s nothing more honorable than that.
–Joanna West, owner at The Bar Method Long Beach