The Details: Elizabeth Bowersox, Owner and Instructor | Barre Strong | In Business: Since April 2018
Hours: 8:30 - 11:00 am & 6:00 - 8:00 pm | Location: 9401 W. Colonial Drive, Suite 414, Ocoee, FL 34761 | Phone: (352) 580-0214 | Website: www.Barre-Strong.com
Last fall, I was walking in the West Oaks Mall with my kids, burning off energy while it was raining, and I saw part of a class at Barre Strong. I had seen several barre studios over the last few years, but never stepped foot inside. My workout motivation was at an all time low, but after speaking to Elizabeth, I decided to try out a class. I fell in love within the first 10 minutes--even though my body was sore for the next two days and have not looked back since.
What makes your business unique/special?
Barre Strong is an innovative barre experience that blends muscle sculpting barre movement with other fitness formats to challenge the body in a whole new way. Although the format is unique, the environment and community of amazing women we've built here is what make this studio so special. This community of women show up for each other, support and encourage each other, and have built an inclusive environment where women of all fitness levels feel comfortable to workout together.
In what way have you gone above and beyond in the past for a customer?
I would like to think that I do this for all of my members everyday but one member stands out. She was just starting her fitness journey and she took a class and got through it, but struggled. The movement was different and challenging and pushed her outside of her comfort zone. She didn't return for a few weeks so I checked in with her to make sure that she was ok. She explained to me that she just felt like the journey would be too hard and didn't know if she had what it would take to keep going. I talked to her for quite a while, offering encouragement and reassured her that everyone's fitness journey has to start somewhere and hers was no different. I asked her to come in a little early for her next class so I could work with her one on one. She did, and she worked hard to get through the class and felt a great sense of accomplishment. She still comes to this day and looks back on those first couple of classes and remembers how hard it was and just how far she's come, because I wouldn't let her give up.... on the class...on herself!
What is the coolest thing you’ve ever had a client do for you?
What tool/equipment/or other vendor could you not imagine doing business without? Why?
Our Barre Units!! These barre are unique to the Barre industry. There's nothing out there like them. They have an exclusivity that a normal ballet barre can't provide. The individual barre stations ensure the members have their own space and keeps all of the equipment needed in an organized space, which also keeps them safe by keeping things out of the way. I love them!
Tell us about YOU:
I'm a native Floridian and grew up in this area, which I love. I'm married to a wonderfully supportive man and we have 4 beautiful girls, which are all grown now, the youngest being 19. I guess I'm just like any other woman at this point in my life. I'm busy with everyday stuff, i.e. worrying about my girls and husband, taking care of a home and two dogs, and oh yeah, starting a new business! The studio is a second career for me that came late in life and was not a part of the plan. I reconnected with barre while taking a leave from the corporate world to recover from multiple knee and feet surgeries and fell in love with this ballet inspired fitness format. I was a competitive gymnast and collegiate cheerleader and dancer and this format reminded me of the good old days. The unique movement of the barre format did miracles in rehabbing both my knees and feet and I was hooked. This ultimately lead me to getting certified to teach barre and eventually decided to take a huge leap of faith and with the love and unconditional support of my husband and girls decided to open my own studio.
What are you passionate about outside of your business?
I love the area that we live in and everything this community has to offer. Sharing a good glass of white wine or anything with bubbles with a girlfriend to relax is great. I love being on the boat in any of the beautiful lakes in the area and also try to get to the beach to enjoy relaxing with my family.
Describe your PERFECT day:
Sleeping in late on a rainy day .... reading a good magazine ... with a glass of wine would be pretty perfect at this point in my life. Relaxing, doing nothing is my speed when I'm not going full tilt with things for the studio.
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
My past life in the corporate world has turned out to be the biggest influence in my business today. I spent a lot of my corporate career as a mentor and motivator for others. I taught them to believe in themselves and their abilities, even when they couldn't see what I saw. I pushed them to do things that they believed were out of reach or uncomfortable, because that is where you grow and when you grow, you succeed. It is much the same in the fitness world. I help women to tap into their potential and challenge themselves in ways they never thought possible, which brings positive changes to both the inside, and outside.
What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
To really understand the things you can control and the things you cannot! You have to focus your time and energy into things you have some control over and let the other stuff go.
What would you say is your biggest accomplishment as a female entrepreneur?
I think my biggest accomplishment is just having the courage to DO IT! Just believing in myself, the product, and the people involved that helped to make my dream a reality is an accomplishment.
What advice do you have for other women entrepreneurs?
To go for it! If you have a passion for something and there's a need to fill and you can fill it.....go for it! There are going to be people who think you're crazy for taking a risk and those who will think you're brave. Try to surround yourself with those who think you're brave and will support your dream unconditionally. There's no room for self doubt or negative people when you're trying to make a dream come true.
Do you have any special deals, events, or coupons currently?
When you purchase 10 classes for $65 and sign up for the monthly auto pay membership, it's only $99 a month for unlimited classes.
See our other past small business features to connect with more businesses in our area:
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