By Dena Lombardo of Love Pilates
Have you ever dreamed of owning your own business? Being in charge, calling the shots, and having the final say in everything? Well, that was exactly my dream too. But owning a Pilates studio is not just about teaching clients, it’s about juggling multiple responsibilities, managing staff, marketing the business, and maintaining equipment.
I got my Pilates certification in 2014 and loved teaching, but I was tired of the daily commute and lack of control over where I taught. That’s when my husband, John, encouraged me to take a credit card with a $50K limit and open my own Pilates studio in Orange County, California. And so, in November 2015, I opened my studio with four reformers and four Wunda chairs, eager to be in one place and have the final say.
Starting a business from scratch was not easy. It took patience, marketing, and hard work, but by 2023, my thriving and busy boutique Pilates studio has moved to a new location, expanded to six reformers and chairs, and added a Cadillac and Ladder Barrel. Plus, I have hired amazing teachers to help me manage the workload.
Owning a Pilates studio is more than just a job. It’s a lifestyle. It requires wearing many hats and juggling numerous tasks every day. From managing finances and marketing efforts to client management and maintaining equipment, there’s always something that needs attention. But the most important lesson I have learned is to automate and delegate as much as possible.
I used to think I could do it all, but that’s not realistic. Finding great people who can help with daily tasks has made a huge difference. For example, I hired a bookkeeper to keep things organized and ensure everything that needs to be done is done on time. I also joined a business training and networking group that provides support, resources, ideas, and training. And, I partnered with an HR consultant to ensure I’m compliant as an employer.
One of the most significant improvements to my business was partnering with Anastasiya Goers of S&V Marketing. She designed my website and integrated my scheduling software for a seamless client experience. This leaves me more time to do what I love, teaching clients, and helping them discover and refine their love of Pilates.
As an instructor, the most rewarding aspect of owning a boutique Pilates studio is helping clients achieve their fitness and mobility goals. Whether it’s older adults or people with injuries, acknowledging their wins, big and small, is what makes the job fulfilling. There’s nothing quite like seeing the smile on a client’s face when they feel better after a session, walk with confidence, or experience pain relief.
Despite the challenges, owning a boutique Pilates studio is a dream come true and worth every effort put into it. I have the privilege of being in charge, calling the shots, and having the final say. But most importantly, I get to help people transform their lives and achieve their fitness goals. If you’re considering starting your own business, take the leap and pursue your dream. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll be juggling the art of owning a boutique Pilates studio too!
Dena is not only a highly qualified Pilates instructor certified by the Pilates Method Alliance and trained in Pilates for Osteoporosis and MS, but she is also the owner of Love Pilates studio in Huntington Beach, CA, which is known for its supportive community. Her expertise and passion for Pilates make her a trusted instructor who helps clients achieve their fitness goals while feeling supported and encouraged.