I opened My Pilates studio in the Dunkeld West Shopping Centre, after having owned My Pilates in Muckleneuk, Pretoria for 8 years. My new and improved goal was to have two Pilates studios in two cities with two incredible settings. As far as I was concerned, no one else had done this and my life was in the perfect place to achieve this new dream.
My 12 month venture began and I searched high and low though the Northern suburbs of Johannesburg, looking for a space that was large enough to house my equipment, a space that was in an excellent location (with a view as Muckleneuk has) and a space that had a definite special something to offer.
After 6 long months I honestly gave up. I felt like I had gone on an Easter egg hunt and arrived back empty handed. The very next day I received a phone call from Joan Goldswain, who asked me if I was interested in the Dunkeld Shopping centre? Why not, I had nothing to lose!
Off we went; we walked into this very unusual space that was pre-occupied by Hayley Joy, there were sewing machines and lots of material pieces with tables for cutting. The space was made to look smaller by all the pre-existing partitioning’s and with all the material rolls around, I was intrigued.
The very special moment happened when I walked through one of the doors and saw the view. It was just spectacular, breath-taking and honestly was one of the best views I have seen in Johannesburg. I went a second time, sent my husband the third time and by the fourth visit, I was completely sold. The pictures above and below are the original pictures that I took on the day with my cellphone.
In retrospect, I must have been brave, very brave because I was clueless as to what was needed to create this Pilates space. I spent weeks going through the lease agreement, negotiating back and forth, analysing every single clause so that no stone was left unturned.
Signed, sealed, delivered and off we went like tornadoes on the ground.
The most important step of the way was truly this; having the massive support of my family and my husband whose insight, opinions, love and listening ear is what gave me the confidence to take this giant leap.
I however dedicate my space to my aunt, as without her this dream would not have been achieved. Thank you to my incredible Ferrari loving, book keeping and bubbly aunt, Marinella Brunner as she helped me turn this into what it is today and I will be eternally grateful for her support and faith.
Building, breaking, bashing, painting, electrical chaos, re-levelling the ceilings, replacing roof tiles, fixing walls, removing partitioning, choosing paint colours and the list goes on and on.
With the guidance of my incredibly talented friend, Lila Hollywood, we renovated this place in two months flat. Thank God she has the hands on experience of creating their businesses The Foundry, Parktown North and Doppio Zero, Rosebank; because she is the best and this place won’t be what it is, without her. This lady is a machine and like me, an Aquarian, she committed 200 % to the cause. Of course, Aquarian’s rule, everyone knows.
I wanted to create a Pilates haven that would compare with studios that one only sees in magazines or online. I wanted a wow factor, something stylish, well thought through and a place that would captivate the clients.
That was what I wanted to achieve and I know that’s exactly what I have achieved.
Of course there is so much more to creating a studio then just the building of it. That remains minor compared to the 8 years of honed experience that I have based on 15 years of dancing ballet and contemporary dance.
It is so much more and I just love it. I love building a clientele, running the studios and looking after each and every single detail from the instructors to the Facebook pages; never stopping or short of ideas, thoughts, implementing new strategies just to make our studios the best.
Looking for qualified and experienced instructors is a pain in my side and was a job I was extremely nervous about, as I have two excellent, professional and efficient ladies in Pretoria, Manet Badenhorst & Lynette Plesica. I posted a couple of advertisements online and prayed.
I went through many CV’s of many instructors as I needed qualifications, experience, personality, passion and of course hard working individuals. I interviewed many ladies and really felt that this studio was so special it required the experience of enthusiastic and knowledgeable instructors.
Sometimes in life, one knows immediately when you meet the right person and that’s exactly how it was with both Ane and Steph. I employed Ane at first and from the get go she nailed the criteria and then it was a couple of weeks later that I bumped into Steph and she was looking for new work and boom, the second penny dropped.
I am so blessed to have all four of these ladies in my life and in my client’s lives, they are perfect. My Pilates instructors are outstanding and blend in with our studios quality of excellence. They are honestly awesome.
I know that when you decide to create a new business at 30, you don’t do half measures and there are no short cuts. I employed the best people for the jobs and I got the best results and exactly what I wanted. I was tired of looking at websites and studios that all had the same pictures of people smiling at you and draping themselves over Pilates balls, telling you pretty much the same thing.
I wanted a sexy, sophisticated, stylish and successful women. I needed something new, something fresh, and something that was about the Joburg women. She is the juggling woman. She is hard working, stylish, she know sophistication and because she looks after her body, mind and soul, she is sexy.
This would be the first point of entry into our studio, that new potential clients would see, someone that they would want to be and that is where our conceptualization began. Got to love Vogue.
My expert team that I chose were the following people. Thank you to all of them for their professionalism and for their kindness and patience working with me. I will recommend all of you over and over again.
Pretty much without their expert advice, insight and knowledge this wouldn’t be what it is today and personally I think it’s smoking hot.
This studio speaks to me, my clients and my instructors. The energy is calm, re-energizing and the view is breath-taking. The equipment is the very best of the best and is imported from the United States from Balanced Body. This is the full package deal.
This is only the beginning, so if you interested in attending some awesome classes here are 5 reasons why you should choose us as your studio in Johannesburg or Pretoria
My journey has just began and it is the best one in my professional career so far.
I dedicate this article to the best aunt in the whole world – Marinella Brunner.
Proud studio owner and instructor