We chatted with owner Emma Seibold of Barre Body about how the studio was formed, her thoughts on expansion, and what’s next for the Australian barre empire.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND. HOW WAS BARRE BODY FORMED?
My professional background was marketing, but I had also been teaching yoga for several years and was qualified in nutrition and reiki. My partner Matt had a background in sales, recruitment and marketing. We had just had a child, moved to Melbourne and started a recruitment agency, when I had the idea to open a barre studio—as if we didn’t already have enough to do! Matt was so encouraging and enthusiastic about the idea that we decided to go for it. We managed both businesses for a little while, with the healthy profits from the recruitment agency funding our fledgling barre studio. Money was tight and we lived on the edge a little, but we knew we had an incredible and unique concept in Australia so we took the risk.
WHAT ARE THE KEY TENETS OF THE BARRE BODY EXPERIENCE?
Creativity, passion and fun, underpinned by an energy of love. Our classes, which combine barre, yoga and pilates for an all-around toning and addictive workout, are all challenging and effective, but the thing that really differentiates Barre Body is the energy we put into every touch point of our brand. Everything is done with love and with the intention of giving our clients the most incredible experience.
WHAT IS IT LIKE WORKING WITH YOUR PARTNER?
We love it! We balance each other’s energies, strengths and skills. I am responsible for the creative direction (marketing, class design) and operations (studios, team, training) while Matt is responsible for business development, studio growth, finance and compliance. We make all the strategic decisions together and so far so good!
HOW DO YOU THINK ABOUT EXPANSION?
We currently have eight locations in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. We had been wanting to expand into Brisbane for some time as there was so much demand—with our inner city locations in Sydney and Melbourne, we feel we know the urban market well and can meet their needs. The quality and training of our teachers is what sets us apart (and what we hear time and again from our clients), so we manage growth extremely carefully to ensure that we maintain the high standards we’ve set for our brand, studios, classes and teachers. All of our teachers undertake the Barre Body 150 hour teacher training certification program (now publicly available to aspiring barre teachers around Australia and in Bali) to ensure our standards are met consistently across locations.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE TO STUDIO OWNERS LOOKING TO EXPAND?
Don’t rush expansion! There have been times where we’ve grown a little too quickly and put ourselves under financial (and emotional) stress. Take your time to really establish your studio, your systems and your processes as it becomes much more complicated the bigger you get.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR BARRE BODY?
More studio growth, significant teacher training program growth, and updates to our online studio programming with the launch of paid memberships and some amazing premium content. We’re always innovating, so stay tuned for even more exciting updates.