Other than a yoga class here and there, I’ve never been too into group fitness preferring to run on my own schedule instead. When I got pregnant again, I knew I wanted to do a better job of keeping up my fitness than I did during my first pregnancy. Since I stay at home with Lawson, I went in search of a studio that offered child care. I didn’t have to search far to find a Barre3 studio near our house. I cannot tell you how excited I was and that’s before I even tried my first class!
I immediately fell in love with the studio and workout. The entire staff from front desk to instructors were so kind and welcoming. Even though I was pregnant, I never felt like I didn’t belong. The workout is a great combination of ballet, pilates and yoga. The instructors checked on me throughout class and offered modifications for everyone. I truly feel like all fitness levels are welcome at Barre3!
So of course I wanted to feature Barre3 and owner Karie Johnson as the next installment in my spotlight on local creatives and businesses here in Phoenix!
Me: How and when did you first get into barre3? What led you to open your own studio?
Karie: I took my very first barre3 online class in January of 2013 and my life would never be the same. I was an elementary school teacher for 11 years and was looking for a way to have a more balanced lifestyle for myself and my family. I had a friend who opened barre3 in Henderson, NV and was very inspired. I went out to her studio and instantly knew I needed to bring barre3 to Arizona. There was something not only about the workout, but about the community vibe I felt. I loved that barre3 encourages modifications and how you can “make it your own”. Not many places meet you where you are and support that. About a year and a half later (after lots of saving and lots of training and research!) my husband, two girls and me opened our doors to our first studio in North Scottsdale! We opening our 2nd studio in Paradise Valley this year and we are loving every minute of it! Lots of work, but lots of fun as well!
Me: What is a typical day like for you?
Karie: Take my girls to school, teach a class at one of our studios, take a class at one of our studios, have lunch with my husband or a friend, order retail for our studios, answer emails for the studio, event and social media planning, pick the girls up from school, take them to after school activities, do homework, have dinner with my family, hopefully relax for a very little bit while doing some sort of chores, and then hit the hay!
Me: Your workout clothes are always so cute! Where are your favorite places to shop?
Karie: At our studio! I pick out all of our retail for the studio. I try to focus on designs from Arizona or made in the USA. My favorite brands that we carry are: Beyond Yoga, Alo, Spiritual Gangster, Ray of Light Designs, Niyamasol.
Me: What’s the biggest challenge of running your own business?
Karie: There is always something to be done! The job is never done, but that’s ok! I have a wonderful team that helps me out on a daily basis and I couldn’t do it without them.
Me: barre3 does a great job of getting involved in the community with different events (Wanderlust, barre3 in the park). Is there another event coming up where people can find barre3?
Karie: We will be having an in-studio event all summer long! Clients can compete to try to keep up with their classes in studio and online while traveling. We will be collaborating with local vendors for some fun prizes and swag!
Me: Other than instructing and taking barre3 classes, how do you maintain a healthy lifestyle?
Karie: Barre3 is the only exercise I do. It gets everything done in 60 minutes which is why I love it! I try my best to eat a whole food diet, limiting processed foods as much as possible.
Me: I recently read a comment on Instagram about barre3 having a community feel and I couldn’t agree more. How did you create this culture?
Karie: So great to hear! That is our main focus at our studio. We not only want our clients to walk away from class feeling like they got a great workout, but also that this is their home away from home, their 60 minutes of me time. Our culture is hard enough on women, we just want to love and support other women as much as we can!
Me: Last question, what is your favorite vacation you’ve been on?
Karie: Last year in Hawaii for my 11 year anniversary with my husband! Lots of relaxing :)
Thanks Karie! If you’ve ever thought about checking out Barre3, I highly recommend it. If you’re not local to Phoenix, there are almost 100 locations in many states. See the full listing here.
All photos courtesy of Barre3 Paradise Valley Instagram