14 years and counting… Happy Birthday to us!

This month Encore Pilates turns 14 years old! I remember when we were coming towards our 10th year and it felt like such a milestone. Now, every year thereafter feels like a blessing.

What a ride, what a journey – if someone had given me a sneak preview of where we would be today I wouldn’t believe it was possible and now when I look around at the space we have created and the family we have grown, it truly feels like coming home.

14 years ago I opened the door to a tiny room under our house that I squeezed 2 machines into and converted an outdoor area into a mat room. With cheap bamboo pull downs to keep the sun from blinding my students and a loud industrial fan to combat the mosquitos, a sign on the fence and a flyer at my local supermarket slowly filled the space we lived in.

Numerous times I battled with my housemates to keep the noise down so I could teach and our shared swimming pool was off limits at the most inconvenient times. I saved up every penny I made and didn’t take home a cent for the first 3 years, determined to grow something out of nothing even though I wasn’t sure what it would be.

Slowly I was able to expand, with a loan from my family to purchase more machines, at $5000 a piece, a reformer is an investment that pays off slowly. I opened the doors to Darwin’s first boutique Pilates studio with a 4 month old babe-in-arms and taught Pilates between feeds, my mum at my side. I was on call for both students and my growing son, 7 days a week.

Some days I would feed more than I would teach and other days I would nap at the studio, with irregular hours, a class here, a client there, 3 hours in between – whatever it took to pay the rent, whenever someone wanted me, after a sleepless night, milk stains on my top, my husband working at sea, I was exhausted but happy and my passion for this work kept me going.

Today as I look around, it’s hard to remember the uncertainties of those first few years. For a long time my work was my identity, I never separated what I did for work to who I am and every breath I took went into creating what Encore has become.

I never had a day off – not for 10 years. We would go on holiday and the business came with us, our dinner conversation revolve around it, our friendships were forged because of it and my son has grown up, the studio his home, his mum ‘The Pilates Lady’ everywhere we go.

Encore Pilates has blossomed over the years. Each student a new flower blooming, every teacher a new branch growing. We have changed directions many times, shaped by the wind of each season, tendered to with love, watered by our collective thirst for learning and sharing our fruits of knowledge with you. We rely on our people as much as you rely on us, a symbiotic relationship that nourishes the community we love so dearly.

One thing I know is true – what keeps me so passionate about this job, the part of my identity that stays rooted to the studio is my desire to serve, to give back and to share. Those roots run deep, 14 years of growth you can see is many many moons of roots developing below and no matter how many branches are broken or cut from the tree, our roots remain strong and from there we will continue to flourish.

Every year is a milestone, and with each milestone comes a celebration. This year in celebration of our 14th year I am gifting $1400 worth of Pilates and goodies.

This week you can enter every time you come to a class or appointment. Pop your name in the glass jar on the counter – one entry each time you come in this week. The gift includes a 6 month membership of your choice – reformer or studio. And if you are already a member you can gift it on to someone else or keep it for yourself. So, this week I invite you to book in to a class (or classes) so that you can be in the running for me to give back to you so that I can continue to serve my community the best way I know how.

Ready to book a class? Download our app and we will see you in the draw!

Happy birthday to Encore, to who we have become, to how you have blossomed, as each and every one of our community members are a part of who we are. It is no longer just my identity. We are one, we are united, cumulative and complex. Each of us interweaving with the next – Encore Pilates is today because of you.

A special shout out to all my staff past and present and to the many clients who have shared this entire 14 year journey with us, who have stuck with us from the start and helped us thrive.