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ChaiseFitness in New York City recently starting franchising — and it all started with one woman’s love of movement.
Lauren Piskin, co-founder and owner of ChaiseFitness, has been in the fitness industry for more than 30 years, previously competing as a figure skater, Olympic National Skaters trainer and on-ice choreographer.
“Based on her love for music, movement and dance from being a skater, she always envisioned opening a group fitness studio and having music and lights,” said Rachel Piskin, Lauren’s daughter and co-owner of ChaiseFitness. “She wanted to create something that was really fun, but also had a really strong base in Pilates.”
With the help of her daughter, that’s exactly what the elder Piskin did.
Rachel is a former New York City ballet performer, and the end of her career — due to health issues — led the mother-daughter duo to create a fitness regime that clients at four Manhattan locations now enjoy. “We develop all of the programming along with our team,” said Rachel. “So the workouts that our clients are doing are something that are created by us, as opposed to other studios where the owners opened the business, but the techniques and methods that are taught are not their own.”
The duo has developed seven different types of classes all under the umbrella of the self-named Reinvention Method, which combines Pilates, ballet, strength training and resistance training. They also utilize an overhead bungee system and fitness chairs for some classes.
“It’s a fully-patented system that we’ve created to help our clients build long, lean muscles, but because we developed the program ourselves, we’re able to continue to add new types of classes to the schedule, whether it’s a more cardio-focused class, or a more sculpting and toning-focused class, or a ballet-focused class,” said Rachel.
In addition to the brand’s four Manhattan locations, the first franchise will open January 2017 in New Jersey, with franchisees planning to open two more New Jersey locations within the next two years.
“We believe that franchising was really the way to go for us, because we believe very strongly in the owner and operator being very much present in the studio,” said Rachel. “Not only behind the scenes doing numbers, but really connecting with clients, building that sense of community, and a warm, friendly, kind and supportive atmosphere.”
The tagline at ChaiseFitness is “Build Your Strong Self,” and Rachel is adamant that even though the gym is no contender with big-box franchises, it’s a place for everyone. The gym accommodates people of all fitness levels. “We wanted to create an environment where people felt safe trying a new workout,” said Rachel.
Rachel added the team at ChaiseFitness love to hear from their clients, which prevents them from falling stagnant in the industry. “Based on feedback from clients we’re able to grow our studio, and that’s what makes us different,” she said. “We’re always evolving and ever-changing.”
Accordingly, the team recently rebranded their entire look. “We’re excited to showcase the look because we believe it really speaks to who we are in a clear and fun aesthetic,” Rachel explained. “We did that to help with our franchising efforts, to franchise with a very clear brand and image.”
Having established themselves in Manhattan, the focus for ChaiseFitness moving forward is opening the first franchise and getting the word out to people outside of Manhattan.
“We believe very much so that our method of working out, many different types of people can relate to it, and we don’t think you need to live inside a city necessarily to have access to it — we believe there’s lots of opportunity for us to expand to different types of markets,” said Rachel.