Building a Fitness Empire Brick by Brick
Vicki Brick, the daughter of Brick Bodies founders Lynne and Victor Brick, had the opportunity to enter the health club industry at an early age. “As a kid, I felt like I was in the club all the time,” she recalled. “I remember helping the service desk fold towels, or [helping] answer phones.”
Although Vicki was introduced to the industry at a young age, as she grew older she found herself at first reluctant to build a career in the health club industry. When she returned to the U.S. after playing basketball in Australia post-college, she began working at Brick Bodies in membership sales — and in what she thought would be a temporary role.
“As I was getting more involved with the club, I found myself waking up to go to work with butterflies in the stomach,” she said. “The same butterflies I used to get on game day. I was excited to get out of bed to go to work everyday. And that’s when I realized, I found some something special.”
Vicki, 33, is now the vice president of Brick Bodies. Over the course of her childhood and club career, she has watched the industry transform. “I think that 20 to 30 years ago, the industry was image conscious,” she said. “It was for fit people who looked good and wanted to maintain their good looks. There wasn’t really a focus on wellness or the deconditioned population.”
Growing up, Brick also watched her mother’s career evolve alongside the industry as a whole. “I don’t think things really clicked about my mom’s impact in the industry until I started attending conventions as I got older. People would see that my last name was Brick and they would say to me, ‘Are you related to Lynne Brick? She taught me how to teach classes. Your mother is an icon.’ I’m amazed at the impact my mom has had on the city of Baltimore and the fitness industry.”
According to Vicki, that has changed, but the industry still has ways in which it can improve. “I think some of the general population still have a misconception about what our industry is all about,” she said. “Although I do think that recently in the past five to 10 years the industry has worked really hard to overcome the negative stereotypes. It’s refreshing to see how the industry has evolved.”
As vice president, Vicki explained Brick Bodies plans to play its part in changing negative misperceptions about health clubs. Her hope for Brick Bodies’ future is to, “continue the legacy that my parents started 30 years ago to help change people’s lives for the better,” she said. “We focus on quality rather than quantity.”
To accomplish that goal, Vicki explained the company needs to expand or relocate current locations to be able to stay on the cutting edge and provide a world-class experience. “Our goal is to create the most comfortable environment in the world for our members,” she said.
Ultimately, Vicki is grateful for the opportunity to grow up in the health club industry. “I feel very fortunate to have grown up around some of the pioneers of the industry,” she said. “I feel like I have an extended family all over the world. Its always nice to be able to learn from some of the most respected people in the business.”
By Rachel Zabonick