Every month, Club Solutions sits down with an industry expert to share in their wealth of knowledge. In the June issue, we sat down with Sarah Luna, the president of Xponential Fitness.
1. How did you get started in the fitness industry?
I spent my earlier years as a dancer and Pilates instructor in Chicago. I created my own Pilates business, offering online classes, and selling clothes and equipment. A few years later I became a franchisee of a Jazzercise studio, and somewhere down the line I found my way to Club Pilates after meeting Anthony Geisler.
2. What’s been key to your organization’s success? What are you most proud of?
Every year we have a main focal point. 2018 was about acquiring brands; 2019 was about shaping those brands for the Xponential model; 2021 and beyond we are focused on doing everything we can to help our brands evolve so franchisees may continue to move forward as owners and entrepreneurs, and build thriving businesses.
3. What has been one of the biggest accomplishments of your career?
I helped develop the sales and marketing model for Club Pilates when we only had 28 studios open and traveled the country for over a year, visiting each studio that opened, seeing how the model was working and where it needed improving. This is now the model the other Xponential Fitness brands use today.
In 2018 and 2019, I led the charge of refreshing 500-plus Pure Barre studios to a new look and feel as well as converting the studio scheduling and POS system to a new software. This was a massive undertaking to complete in a 12-month timeframe.
4. What has been one of the biggest challenges you have faced in your career? And how did you overcome it?
One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced was being a franchisee of Jazzercise. When I originally became a semi-absentee franchisee for Jazzercise, I didn’t realize the business model was designed for owner-operator franchisees. The support I needed as an semi-absentee owner was substantially different than what was offered through the corporate office. It took a lot of work and time to figure out a way to adapt the model for the type of business I wanted to run, but in the end, it was a great learning experience and growth opportunity.
5. What is one lesson you have learned that other fitness professionals can learn from?
It’s incredibly important to show up every day, work hard and serve as best I can because if I’m not willing to do it, there’s always someone out there who is. Learn to recognize when an opportunity may arise and be willing to take the necessary risks.
6. Tell us one fact about yourself others may not know.
I lived in Montreal for a summer to study improvisational dance. My first week, I was on the hunt for a gig that would be flexible around my classes. I had a hard time finding anyone who would take me seriously because I only spoke English. Eventually, I begged a French man for a job at his restaurant to bus tables. He didn’t think it was a job for a woman. I proved him wrong.
To learn more about Sarah Luna and her journey in the fitness industry, connect with her on LinkedIn.