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Meet Kimberly Gillis of Studio Barre Encinitas in Encinitas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kimberly Gillis.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am a local girl, born and raised in San Diego County. When you’re from this area, I feel like fitness is always a part of your life.

I found Studio Barre La Costa in 2010 and fell in love with the workout and the community. The workout is always changing and always challenging. The clients and staff were so welcoming and friendly; it just felt like I belonged. Shortly after becoming a member, I auditioned to become an instructor or Barre{tender} as we like to call it.

Teaching barre gave me life outside of being a mom. As a stay-at-home mom to six children, I had lost a little of my sense of self. Barre gave me an opportunity to connect with adults and help them feel amazing about their bodies. I’ve never heard anyone say they feel worse after a great workout… how awesome is that? I get to wear leggings to work and change people’s bodies, days and outlook on life! And, I do it all wearing a mic! (Channel my inner Madonna!)

In 2015, I started looking into purchasing a Studio Barre Franchise. During the same time, Our Creator and Founder, Shannon Higgins, was diagnosed with breast cancer. (Check us out in October, we are BIG supporters of breast cancer research and promote tons of awareness… as well as offer free classes all month to fighters and survivors!)

Just as I was losing the space I procured for my studio, the flagship Studio Barre lease was terminated in La Costa, the studio was moving to Encinitas and Shannon was fighting for her life, all while running a booming franchise.

The idea of purchasing the flagship Studio Barre was presented and my husband, John, and I jumped in! It was a lengthy process but on November 1st, 2017, I took over Studio Barre Encinitas.

To say this has been an adventure would be an understatement. I didn’t finish college, I never managed people and I, obviously, had never run a business… What I had done was manage a bustling family of 8 for many years and I had fallen deeply for barre and all of the people it brought into my life on a daily basis.

Prior to becoming an owner, I belonged to the most amazing and dedicated tribe of instructors and front desk staff and they continue to be the fiercest, strongest, most supportive women I have ever known. I am supremely blessed with the women who make up our studio barre crew. Without them, this story wouldn’t exist.

Today, Studio Barre Encinitas is a thriving community of Women and Men looking for the best workout to achieve strength and definition. We pride our selves on being music-driven, creating long, lean muscles and having a really good time doing it!

We are so lucky to never call what we do a job… because it just never feels like one!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Is there ever a smooth road? I feel like the bumps along the way are the moments of growth.

Some of the struggles I have had come from my lack of experience or knowledge. I have learned so much about running a business and how that is always changing. I have learned from Mrs. Rachel Hollis that everything I don’t know is free to learn on Google… so I have the tools to succeed at my very own fingertips!

I also went from being a fellow instructor and peer to the leader. It is definitely a challenge to switch roles. However, having that basis of friendship and admiration first really has been a gift. These women are my tribe and they always show up!

Running your own business is a 24/7 job. This has definitely been my hardest challenge. I am mom, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a friend, a self… and quite often something is being overlooked.

 I don’t believe in finding balance, I just don’t think that exists, but my constant struggle is to make sure I am giving all the most important people and passions in my life enough energy so that I am happy and whole.

 This will be where all my effort lies for the rest of my life… guaranteed!

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Studio Barre Encinitas story. Tell us more about the business.
At Studio Barre Encinitas, we pride ourselves on being the BEST barre in town. Studio Barre is a premier boutique fitness offering a 60-minute, calorie-torching, music bumping, personalized barre workout for all fitness levels. We use small isolated movements while incorporating cardio and stretching to lift and tone your entire body. Our ever-changing sassy vibe will help keep your cray at bay!

We are known for our super challenging workouts and our upbeat music! The bodies walking out of our studio are the proof that what we do WORKS!

I am incredibly proud of the community we have built at Studio Barre Encinitas. Our community is what sets us apart from other workouts. We come together to support each other in times of need and we cheer each other on in accomplishments inside the studio and out. I love finding out who knows who and how when we are all working out at the studio. More often than not, you will find groups of SBE clients and staff out for Happy Hour around town!

Our October Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a huge factor of what sets us apart from other studios! We were supporting and promoting breast cancer awareness long before 2015, but Being that our Founder and Creator is a Breast Cancer Survivor, means we Go BIG in October! We go all Pink, we don wigs and tutus, we do donations and giveaways, we talk self-checks and mammograms… its a BIG TUCK’IN DEAL!

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t really give into the role of luck.

Everyone in life has struggles and everyone has moments of blessings. Spend just 10 minutes listening to someone new and you will hear triumph and defeat.

I am trying to live my life and teach my children that every day is a new day. You get 24 hours just like everyone else. What are you going to do with those 24 hours?

And, not every day goes your way. Go with grace. All things willing, you get another chance tomorrow to do it better!

I am a HUGE advocate of living a life… We all have to work. We all have to make money to survive. There will always be the things we HAVE to do… but what do you WANT to do?

If you can align your Have to’s in a way that you can also do the Want to’s.. that’s winning. And that doesn’t take luck!


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Image Credit:
Gina Kates

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