What is the biggest lesson you have learned or obstacle you have overcome?
B: A really good lesson that I’ve learned is that it’s impossible to make every single person in our community happy. So what my team and I have tried to do is really just do our best. And I think that comes from all of these various ways that we’ve had to pivot rather quickly. We moved from a business model where essentially everything was done inside the studio, face to face, and we had to move to a more virtual experience. And that was a challenge for sure having to establish ourselves in an exceptional way in a virtual world. The most important part is the connection with the community and, to have that part of the structure taken out, it just broke my heart into a million pieces. Now we’re trying to bring that connection back, bit by bit, layer by layer, in stages and we’re just trying to do the best we can. It’s about finding the tricky little balance of providing what we hope is the right fit for as many people as possible, honoring our community and our team and all their feelings and beliefs.
What are you most proud of in your career?
B: I’m so proud that we were able to open Barre3 here in the Lehigh Valley. It’s something that we can offer the community as a safe and brave space that they can enter to fill their cup so that they can continue in their day to take care of all those who rely on them. But also, I can be an example to my kids, not only about working hard and being kind, but sharing a communal space where there is no judgment, no competition and we are there to connect and shift the energies of their day in a positive way. I think that’s a really beautiful thing and something that I’m really proud to share with the community but also with my kiddos. And we’ve built a team of like-minded individuals who honestly and truly believe in that same thing.
What do you wish you had known when you were starting out?
B: One bit of advice that someone did give me before opening was the most challenging part was going to be managing the team. And I agree. I think that’s the most challenging part of the business just because there are so many personalities and everyone’s life is constantly changing, and we vary anywhere between a team of 40 to 50. But even knowing that bit of advice, it’s really hard sometimes to not let the decisions be personal, whether it be in the team or in the business. Both of these businesses are extensions of my family; they’re like two little babies. But I try to remember that when people share feedback, they really do want what’s best for my family and the business and the team.
What inspires you? Do you have a mantra, favorite quote, specific role model?
B: I think what inspires me, and I mean this sincerely, is our team. They’re just the most incredible human beings, and they really follow a mantra that my husband and I say with our kids, which is to be kind and work hard. I think some of the most magical things can happen just by doing those two things.
How do you give back or stay engaged in the community?
B: I like to support that which is close to me or people who are behind organizations that I also want to support. If there are activities at my children’s school, I like to be engaged with what they’re doing. My good friend Courtney Wiegand is involved with Cay Galgon Life House, so I have gotten involved with their gala and other fundraisers. I do my best to support her where I can, whether it’s contributing donations or time or creating some sort of fundraising raffle.
How do you unwind?
B: Most of the day is pretty active and go go go, which I’m fine with. We’re all kind of in a turbo mode. But I will say I try really hard to make it a point in the evening to set my phone down. Honestly, it’s as simple as sitting with my husband at night. We set some time to sit and talk or watch a show. And then I really try to read every night, even if it’s just a couple of pages, just taking a couple of minutes to turn my brain off.