A Day in the Life of a Pilates Studio Owner

By Stacey Vargas - Owner of the Pilates Institute of Southern California

So after checking out what other blogs are out there on this subject, I didn't find many from the perspective of a studio owner but many on Pilates teachers . Our days are similar but yet as you can imagine different. I also found out that there are many different ways to write this whole day- in- the - life post. I could go hour by hour but this is where the difference comes in, I don't travel around like a lot of teachers do. I own a studio, run a training program and do most of my work at the studio.

So here goes, a typical day for me.

First client is usually at 8am. I always like to arrive at the studio about 20 minutes before my first client. Although I am not the first one in the studio teaching. I usually make sure the essential oil diffuser is on ( our favorite is Aesop’s Beatrice) or our favorite Lelabo candle is lit, the music is playing softly (We have hardwood floors and the noise can sometimes be a bit challenging. We find the music usually keeps talking to a minimum and can help with focusing on the tasks at hand). We are also a dog friendly studio so I make sure the dog blanket is down and the water bowl is clean and full.

I double check my calendar to remember who I am seeing and fill my water bottle.

Ready... set... go

The morning is typically nonstop. I teach from 8 am straight through 12 noon or 1 pm, mostly privates or semis and typically one class. Five in a row is my max for sure. I start saying things in jibberish and my cuing goes down the drain, just not my best.

After clients are gone, I walk around and straighten up before the next rush comes in at 3 pm. This means the baskets at the end of the reformers are tidied up, reformers are aligned, balls and pads around the studio are put back. It’s a bit like Sesame Street, everything has a place. All the springs on the Cadillac are in the right place, yoga mats are rolled up you get it! I Really just tidy up anything and everything that may be out of place. Empty the trash in the bathrooms and kitchen , restock toilet paper and paper towels and turn off the diffuser or blow out the candle. Music off.

This is the part a teacher gets to walk away from, although all my staff are exceptional and help out A TON!!! Most of the time I am just making sure this is done because they do it and they are awesome, they also care about the studio and how it presents itself.

So what about my afternoon? Well it varies. Sometimes I am back in the studio lecturing for teacher training, maybe doing a test out for one of the trainees or paper work. Yes paper work! I don’t do the bookkeeping, thank god because I suck at it and I found the most amazing person ever to do it! I organize monthly receipts,pay bills, text clients for rescheduling if necessary, answer emails concerning new clients booking appointments online,or training and we hold events at the studio monthly so there are more emails to be sent. Let’s just say I have to stay on top of communication. Oh and don’t get me started on social media. Thank goodness my daughter is helping with that but there is still content and copy that needs to be worked on from my end.

I try to work out daily and this means anything from Pilates, running, Peloton, swimming or dancing. All depending on my health or injuries in their various forms. I also try to schedule “hands on me time”. I have let this go way to long and have paid for it so now once a week I see a chiropractor, a massage therapist or our in house Acupuncturist . At least for a while until I can get my body back in pain free mode. This is definitely one of the drawbacks of owning a studio, sometimes you just forget about yourself.

Late afternoon is a trip to the store to get dinner. Oh and if you are interested in why I didn’t mention breakfast well I don’t eat before 10am or after 7 pm. I am a firm believer of everything in moderation: meats, sweets, cheese, alcohol, chips, really everything . If you really want to know what I eat it’s mostly whole fresh foods all day long (fruit, nuts, eggs) and I have a supply of these in the kitchen so I can easily grab something between clients. I love Cacao smoothies from Greentree cafe, I love homemade tuna wrapped in rice paper, I eat red meat once a week, chicken and fish and lots of veggies! To be honest I don’t eat any gluten, Mom is celiac and it’s hereditary. I don’t have caffeinated coffee but have decaf espresso with almond milk (some days this breaks my no food before 10 am rule, especially when it’s cold). Only other thing I don’t do is actual milk, switched to almond or coconut and my sinuses now love me! No food or drinks besides water after 7pm. Of course there are times this doesn’t work but I try my best to keep to this. Remember moderation! Enough on food!

The rest of the evening is chilling with the fam. I constantly check emails and texts in case there needs to be a reschedule of a client, answer trainees questions or staff needs.

I’ve been doing this for 20yrs. it’s an all day thing being an owner. You have lots of people to manage and by that I mean keep happy. Which again means listening and communicating the best I can.

My massage therapist asked me the other day why I don’t stop moving. I told her I don’t know how, I am a water sign (Pisces). If I do my mind keeps going so this really is the perfect job for me, it is me. I didn’t have to change anything to make it work, I am hardwired to the job description and I love it.

Stacey VArgas