We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrea Laughlin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andrea, how do you think about risk?
I talk a lot about risk in starting my barre3 business and how it played a role in making the decision to become a franchise owner and ultimately opening a studio. For me, believing that I would be successful had less to do with risk and more to do with how confident I felt in the product and building a community that would support my dream. I give the example often that in my marriage I’m typically the dreamer and risk taker, and my husband is analytical and not so much up for risk. However, after working for barre3 for many years, we both felt strongly about the product – the well-thought-out design of the workout, the structure of the business, and how much it gave back and supported us as a family. It was then, I was confident that if I could execute the product, it was just a matter of finding the right people to help build our community. And we did.
Then 2020 hit and the amount of risk involved became very clear to us as a family. There were moments of self-doubt and wondering if taking this risk of owning a business was worth it. The answer was always, YES! Even through multiple shut-downs and not knowing when or if we would be able to be with our community again, as well as the financial impact for years to come, I still felt that what we create at barre3 is exactly what people need in the post-pandemic age – movement, community, and nourishment of the mind, body and spirit.
So how do I think about risk? Well, I follow this rule – follow your intuition, and if all arrows point to YES, then do the work and make it happen!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I own and operate a barre3 fitness studio in Chandler, AZ. We just celebrated 3 years in July. It’s been anything but easy, yet I wouldn’t want to do anything else. As an owner-operator, I am also the lead instructor. Fitness, especially barre and yoga type formats have always been my go to workouts. After falling in love with yoga and teaching for many years, I found barre3. The workout was so challenging, inspiring, and mindful. Right away I knew this is what I wanted to share. Several years into working for barre3 I had the opportunity to become a studio owner.
As a barre3 franchise studio owner, I felt very lucky to step into a supportive network of other women-run barre3 businesses. I’m able to connect with over 150 other business owners and experience share. Having this support system has been extremely valuable especially over the last 18 months. I feel at times, that being in the role of studio owner can be isolating. No one quite knows my business like I do, and that can be challenging. I don’t take for granted the women across the country that pour their heart and soul into their business, and who still find the time to reach out and stay connected.
Having this core network of female owners is really, for me, the foundation of our brand. Barre3 is women-founded and 99.9% women-owned. From the moment I first stepped into a barre3 studio back in 2014, I felt at home. This is the same feeling I wish to continue to create and share with my community in Chandler and soon-to-be in Gilbert.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
First, we would start close to home and get our coffee fix at The Coffee Shop at Agritopia. While we’re there, we’d fuel up at Joe’s Farm Grill. Epicenter will be the new hub for dining, self-care and fitness (did I mention my new barre3 studio?!). So when it opens in early 2022, this will be the place to be.
After Agritopia, we’d head out for a girls weekend at one of the many beautiful resorts across the valley – Fairmont Princess, Sanctuary, Montelucia, The Scott. I’m a sucker for a spa day and the Fairmont Princess has the best spa and private pool around.
Then to escape the heat we’d head up to Sedona for some hiking and sightseeing, and maybe a fun jeep tour.
We’d make our way back to Gilbert and visit Downtown for a fun night of dining and drinks at Joyride and Postino-East.
*Some things I may not get a chance to do with my girls, but definitely love enjoying with my husband is a Suns basketball game or a live concert! Can’t wait for all the music to come back!!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Tara Dunn – Lifestyle and Branding Photographer (also a barre3 studio ambassador) – IG: @tdunnphotography Kerri Foster – Mindset and Nutrition Coach, Founder of Fostering Health & Wellness – IG: @fosteringhealthandwellness
Tara Dunn Nylmar Martinez