We had the good fortune of connecting with Annie Verderame and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Annie, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Sure! Starting my own business wasn’t something I had necessarily originally planned on, but I had been working for other owners at studios for 7 years, and never had a great experience. The owners were unfair, paid terrible wages, and understood little to nothing about the world of Pilates, which led to discrepancies between teachers and management. I was severely overworked and rarely got a vacation. I wanted to be free, and I wanted to be in command of my life. I knew that I was good at what I did, and that people really liked my style of teaching, as well as the anatomical knowledge and education I brought to my classes. So when it was time to part with the world of big Pilates studios I knew 2 things: I was ready to be on my own, and I was ready to work alone. The latter was important. Many people encouraged me to start a large studio with staff, but after being in those shoes, I knew I didn’t want to deal with the politics or drama of big studio life. I had seen what did and didn’t work with running other studios, and knew exactly how I wanted to run my operation. I was determined, passionate, and ready to be in charge of my own life- and the freedom that has come with working for myself is exactly what I had always dreamed of.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My business is small, and that’s what I love most about it. It’s just me and my clients. I only teach private or semi-private sessions – no group classes. I get to teach what I know and love to clients, and they get 100% of my attention, meaning I can really invest in their overall health and wellbeing. I absolutely love helping people and I know that Pilates can be a life-changing practice, and my clients see that in how I work every day.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love how much Downtown Phoenix has evolved over the last 10-15 years. The restaurants and nightlife get better with each passing year, the museums are great, and the street art is amazing. I enjoy being outdoors when the weather permits, and love going to the farmers market or hiking the many nearby trails on the weekends.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband. We went on our first date just two days after I decided to start my own business and has been incredibly supportive since that day. One year later we moved in together, and he helped me build out the tiny studio I decided to put into one of the bedrooms. We lived there for 3 years, where he never complained of clients going in and out of the house all day long. Now as a married couple, we have purchased a new home with a detached garage – something I have wanted for years. We spent the summer of 2020 remodeling it into the studio of my dreams, and it is absolutely everything I hoped it would be. He has never questioned my ability to run a business or maintain a strong clientele, and has always stood behind my decisions 100%. He has worked his tail off the past two months helping to make this studio everything I ever wanted. I am eternally grateful for him not only being my teammate through everything, but my biggest advocate, champion, and supporter.
Sadie Such Photography