Exercising opportunity: fitness junkie turned serial entrepreneur tells you how to transform your passion into your livlihood
Who doesn’t love a great pep talk? For any person, male or female, considering an entrepreneurial venture, no one can deny the benefit of pep talks and positive vibes from friends and family. We also know that real-life success stories of those that have been in the start-up business trenches provide the invaluable guidance one needs for real-life inspiration to get things moving into gear.
One such inspiration is Maxine Bascue. As a wife and mother of two, Bascue founded two successful ventures founded out of self-need. Hoping to get back in shape after having her second baby, Maxine founded fan-favourite Pilates haven Be Kind Studios after discovering a gap in the market. Be Kind Studios was made to encapsulate what other boutique studios lack—inclusiveness for all experience levels, æsthetically pleasing design, cleanliness, and, most importantly, top-tier customer experience. Similarly, Maxine founded Masongrey after realizing the lack of sexy yet comfortable lounge-wear options in the LA market. Growing the business on her own, Maxine’s designs have been on the Kar–Jenners, Hailey Bieber, Molly Sims, Addison Rae, and countless more!
Lucire Rouge: Despite the abundance of Pilates and fitness studios, what were they lacking that made you want to start your own?
Maxine Bascue: I’ve noticed several areas where many of these studios were lacking. While studios did offer Pilates classes, they often fell short in terms of providing an all-encompassing experience for clients. There were obvious gaps in customer service, æsthetics, cleanliness, and the intensity of the workout.
These observations were the driving force behind my decision to start my own studio. I wanted to create a fitness environment where customer service was exceptional, æsthetics were picture-worthy, cleanliness was non-negotiable, and every session offered a challenging and rewarding Pilates workout. These elements, combined with a supportive community, have been the platform of our studio’s success in setting us apart from the competition.
Why do you think so many women are intimidated by fitness studios? How did you remove that fear and encourage an atmosphere of comfort and acceptance?
We prioritize the creation of a judgment-free zone within our studio. We’ve taken steps to ensure our workout room is calm and softly lit, fostering an atmosphere where everyone can focus on their individual journey without feeling self-conscious. We actively encourage our clients to go at their own pace. We understand that each person’s fitness journey is unique, and to accommodate this, we offer a variety of variations in class tailored to different fitness levels or injuries. Additionally, we provide smaller, more personalized 10-person classes, ensuring that individuals receive the one-on-one support they need to feel confident and comfortable.
How do you ensure all levels feel welcome and confident?
New clients, whether they are experienced with a decade of practice or newcomers trying it for the first time, are asked to arrive 10 minutes prior to their scheduled class time. During this time, our instructor welcomes them and takes the opportunity to go over any prior injuries or concerns. Our instructor also introduces the reformer, ensuring that every client feels comfortable and confident in using this equipment during the class. This allows clients to ask any questions they may have, ensuring they are fully prepared and at ease before the class begins. We foster a community where members support one another.
What is the biggest challenge of owning a fitness studio?
One of the most challenging parts of owning a fitness studio is efficiently scheduling and accommodating everyone into their preferred class times. Alongside this logistical challenge, managing operations of the studio, such as financial matters, marketing strategies, and staffing requirements, can also be quite demanding.
These challenges ultimately transform into rewarding experiences. Witnessing the incredible journeys and the positive impact we have on our clients’ lives is what genuinely makes every challenge and effort worthwhile.
Do you plan to open additional locations?
One hundred per cent. All major cities need to experience the Be Kind way!
What are the secrets an aspiring entrepreneur should know?
• Passion: be deeply passionate about your business idea; it will keep you motivated through challenges.
• Resilience: expect setbacks and be prepared to adapt and overcome them.
• Customer focus: understand your customers’ needs and continuously seek their feedback.
• Financial savvy: have a solid financial plan and understand your business’s financial health.
• Team-building: surround yourself with a supportive and skilled team.
What is something you wish someone had told you before you went into business for yourself?
Don’t be scared to try new things, even if you’re not sure what will happen. Taking risks now will help you grow and keep you from staying too comfortable. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
Describe your ideal Sunday morning.
Sleeping in! Getting a matcha and taking my kids to the farmers’ market and brunch.