Two Mississippi State University students and one Starkville resident put their dreams into action last July and created The Studio Barre and Wellness.
Located right off campus, The Studio Barre and Wellness teaches ballet-inspired workouts called “barre.”
These workouts are low-impact on joints and have elements similar to Pilates and yoga. The title “barre” comes from the incorporation of ballet bars into each exercise.
Barre has gained popularity in recent years as it is able to strengthen your muscles in a way that creates a ballerina-physic, rather than a body-builder shape.
Co-Owner Belle Hester is an MSU senior majoring in kinesiology. She previously worked at Athena Fit before its closure last spring.
Hester said she missed having barre exercises as part of her daily routine and felt inspired to bring the joy of those workouts back to her community.
With two friends, Anna Frazier and Kayla Love, she began to plan for her own barre studio to take the place of Athena Fit. In just a few months, the three were able to complete their paperwork, and are now all co-owners of The Studio Barre and Wellness.
In the future, Hester plans to become a physical therapist and open her own health and fitness studio. She said she know this experience will be very beneficial as she goes down her future career path.
“It is so worth it,” Hester said. “In just six months, this has helped me mature beyond my years with everything I have learned.”
Since the new year, the studio has seen a spike in attendance. The owners hope this trend continues as people get ready for the summer.
The Studio Barre and Wellness offers daily classes at different times, all of which are taught by the owners.
Those interested in attending a class can buy on a class-by-class basis or can purchase one of the package deals available.
The owners said they encourage people interested in attending to follow them on social media to stay updated on any specials they are running since they frequently have discounts available.
Hester said they have around seven to 10 people in each class and encourage new people to come and attend at least one class before they make up their mind.
“Once someone tries it, they love it,” Hester said. “Most people who come always come back. It is just a matter of getting people in the door.”
Despite having gone into the business with the expectation they may not be able to turn a profit immediately, the business has been turning a profit since the fall. The owners do not pay themselves and put any profit towards an emergency fund for their business.
They are currently on a one-year lease for their studio and will make a decision soon as to whether or not they will resign the lease.
Current client and Starkville resident Jonette Shurden said she was a previous client at Athena Fit but has enjoyed her experiences with The Studio Barre and Wellness much more.
“I am happier with The Studio Barre than I ever was with Athena Fit. The classes I go to now are more creative,” Shurden said. “I always feel welcome there, even if I am the only one to show up for a class. I am definitely more comfortable and more pleased with everything at The Studio Barre.”
Shurden said she encourages anyone interested to try it out because they will not regret taking the chance on The Studio Barre and Wellness.
“It is a loving and non-competitive environment,” Shurden said. “Anyone who enjoys working out and staying fit will enjoy coming.”