Mardi Gras Got The Best of You? Live by the Barre Code.
On February 13th, a brand new Barre studio called Barre Code will open in Lakeview. Biz caught up with partners Kelley Ellis and Marissa Brown to talk about how they got started and what we can expect from this new exercise phenomenon.
Biz: How did your new business, Barre Code come to be?
Kelley: The idea for opening a Barre Code in New Orleans came about when Marissa and I were talking about how we have to go to so many different places to get our fitness needs met: one place for barre, one for cardio, stretch, etc. Marissa had been to a Barre Code in Chicago and knew the master trainer, and we talked about how it is a one-stop shop for exercise. The Barre Code is a fitness studio with different types of classes: barre, high intensity interval training, total body conditioning. It is based on a mantra of positivity and strength, or changing from the inside out. Living by the Barre Code is about finding your strength and feeling good about yourself.
Marissa: I visited my friend who worked at The Barre Code in Chicago and instantly fell in love with the tough workouts, positive instructors, and community feel of the studio. The Barre Code had recently started franchising to other markets and I wished that a studio would open in New Orleans. Kelley and I had a similar vision of what kind of fitness studio we would like to belong to; a one-stop shop for all of our exercise needs and a place based on a community of strong women. Our partnership took off from there and we are excited to show the women of New Orleans what “Living by the Barre Code” means to us.
Biz: What is your experience in the field and how did you become interested in Barre exercise?
Kelley: I have a bachelor’s of science in biological chemistry and a masters in social work. I have worked for years with people with body image issues and eating issues. I was a therapist with the New Orleans Center for Eating Disorders and also worked as the therapist for Mackie Shilstone's Comprehensive Weight Loss program. I have a private therapy practice Uptown.
Marissa: I have been a dancer all of my life and graduated with a degree in the art form. After college, I became a teacher in the New Orleans charter schools. Opening a fitness studio felt like a natural progression of sharing my love of movement with others.
Biz: What can clients expect from their experience at Barre Code in Lakeview?
Kelley: Clients can expect fitness classes designed for women that cover different types of fitness. They can also expect an emphasis on strength, community, positivity and support. It is important to us that clients feel comfortable and welcome in our studio.
Biz: How did you choose your space?
Kelley: We fell in love with our space on Harrison Avenue when we saw it. It is a lovely space with room for a studio, a retail area, dressing rooms, a vanity area, and two bathrooms.
Biz: What has challenged you in opening your business?
Kelley: The biggest challenge has been coordinating the build-out. I had not done a construction project before so I had no idea what to expect. Next time, I will learn to read blueprints!
Biz: How are you getting your name out in the community?
Kelley: We are marketing ourselves through print, social media, radio and television. We are working with Uptown PR to help coordinate our marketing efforts. The Barre Code stays fresh by changing routines on a weekly basis and by continuing to look at our market and the needs.
Marissa: We keep our business fresh because instead of focusing on what society views women should be and what they should look like, The Barre Code focuses on strength from the inside out.