Recorded in NYC at the Boutique Fitness Solutions Summit in April 2022, Katy Richardson, Founder of Neighborhood Barre, a (barre studio franchisor) talks with Pete Moore about her (briskly growing) portfolio of 23 studios, which still remain self-funded. Katy was also the recipient of the highly regarded Pinnacle Business Award in the Young Entrepreneur category in Knoxville, TN.
As a former cheerleader who suffered a severe accident, Katy got into yoga and other lower-impact modalities to aid in her recovery. She did not have an extensive barre background. "I didn't want to be influenced by what someone else was doing necessarily. I wanted to find the style of barre that connected the most with me and then research it. I had that yoga teacher training background and started to build my own program without too much outside influence . . . you definitely don't have to have everything figured out before you get started," she states.
She talks about what she did to get through COVID and some of the lessons learned. (They're currently back to "less clients but at a higher value who stay longer"), how they're maintaining success on the retail side with branded apparel, ways to test out retail without a big upfront investment, and other lessons learned. ("A big one? It's definitely not true that if you build it they will come!") she jokes.
Franchisor, franchisee or not . . . Katy gives us a great number of takeaways and value relevant to any entrepreneur looking to scale in the HALO space.