Two local studio owners found themselves evaluating how to meet demand after just three months of opening their fitness studio, The Dailey Method North Shore . A national franchise based on the program developed by California-based Jill Dailey McIntosh, The Dailey Method studios have been opening across the country. After its August 2011 opening, the new Kenilworth studio was inundated with interested clients.
“We were three months in and we had waiting lists. Clients couldn’t get into class and every class was sold out,” says The Dailey Method North Shore co-owner Leanne Kurtzweil. “We thought , what are we going to do? We needed to meet this demand. There were still so many people who hadn’t come yet.”
Kurtzweil, along with co-owner Tami Conway, converted a garage in the back of the building to add 624 square feet to the Green Bay Road studio. The added space took the capacity from 25 to 37, and allowed Conway and Kurtzweil to add another classroom and additional classes to the schedule.
A Different Kind of Workout
According to Kurtzweil, the method attracts clients because it is a safe way to transform and strengthen the body in an encouraging and non-threatening classroom environment.
“The method itself is pretty phenomenal,” Kurtzweil says. “You see changes in your body that you never have experienced in the past.”
The Dailey Method is a whole body workout that involves ballet barre work, muscle strengthening, and core work. Kurtzweil compares some of the fundamentals to pilates, but with more of an emphasis on larger muscles groups, orthopedic exercises to protect the body from injury, and using a group fitness environment to help motivate clients.
Founder Dailey-McIntosh continues researching her method and trains instructors that will teach the method at nationwide studios.
“Jill’s inspiration was trying to get things into a group class format because she found people were more motivated in that environment,” Kurtzweil says. “Our goal is to create a community and make people feel welcome.”
Client Maura Marhshall, a Wilmette resident who has been attending The Dailey Method of the North Shore since its doors opened, says she attends because of the “vibe” in the classes along with the focus on strength and protecting the body from injury.
“They’re extremely welcoming, they’re incredibly encouraging,” Marshall says. “You see changes in your body. You just get strong.”
Always an active person, Marshall has been involved in yoga and tennis where she says she’s suffered injuries that The Dailey Method is helping to repair and protect from further damage. The focus on each person’s individual needs is another reason Marshall swears by the method.
“They know you well enough that they want to push you more. It’s very personalized,” Marshall explains. And this is in a room of 25 rotating women and yet they still seem to be addressing each of you throughout the entire class. And to me that’s very unique.
Hints for Success
Kurtzweil believes that in order to run a successful business, a business owner has to be passionate about their endeavor. Formerly, Kurtzweil held a career in commercial lending but admits she never felt excited about the corporate environemtn.
“If you’re really passionate about something, you’re going to put 120 percent into it,” she explains. “Tami and I work so hard and believe in what the method is and what it can do for our bodies, both physically and mentally. We work hard to build relationships with our clients. It’s just passion.”
She also believes that successful businesses have thoroughly researched their demographic and believes there is a vast pool of clients in the north shore that are fit and active and seek out effective workouts that will fit into their busy schedules.
“Our community is very busy. Women have kids, they have jobs, they have a lot going on. So we give them a one hour full body workout that really makes them strong and changes their bodies,” says Kurtzweil. “If you know your demographic and you give them a product that’s fantastic, you’re excited and passionate about it, then it will be successful.”