While some women go on to shatter glass ceilings in the corporate world, others are making leaps as entrepreneurs.
For Kandyce Jones-Olson that proverbial business leap was also quite literal – as a former dance and fitness instructor, she decided to open Barre Beat, a barre studio in Brentwood, after discovering East County was lacking.
“I’ve been doing barre for about seven years, and it got me into the best shape of my life,” Jones-Olson said of the workout that combines elements of ballet barre exercises, yoga and pilates. “When I moved here from San Jose three years ago, I was looking for a barre studio and couldn’t find one, and I just thought, ‘This is my opportunity.’”
That thought sent her down the path of learning and developing a business plan. And for the past two years, she’s been attending small business association meetings, learning how to get funding and working with a consultant who helped her create a vision and goals for the business, which just celebrated its grand opening this month.
Along for the adventure of running a business is one of Jones-Olson’s closest childhood friends, Christine Powell, who also moved to East County from San Jose and now serves as the studio’s general manager. The women have known each other since the third grade and grew up dancing and cheerleading together.
“We currently have seven teachers, and we offer a variety of classes – barre, dance, yoga, FIIT,” Powell said. “Unlike a barre class at a local gym, we use traditional (wall-mounted) ballet barres and all of the instructors are trained by the Body Barre Method.”
The exercise classes also flow more like dance classes – choreographed to the rhythm of the beat, hence the name – but Powell noted the guests don’t need to have a dance background to participate. In addition, the studio features a shopping area where patrons can find fashionable barre-themed workout clothing.
“Our main goal for the community is that we want people to have fun,” Powell said. “I know people have fitness goals, but it can be daunting, so we want to build a community with a boutique family feel where you can walk in the door, chat, exercise, shop and (the staff) greets you by name.”
Jones-Olson said Barre Beat is currently seeking more teachers in order to expand the offering of classes and hours. For those interested in taking their barre commitment to the next level and becoming teachers, there will be a Barre Body Method training seminar at the end of September.
“What I think is different about barre is that, when you walk into a barre class and see the 1- to 2-pound weights, you think, ‘Oh this is going to be an easy class,’” said Jones-Olson. “But you’re working, literally, from head to toe, so the concept behind barre is you work your muscles to exhaustion and then you do a deep stretch and that defines the muscles, creating long lean muscles.”
Barre Beat is located at 5471 Lone Tree Way, in Brentwood. For more information, visit https://barre-beat.com, or call 925-679-4428.