Pure Barre is known for its toning classes in studios across the country. And while strength, cardio and flexibility are the company's fitness focus, the brand aims to empower women on a larger scale. They do so through their franchise setup, giving women the opportunity to own their own businesses and reach women in the community. In fact, there are more than 550 Pure Barre studios across North America (with over 550,000 clients total), the majority of which are owned by women. Intrigued by this goal, we caught up with Pure Barre president Regan Stokes to find out why female empowerment is so important, how the company helped studios pivot in the pandemic and the brand's future. Also, make sure you check out our exclusive SI Swim Fit: Pure Barre workout!

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Why is women empowerment among a franchise so important?

"A franchise system like Pure Barre that is primarily owned by women, and has a predominantly female client and employee base, is a unique opportunity for women to thrive from both a personal and professional standpoint, without any roadblocks. Within our infrastructure, we can avoid the battles that women often face and can instead focus on our strength and growth in a safe, secure environment and ecosystem."

How does Pure Barre stand out in the fitness industry?

"Pure Barre has helped to shape the boutique fitness industry. While most studios are relatively newer to the scene, Pure Barre was founded as one of the original boutique concepts 20 years ago. And the staying power of our technique and community is a testament to what makes us unique. We also stand out in that we attract, service and welcome a very large span of generations due to our versatile and low-impact method. We are proud to celebrate granddaughters, daughters, mothers and grandmothers as our members, sometimes all belonging to the same studio."

How has Pure Barre adapted in the pandemic?

"The main question we ask ourselves every day is how we can meet our client community where they are. When the pandemic hit, that might have been in living rooms or kitchens. As the months went on, the answer was outside. And now that most communities are reopened, it's back in our studio for many. As such, we've adapted our offerings to ensure we can show up in our clients' kitchens for a virtual class, outside for a summer pop-up, or safely and conveniently in-studio. No matter what the format is, we serve to provide an effective workout for our members while also celebrating the strength of our community through social events like happy hours and ‘sip 'n shop’ retail parties."

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What is the future of the brand?

"Our future is about welcoming members, new and existing, back into the studio. While we've loved that everyone has gotten to experience the convenience of livestream options, there truly is a level of magic in the human connection that's found in our studios. We're excited to welcome back our returning members as well as those who may be looking for a new home once they resume their in-person workout routines. Through it all, we'll continue to innovate in the technique we offer through fresh technology, new class offerings, and strategic partnerships like the integration we're currently offering with Apple Watch."

Personally, what attracted you to the company?

"I was completely inspired by Pure Barre's founding, which I like to call a 'fitness love story.' The concept started in a basement and catapulted to over 500 locations out of sheer enthusiasm and human connection. I admired the unparalleled technique and Pure Barre's cult-like following. I take great pride in empowering our female-owned franchisees at the studio level to use what they've worked so hard to build to maximize profitability and expand Pure Barre's benefits and community to more people.”

And we have to ask: what's your workout routine?

“My favorite Pure Barre class to take is Empower - I love that cardio challenges complement the small movements. The energy in the room is unmatched! I also like to pepper in other workouts to see what's out there in the fitness world and validate that the technique and client experience we offer is second to none.”