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Kelowna Pilates Studio Transforms Business to Virtual in Two Days

A Kelowna Pilates studio has found a new way to keep their (virtual) doors open to serve clients and keep the business operating amid Covid-19 closures.

Complete Core Pilates was able to switch all of their classes from studio-based to virtual in two days by leveraging technology and making some very quick business decisions. When Kyla Ramirez realized she had to stop seeing clients at her Pilates studio due to Covid-19, she immediately started setting up a virtual classroom. "I was scared like everyone else,” says Ramirez, owner of Complete Core Pilates. “I knew we needed to take immediate action for our business as well as to help our clients continue moving.”

“The first step was to choose a technology platform that would meet our needs,” says Ramirez. The studio is using Google Meet along with webcams and Bluetooth headsets for its instructors. “We ordered the headsets online and chose ones that had a one- or two-day delivery.” The next day, the studio conducted its first virtual class as a pilot test.”

After fine-tuning the session and equipment, Ramirez sent a notice to clients including tips on how to set up the technology and what household items to have on-hand for the workout. Also, as part of the rollout, the studio asked their clients to do a technology check. Ramirez and her team supported anyone that needed some extra tech help to get set up in their homes.

Ramirez also realized that her clients would be struggling with self-isolation and the loss of a regularly scheduled workout with friends. “The mental health aspect of a crisis can take a toll on our bodies,” says Ramirez. “The social aspect is as important as movement. It was really important for me that our clients could still see each other, connect, laugh and move together. I believe this connection, along with movement, helps boost our immune system.”

The studio’s clients are doing well with the change. “It is such a great workout and we still get to connect with each other during the classes,” says Alexis MacMillan, a long-time group class client. “And the technology really works! I so much as moved a pinky finger and she still saw me.” After his first session, Cal Currie set a note to Kyla, “Your virtual format was great. You were able to see my toes cramping on my right foot...amazing!” Ramirez has also been hearing from her private session clients. “In a stressful time, the on-line classes have been an innovative way to keep us connected and progressing," says Betty Yao.

As for Ramirez, she says this move to virtual has saved her business. “I really feel for all the small businesses out there and encourage them to look for creative ways to use technology. I wasn’t sure this was possible, but it’s exceeding my expectations. We’re even getting calls from people outside of Kelowna.”

About Complete Core Pilates

Complete Core Pilates is a boutique studio passionate about wellness. The studio offers Pilates classes for individuals to have wellness, strength and self-empowerment in their daily lives. The studio offers customized classes for clients in private sessions or group classes. Virtual group classes are set at a maximum of 5 participants. This allows the instructors to be specific to each person’s needs. These are not “watch and follow along type” classes. Participants still get to move, sweat and laugh together!

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