NAME: Joanne Powley
YOUR BUSINESS / ORGANISATION: Joanne Powley Pilates
YOUR TITLE IN THAT BUSINESS: Director
WHEN DID THE BUSINESS LAUNCH?: November 2015
ELEVATOR PITCH – TELL US WHAT YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS DOES IN A NUTSHELL:
Accessible Pilates without the “mystique” that offers a planned progression from beginner to advanced, developing skills and knowledge to get the best experience from every class. Making Pilates more dynamic and innovative.
There are lots of Pilates classes run by independent instructors and by gyms, but none are offering such a complete package of solutions or innovations. Joanne Powley Pilates looks beyond the gym and at new and interesting ways to engage people in Pilates. The methodology behind the classes is unique and the Evolve™ 6-week programme develops skills and knowledge to get the best from each session.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR BUSINESS’S USP OVER YOUR PEERS?
Taking the core Pilates Principles and teaching methods, and developing new and innovative ways of delivering them to different groups:
e.g. Aqua Pilates, Mindfulness Pilates, Corporate Pilates, and specialist classes for Athletes, pre old-age etc.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST BUSINESS CHALLENGE SO FAR?
Managing the transition from a “day-job” to being a full time Pilates Instructor (an ongoing transition!!!).
AND YOUR GREATEST SUCCESS?
That’s easy – the people that come to my class! To see them progress and make a real difference to their lives through Pilates.
WHAT DOES THE NEXT 12 MONTHS HAVE IN STORE FOR YOU?
Complete the transition and work full time as an Instructor. In July I will have my level 4 qualification in Exercise Referral and Lower Back Care and this will open new doors for me.
AND IN FIVE YEARS TIME YOU’D LIKE THE BUSINESS TO?
Be the premier Pilates instruction in Suffolk.
NATURALLY, YOU WANT TO REACH CUSTOMERS AND SUPPLIERS AND THOSE WHO CAN HELP YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS SUCCEED. WHO MIGHT YOU WANT TO HEAR FROM?
Each type of class is targeted at, and designed for, a different audience:
Mixed Ability classes: anyone wishing to join a general Pilates class (this is the most popular type and is the usual format in gyms/clubs)
Corporate Pilates: Employees who may not be able to find the time to exercise can join a class at their place of work at a discounted rate
Aqua Pilates: best for older people and injury rehabilitation
Masterclasses: Sports specific (for clubs), very targeted at elite athletes looking for marginal (but significant gains in performance and injury prevention
Bespoke classes: Designed for a group – e.g. Weight loss
WHEN YOU FEEL TROUBLED OR ‘BEATEN’ AT ANY STAGE IN BUSINESS LIFE, WHAT’S YOUR SECRET TO RALLYING YOURSELF?
A long dog walk followed by a glass of wine and a good book. Simple as that sounds it gives me time to breathe and reflect on the situation and have a “chat” with myself on my 100% record for surviving bad days.
DO YOU HAVE A MENTOR, OR HAVE YOU USED ONE? IF SO, HOW WAS THAT?
WHAT’S CHANGING ABOUT YOUR INDUSTRY THAT MAKES IT SUCH A GOOD SPACE TO BE IN?
As a fitness system, Pilates was created with both strength and flexibility in mind and it has been shown to be effective in this regard. For example, one study found that middle-aged participants who did Pilates twice a week for 3 months demonstrated significant improvements in flexibility and muscular endurance, building core strength, improving posture through proper alignment of the spine, hips, and shoulders, as well as the development of lean muscle mass.
Fitness activities that promote building strength, balance, and improved flexibility are of great benefit as you age (gracefully!).
Doctors and physiotherapists often recommend Pilates to patients with back pain or who have experienced spinal injuries.
A very interesting study conducted by Queen’s University (Australia) found Pilates to be more beneficial than conventional therapies for people suffering from back pain. What’s even more interesting is that the same study found that the benefits remained a year after completing their Pilates training.
Pilates may also be an effective tool for combating pain associated with some other common ailments such as Sciatica (sciatic nerve pain), arthritis and fibromyalgia.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO SOMEONE WANTING TO ENTER YOUR INDUSTRY SPACE?
Never stop learning – there is so much you can do to make yourself an outstanding practitioner.
THE PLUG BIT:
AND NOW THE SLIGHTLY LESS CORPORATE BIT…
BEST THING ABOUT EAST ANGLIA: It’s home!
YOURSELF IN THREE WORDS: Determined, kind, fair.
UNFULFILLED AMBITION: Too many – I have a very long bucket list, but the Taj Mahal is at the top!
FANTASY DINNER PARTY GUESTS:
Joseph Pilates (obviously!) Anita Roddick, Desmond Tutu, Anne Rice, The Dalai Lama and Usain Bolt!
WHERE YOU LIVE, WHERE YOU’RE ORIGINALLY FROM (AND WHAT BROUGHT YOU HERE), HOW OLD YOU ARE, WHO YOU LIVE WITH:
I’m 53 and married to Nigel for the last 4 years. Ipswich born and bred but lived in South Africa (where my daughter was born) for 14 years as well as time in the States and on the island of Grand Comore. I never intended to end up back in Ipswich but that’s life, it has a funny way of putting you in the place you need to be.